Bacon … minus the mess

by Lawrence Aylward
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Easy Bacon package
"Joe Bacon" has a champion in Steve Harvey Foods' Easy Bacon.

There’s this guy…let’s call him Joe Bacon. He loves bacon and could it eat three times a day. But Joe Bacon is not a big fan of precooked bacon. He prefers buying thick-cut raw bacon from the grocery store and frying it in a cast-iron skillet. But as much as Joe Bacon loves the end product, he despises cooking it. He complains about the grease and splatter, noting it makes the top of his stove look like the inside of a lube and oil change shop after a busy day.

Well, Joe Bacon and other bacon lovers of the world will be elated when they hear about Easy Bacon by Harvey Foods, a joint venture between Memphis-based Monogram Foods and Steve Harvey, a comedian and the longtime host of TV’s “Family Feud.”

Easy Bacon features a quick cook time, less grease and a faster cleanup when compared to raw bacon. Wes Jackson, Monogram foods president and co-founder, calls Easy Bacon “a game changer” in the growing world of pork belly pleasures.

Easy Bacon is thick-cut bacon that is hickory-smoked and partially cooked through a roasting process, voiding it of grease. As Jackson says, “We have cooked the mess out of it.”

Monogram Foods, founded in 2004, is a manufacturer of a diverse line of value-added meat products, including smoked sausage, bacon jerky and corn dogs. Monogram introduced Easy Bacon to Atlanta-area retailers, including Publix, Kroger and Walmart on Oct. 1. Easy Bacon will be introduced to other parts of the country next spring.

Roasted bacon

A few years ago, Monogram Foods acquired a precooked bacon plant in Harlan, Iowa, and began processing bacon jerky. During the company’s development of bacon jerky, researchers learned how to roast bacon, which is a key component to Easy Bacon. 

Wes Jackson, co-founder and president of Monogram Foods
Wes Jackson, co-founder and president of Monogram Foods

Jackson wouldn’t comment on the roasting procedure, calling it “the magic in the proprietary process.” But he did note that the roasting cooks the grease out of the bacon.

There is a reason why Monogram Foods decided not to cook the bacon completely and call it precooked bacon. Jackson realizes that true bacon lovers want to cook bacon in a skillet, not in a microwave, because there is something about frying bacon that gives it the perfect crisp and crunch. That’s what Monogram Foods has done – cooked the bacon to the point that it is almost done, but not quite.

“It’s like if you cooked bacon three-quarters of the way, put it in the refrigerator for a day, and brought it back out tomorrow and put it in a pan to finish cooking it,” Jackson explains. “You already eliminated a lot of the grease [when you cooked it yesterday]. It’s the last two minutes of the cooking process when the bacon starts to become crisp.”

The last two minutes doesn’t include the untidiness of the process, of course.

“You can wipe the pan clean with a paper towel,” Jackson says.

If Joe Bacon and other bacon lovers buy and try Easy Bacon, they will be won over, Jackson says.

“I don’t know why they would ever buy raw bacon again,” he adds.

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