Difference between: thick-cut bacon and center-cut bacon (and standard bacon)

Bacon – it’s likely the single most popular food item in America. Let us check out the different cuts of bacon to cater to your personal preferences. Or, choose the less fatty option for health reasons.


I got the idea for this Difference Between from Food Network Magazine’s latest issue, which is centered around bacon.

Although this is a rather short and simple Difference Between, it does spark ideas for more bacon-related Difference Betweens (cured versus uncured, etc.) Today, we’re sticking with the basics – the cuts of bacon.

Standard bacon is sliced very thin, about 1/16 of an inch, and is considered all-purpose. Thick-cut bacon is – obviously – a larger cut, about twice the size of regular bacon. Because it’s thicker, thick-cut bacon holds its shape better. Therefore, it is ideal to use chopped up for salads, soups, pastas, etc.

Center-cut bacon is the healthiest option of the three cuts – about 30% less fat than standard bacon. While all bacon typically comes from the belly of the pig, center-cut bacon is cut closer to the bone.

Perhaps because it is the healthier option, or maybe it’s because there is more actual meat than fat, center-cut bacon tends to be a little bit pricier than standard or center-cut. According to Snack-Girl.com, if you switch from standard bacon to center-cut, you can reduce your fat intake by 25%.

It should be mentioned that the difference between thick-cut bacon and other cuts is subject to various brands; there is no legal specification of thick-cut bacon. (Unlike, for example, cream cheese, which must contain by definition 33% milk fat.)

So there you have it. Standard, all-purpose bacon can be used for typical strips with breakfast or incorporated in other dishes. Thick-cut bacon is the best choice for using chopped up bacon or bacon bits with salads or pastas. And if you’re watching your weight and cholesterol, but can’t get enough bacon, try  center-cut.

Keep an eye out in the future for more bacon-related Difference Betweens.

3 thoughts on “Difference between: thick-cut bacon and center-cut bacon (and standard bacon)

  1. Center cut bacon just means that the fattier ends of the slab trimmed off before it’s sliced. That’s why the slices are shorter.

    But if you really want to have a higher meat/fat ratio, find Irish/British style back bacon, which is cut from higher up on the side so it includes a lean section of the loin, but still has some of the streaky side attached.

Comments are closed.