The 6 Lowest And 5 Highest Quality Bacon Brands To Look Out For

Bacon lovers, rejoice! There's nothing like a good hearty slice of sizzling pork to top your favorite breakfast sandwich or to enjoy as a sidekick to a fluffy stack of maple-smothered pancakes first thing in the a.m. That's why we've scouted the highest and lowest quality bacon brands out there and have put them in a curated list so you can spend more time munching and less time worrying about wasted money. As most of you bacon connoisseurs out there know, there is such a thing as really bad bacon. Whether it's utterly flavorless, is hard to separate, or cooks up into virtually very little meat, there's really nothing more disappointing than knowing you've copped a shoddy package of bacon.

In this post, we're breaking down the details of some of the highest and lowest quality bacon brands available on the market. From popular labels to a few obscure grabs, we're hoping to dish the deets in such a way that you'll be thanking us the next time you're on the hunt for fresh and yummy bacon at your local grocer.

So, sit back and buckle up. We're prepared to smack you with the sizzling reviews from customers just like you on one of America's favorite breakfast meats. Let's dig in.

Buy: Wright Hickory Smoked Bacon

Wright Hickory Smoked Bacon doesn't earn its reputation for being awesome eats for nothin'. Fans fall head over heels for this hickory smoked pork, and it's not hard to see why. Just observing the pack, we see thick slices of perfectly marbled bacon, and those who have tried Wright Hickory Smoked Bacon confirm that it's downright delish.

So, what makes this bacon stand out from among the crowd? After scouring through countless rave reviews, the consensus from most customers is that it's the flavor and quality that sets this bacon apart. Its deep, robust savor is hailed as supreme, and fans love the way it cooks up. Wright Hickory Smoked Bacon doesn't break apart into little pieces as you peel it away, and you don't have to worry about your bacon portions shrinking as they fry over the stove. Yes, the price point may seem daunting, but when compared ounce for ounce to other brands it isn't as bad as you might think. Either way, we would rather spend more money for better quality than pay a few bucks for the cheap stringy stuff. Count us in!

Avoid: Great Value Hickory Smoked Bacon

Hmmm, this one is interesting. When seeking customer opinions on Great Value brand foods, we don't automatically assume the reviews will be bad. Oftentimes, Great Value has plenty of awesome eats for cheap, but, in this instance, that doesn't appear to be the case.

If there's one thing people unanimously agree on when it comes to Great Value Hickory Smoked Bacon, it's that it isn't attractive. And while this might seem like a trivial thing to mention when it comes to the overall quality and taste of bacon, it seems to be everyone's No. 1 hang-up when it comes to this generic brand of the popular pork treat. We found customer after customer lamenting the fact that the bacon appears "old," though they never really comment on how the bacon tastes. Most just couldn't get past its brown-tinged hue and, thus, never actually got around to sampling it. Even those who managed to get the package opened complained that each strip was hard to get apart and that it shredded to pieces in the pan.

Sorry folks, but Great Value bacon, though reasonably priced, just isn't it.

Buy: Oscar Mayer Original Bacon

Oscar Mayer is certainly a household brand name, and it doesn't disappoint when it comes to bacon. Oscar Mayer Original Bacon tends to get nothing but stellar reviews from enamored fans who claim this bacon is perfect for almost any recipe, from breakfast to BLTs and the like. One thing fans state over and over again is that the bacon tastes really good. On top of that, people seem to really dig the way it cooks up, with very few complaints of shrinkage, unlike other brands on the list.

As far as pricing goes, the bacon is not cheap, but it isn't as expensive as other brands we've seen, either. We've seen it run for about $6.99 per 16 ounces locally, which is a decently priced grab in comparison to others. We've also found the Oscar Mayer Center Cut variety coming in a mega-pack at our local grocer, giving you even more bang for your buck in terms of deliciousness. All in all, if you're looking for a solid option for bacon that's reliable in terms of consistency and taste, Oscar Mayer Original Bacon is a classic high-quality pick.

Avoid: Applegate Natural Uncured Sunday Bacon

We're sad to say we can't recommend this Applegate bacon to you when it comes to yummy strips of pork, even though the ingredients tend to be better than the rest. Though this bacon is free of most additives and is marketed as "uncured," consumers are griping over this one, much to our surprise. The first complaint people seem to have is the price point. For the amount you get (usually 8 ounces), the price is what you'd normally expect to pay for a 16-ounce package. Aside from this, even when following the best ways to cook bacon, customers complain that this brand cooks down to practically nothing while leaving behind tough pieces of meat that are unenjoyable to eat.

There is, perhaps, a little light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to Applegate Natural Hickory Smoked uncured bacon. Though many find the bacon subpar, especially for the price point, others seem to like it just fine as long as it's cut into tiny pieces and used in recipes. Meals like stir-fry, broccoli, or baked beans can benefit from a bacon like this, but we're not sure that it's worth it. Ultimately, the decision is up to you, but we still think you could stand to get better options for your hard-earned dollar.

Buy: Farmland Applewood Smoked Classic Cut Bacon

Farmland Applewood Smoked Classic Cut Bacon is easy to overlook. With its casually designed label and somewhat lesser-known brand name, we were surprised to see fans so fond of this bacon-y grab. People had plenty to say about this unassuming product, with the taste being at the forefront. According to patrons, the flavor and smell are on point, making it just what you'd expect from a high-quality bacon. On top of that, the bacon is said to contain just the right amount of fat and meat, which is probably why it cooks up like a dream.

Another thing to note about this yummy bacon is the price point. While it isn't the cheapest bacon around, it costs less than Oscar Mayer without sacrificing flavor or quality. You get your standard 16 ounces of bacon for about $5.99, which is a steal, especially considering that other brands are offering half the amount of bacon for even more than that (we're looking at you, Applegate). All things considered, Farmland Applewood Smoked Classic Cut Bacon is an awesome buy for its overall quality and affordability.

Avoid: Hormel Black Label Bacon

Anything bearing the name "black label" is bound to be good, right? Wrong. In this instance, Hormel Black Label Bacon is anything but regal, and customers have set out to let us know about it. According to the reviews we've read, Hormel Black Label Bacon consists mainly of fat and ends up shriveling up to nothing after being cooked. On top of that, some claim the bacon has little to no smell or flavor, which is truly appalling when you think about it. After all, who doesn't love the smell of bacon?

Another common concern among Hormel Black Label Bacon patrons is that the quality of this bacon seems to have gone downhill over time. According to long-time devotees, this bacon was once a good buy. It was affordable and flavorful. Now, customers resent the fact that the bacon has become inconsistent, with lots of fat and little flavor to live up to its "black label" name. Thus, based on its ghastly reviews, you might wish to skip Hormel Black Label Bacon the next time you see it in the store.

Buy: Greenfield Natural Meat Applewood Smoked Uncured Bacon

This is another brand that isn't quite as popular as your standard Hormel or Oscar Mayer label, but don't let that fool you. Greenfield Natural Meat Applewood Smoked Uncured Bacon packs plenty of flavor and makes several claims on its packaging that many of its competitors don't. The brand avoids the use of all antibiotics and growth hormones when producing the bacon and is humane in its practices (like forgoing the use of gestation crates). And though we know the whole "nitrate-free" spiel is quite divisive, the company does claim its bacon to be uncured (which is different from cured), unlike many other bacon types. Whether it is truly uncured is beyond us, and yes, we know celery powder and celery extracts still contain nitrates, so please, don't shoot the messenger here.

Anyway, aside from the many claims the company makes, customers also love the taste and quality of the bacon. Patrons attest that the bacon cooks up crispy and delicious every time and delivers a smoky, sweet flavor that keeps them returning for more. Still, you may wish to note that the price point on this particular pork buy isn't cheap; you can expect to pay around 7 bucks for a 12-ounce pack. Yeah, it stinks, but from what customers are saying, paying the few dollars extra might just be worth it.

Avoid: Member's Mark Naturally Hickory Smoked Bacon

When it comes to Member's Mark Naturally Hickory Smoked Bacon, the one thing everyone seems to agree on is its unappealing thin cut. Yep, you can expect to get thin, wispy slices of bacon when purchasing it from Sam's Club, and customers aren't happy about it. Shoppers claim that some pieces of the bacon are so thin they are see-through, while others claim it is extremely difficult to separate the bacon pieces. Aside from the bacon's thinness, many claim that the bacon simply does not smell or taste good, which pretty much defeats the purpose of purchasing bacon in the first place, right?

With that said, we do want to mention that there are a select few who really seem to love this bacon pick. Some claim it tastes great, and one affectionately compared it to the Smithfield brand. Even still, we're going to defer to the majority on this one and advise you to avoid this bacon from the Sam's Club Member's Mark brand; there are plenty of other bacon buys that we think would make a better use of your coin.

Buy: Hormel Natural Choice Uncured Bacon

Another bacon labeled as uncured and free of hormones is Hormel Natural Choice Uncured Bacon. It's another variety worth checking out. This bacon comes decently priced at around $5 for 12 ounces (not the cheapest, we know), and most people think it's pretty great. It's considered a healthier version of bacon, which may or may not be true, depending on what you consider "healthy" and which brand you are comparing it to. Nevertheless, it seems that people are impressed with the fact that this natural bacon tastes as delicious as it does while also cooking up perfectly in the frying pan. What more could you ask for?

Amid the glowing reviews, there were a couple of complaints about the shortness of the bacon pieces. One reviewer of Hormel's Natural Choice Uncured Bacon even went as far as to weigh the package of bacon they bought out of suspicion and found the porky product to only weigh 11 ounces instead of the advertised 12 ounces. This could be especially annoying to consumers given the fact that 12 ounces is much less than the 16-ounce status quo other brands offer. Nevertheless, most people give the taste and overall quality of this one a thumbs up, securing its spot as one of the higher-quality bacon options available on the market.

Avoid: Appleton Farms Premium Sliced Bacon

This one's interesting as people either love or hate this Aldi brand. While many seem perfectly content with Appleton Farms bacon, most can agree it isn't the most amazing out there. In fact, there are some that downright hate the bacon, claiming it to be all fat and very little meat.

Yes, we're aware of the fact that the fat to meat ratio can be determined ahead of time by using the window on the package, but when most customers complain that the strips often seem to be around 98% fat, we have to raise an eyebrow at the brand. Those discontented with their purchase go as far as to call Appleton Farms bacon a scam and staunchly warn people against buying the bacon in the yellow package.

One additional qualm even those who regularly buy the bacon from Aldi have is that the bacon can sometimes be inconsistent in terms of the thickness of the slices. Some slices have been reported to be so thin you can hardly peel them apart. All in all, if you plan to purchase Aldi's Appleton Farms bacon, just be sure to watch for the proper ratio of meat to fat in terms of marbling. Be prepared to deal with a few thinner pieces, too.

Avoid: Smithfield Bacon

You're probably thinking we're off our rocker with this one, but hear us out. Smithfield has traditionally been a really great bacon buy, but recently, even fans of this product are taking issue with this well-known bacon brand. Though there is still a strong following for this bacon and people who continue to show it their unwavering loyalty, the most recent reviews bolster quite a few qualms people are having with this popular pork product.

Specific complaints about the brand are all over the place, with patrons airing their concerns about multiple aspects of Smithfield bacon. Some claim the bacon has no taste while others are perturbed at the amount of fat encompassing each slice. To make matters worse, others claim that the bacon cooks up tough like leather, and thus, it makes for an unappetizing bite first thing in the morning. The bacon sometimes also comes cut ridiculously thin, which we know by now is an issue that plagues many of the lower-quality brands gracing this list.

Yeah, Smithfield bacon has somewhat of a cult following, but some people are warning that the bacon isn't quite what it used to be. Give it a shot if you wish, but chances are high that you'll be sorely disappointed.


These lowest and highest quality bacon brands to look out for were carefully selected after reviewing several categories and comparing the bacon accordingly. Using basic information on grocery store websites and product packaging, as well as online customer reviews, we were able to discern whether each bacon buy was a high- or low-quality choice. Customer complaints regarding color, marbling, taste, and consistency as well as how the meat cooked up were all determining factors in whether a bacon product did or did not measure up.

Additionally, we took to the pages of Reddit, where we found information concerning certain bacon brands that helped further inform our process. Lastly, we noted the price point on many — though not all — bacon products, since the cost in some cases may not have matched the overall product quality.

While we understand that you may not agree with all the information presented here, we did our best to take into account the full scope of each bacon product and label them as high or low quality, accordingly. We hope you find this list helpful!