Cooking Guide

Bacon Vs. Pork Belly (And Why You Need Both)

You may be wondering what’s the difference between pork belly and bacon? This article aims to break it down for you.

Why trust me?

I'm an experienced food writer and passionate cook. My website,, features accessible, informative, and engaging content with quality recipes and articles that are thoroughly researched and enjoyable to read. You can trust my expertise with 8 years of experience in the field. Learn more about me and my work on this website, and check out my featured articles on TastingTable, Mashed, and 5-Minute Crafts. Read more about me HERE.

You will learn about how these two meat pork ingredients differ from each other so that you can weigh their pros and cons to choose the best one for you.

What is pork belly?

[amazon fields=”B09N2MDFYM” value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

[amazon fields=”B09N2MDFYM” value=”button”]

A pork belly is a boneless cut of meat that comes from the pig’s belly.

Pork belly can be cooked in many ways and it tastes best when braised or roasted.

Pork belly is also popular because it can be cured with salt, sugar, and spices to make bacon.

Despite its versatility, pork belly is usually cheaper than other cuts of meat.

What is bacon?

[amazon fields=”B07YVMCSYY” value=”thumb” image=”1″ image_size=”large” image_align=”center”]

[amazon fields=”B07YVMCSYY” value=”button”]

Bacon is a meat product that comes from pigs.

It can be made from pork belly (most common), or sometimes other pork cuts into strips, resulting in different kinds of bacon: streaky bacon, back bacon, jowl bacon, cottage bacon, and slab bacon.

Bacon can be cooked in many ways including frying, grilling, or baking.

It is often eaten for breakfast with eggs and toast but you might also find people eating it at lunch as well as dinner.

Is pork belly the same as bacon?

Pork belly is the same as bacon, but it isn’t called bacon because it’s not from a pig.

It comes from pigs’ bellies and contains more fat than regular bacon does.

The difference between regular bacon and pork belly is that while both are cured with salt, sugar, brown sugar (or molasses), black pepper, red pepper flakes, or cayenne pepper (or all of these), pork belly has no nitrates.

Nitrates can cause cancer in humans so they’re not allowed in this recipe.

They are also responsible for making the meat look pinkish instead of grayish like regular bacon does when cooked which makes them perfect for breakfast sandwiches!

Lastly, unlike regular bacon which needs to be cooked before eating, you can eat pork belly right away because it’s not cured with nitrates.

What are the differences between pork belly vs bacon?

To have a better look at the differences between pork belly and bacon, let’s check the comparison table below for more details:

 Pork bellyPork bacon
Pig’s partFrom the belly of the pigFrom the belly, back, jowl, or shoulder of the pig
Status when soldCommonly sold raw and freshProcessed (cured and smoked)
Fat content and textureHave more fat  Less fat because of the curing and smoking process that draws moisture and fat out
Flavor and nutrient factFattier and lighter Healthier because of no additivesStronger and saltier Contain more sodium
PriceCheaper due to the higher amount of fatUsually more expensive because it is more popular in any grocery and last longer thanks to the curing and smoking process
UseRoasted, fried, grilled, slow-cooked, or pulled pork for sandwich fillingsCured and smoked to serve as topping for dishes like salads, pasta, or pizza
CuisineMore popular in Asian cuisineMore common in Western countries

What are the similarities between pork belly vs bacon?

Although there are many key differences between pork belly and bacon, in most cases, they are actually the same thing in two different forms.

Bacon is mostly made from pork belly, then it is cured with salt for a couple of days to a week.

That means you can make bacon by yourself from a fresh pork belly.

Which one is better?

Product Comparison[amazon fields=”B09N2MDFYM” value=”title”][amazon fields=”B07YVMCSYY” value=”title”]
Product Image[amazon fields=”B09N2MDFYM” value=”thumb”][amazon fields=”B07YVMCSYY” value=”thumb”]
Latest Price[amazon fields=”B09N2MDFYM” value=”button”][amazon fields=”B07YVMCSYY” value=”button”]

Pork belly and bacon are two different products of pork that seem to be interchangeable in several dishes.

However, they have some key differences when it comes to the flavor profile and nutritional content.

The best choice for you may depend on your dietary needs or personal preferences.

We hope this article has helped you decide which is better for your next dish!

Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
Back to top button