Pork vs Bacon: Difference and Comparison

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


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

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

Key Takeaways

  1. Pork is the meat obtained from a pig, while bacon is a cured meat product made from pork belly.
  2. Pork can be cooked in various ways, while bacon is fried, grilled, or baked.
  3. Pork is a versatile meat used in various cuisines, while bacon is commonly used as a breakfast meat or an ingredient in sandwiches.

Pork vs Bacon

Pork is the meat that comes from pigs. It can be used in various dishes and is commonly eaten in many cultures. Bacon is a type of cured pork made from the pig‘s belly or back. It is sliced thin and can be eaten independently or used as a flavouring agent in various dishes.

Pork vs Bacon

Comparison Table

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 used as the main protein component. It is commonly used in delicacies to add extra flavours.
AdditivesFresh pork does not include any additives.Additives like sodium and nitrates are added to the bacon during curing.

What is Pork?

Pork is the freshly procured meat from a pig. As raw, unsalted meat is harvested from an uncured pig, 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-fat content, 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. The most common cuts are shoulders, trotters, and chops.

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

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


What is Bacon?

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

The subsequent boiling and smoking of the meat follow this step. Bacon is appreciated for its delicious taste and versatile flavours.

Smoking and bringing add extra flavours to the processed bacon. Different wood dust varieties can be used to smoke the bacon to induce its flavorful essence into the meat.

Meat manufacturing 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 favoured side dish with various delicacies, including sandwiches, burgers, soups, and others.

Grilled bacon stripes are infamous for their taste and texture. Curing makes bacon fit to be consumed directly without 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 harvested from a pig, bacon refers to specially cured meat 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 worldwide, while bacon is generally not used as a core component of dishes. It is rather added to delicacies to enhance their flavour and taste.
  5. Fresh pork does not contain additives. Curing adds several additives to fresh pork 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
  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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