Garrett County Dry Rubbed bacon

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 Review by BetterThanAndrew


Always interested in trying new brands, makes and models of bacon, I took a chance on a package of Garrett County Thick Sliced Dry Rubbed bacon at my local supermarket. The package boasts hooks like “preservative free”, “all natural” and “minimally processed”. Smacks of some kind of hippie conspiracy to me but a hippie who likes bacon could possibly be a friend of mine, I suppose. Depends on their use of Patchouli oil… Anyhow, the dry-rubbed aspect seemed interesting so I grabbed some and tossed it in the cart. I want to say it was around the $7.00 mark. I was impressed that the first pack I grabbed was very lean and well marbled, as were the other packs on the shelf. There was no flipping-over 30 packs to try to find one that didn’t look like it was 70% fat. Nice.

Unpackaging: The slices were thick and uniformly cut. They had a slightly different feel when handling than cured bacon. I’m going to use this to segue into a quick crash-course about dry rubbed vs brined bacon. It’s pretty straightforward. Dry rubbed bacon gets just that – a dry rub of salt and other seasonings before it’s smoked. The rubs sits for a few days and is supposed to give a more sophisticated flavor that accentuates the taste of the meat without tampering with it. It also pulls some moisture and affects the texture of the fat. Cured bacon sits in a brine which can add a lot of moisture to the meat, which will need to be cooked out later, because osmosis carries out the seasoning duties. Proper brining allegedly takes 2-3 times longer as a rub. Anyhow, the slices were less slimy than your run-of-the-mill cured bacon, which was pleasant.


Cooking: Between the leanness of the cut and the dry rub, there were noticeably less splatter and fewer drippings in the pan than brined bacon. It cooked very evenly and there was also almost zero curling/flutter.


Tasting: The taste was very bold and it was a little bit on the salty side for my tastes. This kind of surprised me because I would have expected brined bacon to retain more of the saltiness than a dry salt rub. I didn’t do an A-B comparison of dry vs brined, which, in retrospect, would probably have been a good idea, or at least scientifically sound. Oh well, hindsight, right? The flavor was good but not quite as complex as I was expecting nor did I notice any real difference in the texture of the fat. However, that could be because there was so little of it. All in all it was a decent bacon. Not the best I’ve had, but far from the worst. I’d recommend it if you don’t mind things on the salty side.

The gents over at the Royal Bacon Society have a well-done review of Garrett County’s Thin Sliced Hickory Smoked bacon here if you’re interested.

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