The Best Bacon Brand, According To Chef Thomas Keller

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Across the culinary world, the general consensus seems to be that fresh ingredients will always be superior to prepackaged options. While frozen chicken tenders are convenient, they can't beat the taste of chicken straight from the butcher, and there's no comparing the quality of genuine, fresh cheese against the processed variety. Many cooks may prefer locally sourced, organic ingredients for their meals, but there are still a few cases where a mass-produced product is actually as delicious as it is convenient. For example, a certain brand of packaged bacon is Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Thomas Keller's favorite: Hobbs' Applewood Smoked Bacon.


As explained by SF Gate, Keller used this thick-cut pork bacon in his restaurants, as do other eateries throughout Hobbs' home base of Northern California. Keller even specifically instructs home cooks to use Hobb's brand bacon in his cookbooks as in his recipe for Ranch Rabbit Wrapped in Hobbs ' Applewood Smoked Bacon in his 2008 sous vide cookbook "Under Pressure." The bacon has sweet and smoky notes from the applewood used to cure it and is the perfect thickness for a bite that is crisp yet tender. Hobbs' Applewood Smoked Bacon is so iconic that it's considered the blueprint for "California style" bacon. There is only one flavor, but you do have the option between cured and uncured bacon.

Where to find Hobbs' Applewood Smoked Bacon

If you want to try this luxury bacon and live in Northern California, you're in luck since the packaged version can be found in local grocery stores around the region. Unfortunately, it's not as easy to find Hobbs' bacon in stores throughout the rest of the United States, but that's nothing a bit of online shopping can't fix. Hobbs' Applewood Smoked Bacon can be found on specialty retail sites at just under $9 for a 1-pound package. This is a very popular product among bacon enthusiasts, so anyone serious about getting their hands on a package should keep an eye on availability — we noticed that it was out of stock on several websites.


Once you've secured your bacon, all that's left is to cook it up and dig in. Bacon is good with everything, so there's no limit to the foods you can pair it with, but it might be nice to start out sampling it without anything else so you can fully appreciate the gourmet-quality taste and texture. Just make sure you cook the bacon as perfectly as possible so that all your hard work tracking it down doesn't go to waste. Bacon is definitely an indulgent food, so you may as well go all in and find a brand that's worth the money. For restaurant level breakfast sandwiches and more, take a page from Thomas Keller's book and go for Hobbs'.