Little math for you (it’s bacon math, so pay attention).
The cold storage supply of pork in the U.S. last month was 637 million pounds, the highest recorded mark for January in more than 100 years. More specifically, the stock of pork bellies was at 60.6 million pounds, a 13 percent increase from last year, according to the UDSA.
Know what’s made from pork bellies (among many wonderful, edible things)? Bacon.
And the excess in supply could lead prices to plummet. That development has us chewing the fat over the best spots to get our maws on some thick-cut, farm-fresh bacon that could potentially be trimming their prices in order to keep up.
Here’s who made the cut, ranked by value.
The Bacon Every Month Club from Tender Belly will hook subscribers up with four pounds of bacon from hormone-free heritage pigs that have been fed a vegetarian diet and boast a porktastic meat-to-fat ratio. The dry-cured, cherrywood-smoked end product comes with maple or habanero spice. Cost: $59 (shipping included) for a one-month membership.
Bacon-for-your-buck rating: 10
Snake River Farms
For the pork equivalent of Kobe beef — Kurobuta — bacon fans can turn to a family-owned business founded in Idaho in 1968 that uses only 100% purebred Berkshire hogs approved by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture. That means their bacon is culled from pigs raised without hormones before being smoked and cured to its salty-sweet Platonic ideal. Cost: $27 per 1.5-pound package.
Bacon-for-your-buck rating: 8.5
Members of Zingerman's Bacon Club get a monthly delivery of 12-16 ounces of artisanal bacon that’s supposedly brought seven vegetarians back from the dark side. Michael Symon, Mario Batali and Bobby Flay have all signed off on the succulent slabs and every first order comes with a fridge-worthy bacon All-Stars magnet. Cost: $33 per month.
Bacon-for-your-buck rating: 8
Those that believe that variety is the spice of life may want to join the “Bacon Is Meat Candy” club from Bacon Freak. Club members will get two different one-pound packages of bacon that has been hand-rubbed with spices like apple cinnamon, honey BBQ and vanilla bourbon. The price depends on the length of the plan you select, while add-ons like bacon jerky and pancake mix can be tacked on for a fee. Cost: $150 for three months.
Bacon-for-your-buck rating: 7
Pig of the Month
With flavors like bloody mary, apple pie, Sriracha and parmesan garlic being shipped out each month, the Pig of the Month club’s bacon offerings are an excellent way to get two pounds of left-of-center gourmet goodness delivered to your door. Cost: Options start at $119, and delivery charges are included.
Bacon-for-your-buck rating: 5