Habanero Dry-Rub Uncured Bacon

MADE BY TENDER BELLY IN DENVER, COLORADO

MOUTH SAYS...

This fiery bacon is not for the faint of tongue. It's the kind of heat that lingers long after the last strip. The habanero's natural sweetness is highlighted by just a little maple sugar, but this is full-on savory swine. An exceptional meat-to-fat ratio means a low-and-slow cook yields substantial strips of full-flavored bacon with the perfect amount of smokiness. 

The Duffy Brothers of Tender Belly crust heritage pork belly with their signature dry rub, which includes a heady dose of habanero powder, but no nitrates (hence the "uncured"). They let it soak up the flavors for two weeks, then it gets a smoke in cherrywood. And unlike a lot of bacon processors, they don't add water, so their bacon won't shrink as much when it's cooked.

When we fried up a few dozen different bacons to taste, Tender Belly's signature flavor stood out – we all went back for seconds. So we weren't surprised to learn that Tender Belly has strict standards for the way the pigs are raised or that Denver-area chefs have become totally obsessed with Tender Belly's pork and bacon. We know exactly how they feel. 

tip of the tongue

Try a spicy Club sandwich and use Empire's Sriracha Mayonnaise for even more kick. This bacon makes a great addition to Tex-Mex omelets with salsa, and is awesome wrapped around cream cheese-stuffed poblano peppers on the grill.

  • $16 for a 16 oz package