Bacon Bits

How much is inside bacon bits? 

During World War 2, strict meat rationing made it almost impossible to get a full-sized meal in the morning. Tiny versions of mealtime favorites were introduced to the breakfasting public. Cinnamon Toast Crunch® replaced cinnamon toast, salmon eggs replaced chicken eggs, and demitasses of espresso took the place of coffee cups. Unquestionably the favorite miniature product to come out of this crisis was the bacon bit.

For years, bacon-flavored bits have been sold in jars and used on top of salads to add a meaty crunch. Recently Oscar Mayer began selling these little bags of real bacon bits.

 

 The bag claims to contain 3 ounces (85g) of bacon bits, but bacon is traditionally measured in strips, not ounces. How many strips of bacon are inside? On Friday night, we decided to find out.

Steve, Elise and I were over at Tom and Amy's house. The plan was to cook some bacon up, and see how many cooked strips of bacon it took to total 3 ounces.

We dumped the Bacon Bits package onto the scale; 2.995 ounces of bacon bits. How is that for accurate packaging?

 

We used Oscar Mayer bacon for the comparison.  This one pound package was US$5.99

Bacon is sold in packs of these long raw slices. You can also get individually-wrapped single slices for kid's lunches, also known as Small-Fry or Go-Pork.

 

Tom carefully sliced open the packet.

The first step in preparing bacon strips is to peel the slices apart from one another. If they don't peel apart easily, try soaking them overnight in baby oil.

Bacon strips usually have red areas and white areas. The red areas are meat. The white areas are fat. Carefully cut away any blue or orange areas before cooking.

Tom was in charge of frying. 

 

As the bacon cooked, the fat on the bacon reached its melting point and turned into liquid, leaving the pure, healthy pork meat behind.

While the bacon strips were cooking, we arranged the bacon bits into rectangles on a cookie sheet. It looked like they might have been chipped from about 12 slices.

The bacon sizzled in a twisted heap.

I wanted to measure the hot, liquefied bacon grease, but the plastic measuring cup couldn't handle the heat. It melted through and dripped all over the place before we it over the sink. Luckily the bacon fat seemed to enhance the flavor of everything it dripped onto! The biscuits were zesty! The salmon was exquisite! The Nylabone was brimming with goodness, and the croissants were delicious!  

If this happens to you, remember that replacement pork fat is easy to find in the supermarket. It is called "lard".

Tom carefully arranged the bacon on a sheet covered with aluminum foil. Steven supervised.

At the scale, the cooked bacon had lost a considerable amount of weight. Each cooked slice was down to 0.235 ounces (6.7 grams)

I slowly added cooked bacon to the scale until it registered nearly 3 ounces. Twelve slices weighed 2.985 ounces! We had our answer!

 

As soon as the measuring was over, Tom and I were free to enjoy the cooked bacon.

A few years ago, I could not have even imagined enjoying bacon except in the morning time, but thanks to the Bacon 24*7 marketing campaign, and their computer-animated Sir Francis character, I don't even hesitate. Bacon is delicious anytime!

 

12 slices is 63% of the pound of bacon, and since the package of bacon bits was only $1.89, you'd have to find raw bacon selling for $2.99 a pound to justify frying and Cuisinarting your own bacon bits. 

Good luck getting your food processor kashered, by the way.

  Price Package Size Cooked yield Price per cooked oz. Price per slice
Bacon Bits

$1.89

3 oz. 3 oz. $0.63 31¢
Raw Bacon $5.99 16 oz. 4.75 oz $1.30 63¢
 

As you can see from this chart, the Oscar Mayer package of bacon bits are a good price for their weight. Bacon is priced like diamonds: The smaller the pieces, the cheaper they are per ounce.

If you ask me, the tiny bits just make them easier to eat on the go!

offsite information on pork: pig muscle fibers  meat identification page (check out the by-products)

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