Difference Between Pork and Bacon

When the fresh unsalted meat is harvested from the pig, it is simply called pork. This pork undergoes an intensive curing process to be processed as bacon.

Both these palatable meats are differentiated by the curing process that separates them. The taste and texture of both are different due to this curing process that adds distinct flavors to bacon.

Hence, we can propound that bacon is a sub-variant of the wider category of cured meats derived from fresh pork.

Pork vs Bacon

The main difference between pork and bacon is that while pork is the raw meat that is directly derived from a pig, bacon is the synthetically curated meat from the same animal.

Pork vs Bacon

Comparison Table Between Pork And Bacon

Parameters of ComparisonPorkBacon
DefinitionPork refers to the fresh, raw meat procured from a pig.Bacon refers to cured, brined, and smoked pork.
Curing ProcessThe curing process is not included in the production of fresh pork.The curing process is an indispensable part of producing bacon.
Region of DerivationPork is procured from the whole body of a pig.Bacon is procured from the belly region of a pig’s carcass.
Cooking RequirementsPork needs to be thoroughly cleaned and cooked in order to avoid stomach infections.The curing process eliminates the need to cook bacon. It can be consumed directly.
Uses of EachPork is used as the main protein component in many dishes around the world.Bacon is not usually used as the main protein component. It is commonly used in delicacies to add extra flavors.
AdditivesFresh pork does not include any additives.Additives like sodium and nitrates are added to the bacon during the curing process.

What is Pork?

Pork is the freshly procured meat from a pig. As the raw, unsalted meat harvested from a pig that is essentially uncured, pork is widely popular among foodies globally.

The sweet taste of the meat makes it one of the most consumed meats in the world. With a high content of fat, pork is an important source of protein in many delicacies.

Fresh pork must always be carefully cooked to avoid infections as pork can be conducive to different parasites like tapeworms.

Pork can be derived from all regions of a pig’s carcass. Shoulders, trotters, chops are some of the most common cuts available in the market.

Religious dietary rules prohibit the consumption of pork in many cultures around the world. Pork is famed for its ability to be cured into a variety of flavorful processed forms, including bacon, ham, and others.

The curing process adds salt to the freshly harvested pork meat and sometimes also smokes it to allow it to imbibe the additional flavors.

What is Bacon?

Bacon is cured pork that is produced by processing fresh raw pork with salt water and other additives. The meat soaks for a while in the salt bath and then it is dried.

This step is followed by the subsequent boiling and smoking of the meat. Bacon is appreciated for its delicious taste and versatile flavors.

Smoking and brining add extra flavors to the processed bacon. Different varieties of wood dust can be used for smoking the bacon to induce their flavorful essence into the meat.

Meat for the manufacture of bacon is derived from the belly regions of a pig’s carcass. Sides may also be used to procure pork for the production of bacon.

Bacon is often lined with fat. This fat is also used for larding. Bacon is a favored side dish with various delicacies including sandwiches, burgers, soups, and others.

Grilled bacon stripes are infamous for their taste and texture. The curing process makes bacon fit to be consumed directly without any additional cooking requirements.

Main Differences Between Pork and Bacon

  1. The main difference between pork and bacon is that while pork refers to the raw, fresh meat that has been harvested from a pig, bacon refers to a specially cured meat variant that is derived from pork. The curing process changes pork to bacon.
  2. The second seminal difference between the two can be noted in terms of the way each can be consumed. While pork needs to be cleaned and cooked properly to be made edible, bacon is a variety of processed meat, and thus can be consumed with or without cooking.
  3. Pork meat can be derived from the whole body of the pig, while bacon is only cured from the meat obtained from the middle regions of the pig’s body. Middle cuts from the belly region of a pig are converted into bacon through the curing process.
  4. Pork is generally used as the main component of several delicacies around the world, while bacon is generally not used as a core component of dishes. It is rather added to delicacies to enhance their flavor and taste.
  5. Fresh pork does not contain additives. The process of curing adds several additives to fresh pork in order to convert it to bacon. Sodium, nitrates, and other additives are commonly found in fairly large quantities in bacon.
  6. Bacon cannot be produced without the curing process. Pork meat does not require the curing process.
Difference Between Pork and Bacon


Pork and bacon are prominent fan favorites around the world. Although both these meat variants are loved by foodies, sometimes people may get confused between the two.

There exist quite conspicuous differences between the two. While pork is the raw meat procured freshly from a pig, bacon is the cured, brined, and smoked pork meat.

Hence, technically all bacon variants fall under the broader category of pork meat. The taste and flavor of bacon may be quite different from pork as the extra processing steps in-between add unmatched flavors to the meat.

Moreover, bacon can be eaten directly due to the curing process, while cooking is an indispensable part of making pork edible. Bacon is used as a flavor adding component in many famed delicacies, while pork is mainly used as a protein component in dishes.

These variances are to be noted to diligently enjoy delicacies made with each of these meat variants.


  1. https://www.nrcresearchpress.com/doi/abs/10.4141/cjas-2014-121
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814604001943
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