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lindsaybluth
11-14-2010, 10:34 AM
Sitting around a meeting on Friday and our talk drifted to what was for dinner that night. The boss - usually very healthy, due to high blood pressure/cholesterol in his 30's - mentioned he was having a recipe (I forget the name) but that it called for pancetta. We razzed him about it and he said that when he indulges in fatty cured meat he actually has center cut bacon. Well, last night at the store I went to the expansive bacon case and found just one example of center cut bacon. Oscar Meyer, $6 for 12 ounces :eek:. I will say that it looked simply amazing, with very little fat in it. A serving has 8 grams of protein and less saturated fat than regular bacon. All in all it was markedly better (for you) than your regular bacon.

My question is, does only Oscar Meyer do center cut? Can I get center cut bacon at the meat counter? Whole Foods? The Italian wholesale place? And for the love of Og, where can I get it cheaper?

Chefguy
11-14-2010, 12:08 PM
Sitting around a meeting on Friday and our talk drifted to what was for dinner that night. The boss - usually very healthy, due to high blood pressure/cholesterol in his 30's - mentioned he was having a recipe (I forget the name) but that it called for pancetta. We razzed him about it and he said that when he indulges in fatty cured meat he actually has center cut bacon. Well, last night at the store I went to the expansive bacon case and found just one example of center cut bacon. Oscar Meyer, $6 for 12 ounces :eek:. I will say that it looked simply amazing, with very little fat in it. A serving has 8 grams of protein and less saturated fat than regular bacon. All in all it was markedly better (for you) than your regular bacon.

My question is, does only Oscar Meyer do center cut? Can I get center cut bacon at the meat counter? Whole Foods? The Italian wholesale place? And for the love of Og, where can I get it cheaper?

That pro-rates out to $8/lb, which is outrageous. You can find fairly lean regular cut bacon at butcher counters. Also, you can take $3 bacon (on sale) and trim some of the fat off before cooking.

lindsaybluth
11-14-2010, 12:16 PM
What do I ask for at the butcher counter, just lean bacon? Would trimming the fat do the same as center cut, though - it seemed like there was far less fat running in the middle of center cut, not just the ends of it.

$8 is insane, I agree. For that much I can have a cheap cut of grassfed steak.

Chefguy
11-14-2010, 03:42 PM
I've seen bulk bacon in the butcher case, which they will slice for you. I would suspect you just have to take the luck of the draw as to leanness. I've also seen bulk bacon sold in the coolers with the other bacon. At least there you would have some choice as to the amount of fat in the chunk.

norinew
11-14-2010, 08:54 PM
I love center-cut bacon! I'm not conscientious at all about the amount of fat I consume, but center-cut tastes really, really good. And if I can find it on sale, even if it's somewhat more expensive than the regular, it really comes out being cheaper! Because what I can do with two slices of center-cut, I'd need at least three slices of regular to accomplish.

I watch a couple of supermarkets I regularly shop at; when they have 'buy one, get one free' sales on any brand of center cut bacon, I pounce on it. I'll cook up a couple of packages immediately (in the oven; easier, less mess) and refrigerate all the slices in zip-top bags. I'll use these slices for sandwiches, crumble them in salads or mashed potatoes, etc. You can even put them on a paper towel, reheat in the microwave, and have bacon with your eggs!

The rest of the packages, I'll freeze, thaw and cook as necessary.

It certainly does seem expensive, but it's akin to buying 85/15 ground beef instead of 73/27. You lose so much less in waste that you have to consider that.

lindsaybluth
11-15-2010, 08:54 AM
norinew, any clue as to where you shop? Should I be looking in strange places, like Target? (I ask about Target because I found my bread, Brownberry 100% whole wheat, for $2.50 whereas at my grocery it's $4, sometimes on for BOGO).

Do you get yours packaged (if so, what brands) and if not, from the deli case?

The 85/15 comparison makes sense. If I can't find it other than Oscar Meyer, I'll do what Chefguy said and trim it. Heck, at half the price, I can trim a lot ;)

norinew
11-15-2010, 09:14 AM
norinew, any clue as to where you shop? Should I be looking in strange places, like Target? (I ask about Target because I found my bread, Brownberry 100% whole wheat, for $2.50 whereas at my grocery it's $4, sometimes on for BOGO).
I shop at Kroger now that I'm in WV, but in MD, I shopped at Martin's, and the BOGO seemed a lot more frequent there.

Do you get yours packaged (if so, what brands) and if not, from the deli case?
Packaged. In fact, one of the nice things about the expensive center cut is it usually comes in nicer packaging, like a hard-shell plastic case that snaps back closed when you want to put it away. I've also successfully found center cut bacon at a Wal Mart Super Center, but they almost never have BOGO.

One other thing you can try, though, is to familiarize yourself with your local supermarket so that you're attuned to when they mark down meats that are approaching their 'sell-by' date. Every supermarket I've ever frequented did this, but they have certain days/times they're more likely to do it (with Kroger, it's Tuesday mornings). If you can manage to be there when they do the mark-downs, you can score major bargains on lots of your meats!

Why yes, I've been a SAHM for a long time. Why do you ask? ;)

The 85/15 comparison makes sense. If I can't find it other than Oscar Meyer, I'll do what Chefguy said and trim it. Heck, at half the price, I can trim a lot ;)
Yes, you just have to figure out what makes the most sense for you. For instance, when it comes to chicken, I'd much rather buy boneless, skinless pieces (breast or thighs) on sale than to buy the bone-in, skin-on and then have to remove the skin and bone. The skin and bone account for approximately half of the weight, so if the boneless/skinless is twice as expensive, it's really the same price, but without the effort involved in boning/skinning it myself!

lindsaybluth
11-15-2010, 09:31 AM
I'm a boneless-skinless fanatic, but for chicken thighs, cause they're cheaper ;). De-boning is not my idea of a good time.

I'll be on the lookout for more brands in different stores as well, and definitely be on the lookout for sales. Thanks guys :)

StGermain
11-15-2010, 09:41 AM
I'm cooking Oscar Meyer thick-sliced center cut bacon right now. I bought it at my local "dirty store" which is a grocery outlet. Sort of like Big Lots for food. $2.19 for 12 ounces. I always buy my Pepperidge Farm County White bread there for $1.19/loaf. Plus odd things, like this week I got 8 oz of imported Havarti cheese (two varieties) for $1.

StG

lindsaybluth
11-15-2010, 10:37 AM
If Pittsburgh has a grocery outlet/dirty store, I'm all ears :D.

romansperson
11-15-2010, 03:00 PM
I'm cooking Oscar Meyer thick-sliced center cut bacon right now.

StG

This stuff is the bomb. And I too will wait for the BOGO sale and buy it then, though sometimes they run out before I get there! I shop at the Harris Teeter, and I've signed up for their weekly emails of what's on special, which always comes on Wednesdays.

lindsaybluth
11-15-2010, 03:04 PM
romansperson, I hope you're getting rain checks for stuff they're out of!

lindsaybluth
11-15-2010, 04:27 PM
Also norinew, a nitpick - you described yourself as a SAHM. As I recall, you do quite a lot of work tending to your rental properties!

norinew
11-15-2010, 08:10 PM
I'm a boneless-skinless fanatic, but for chicken thighs, cause they're cheaper ;). De-boning is not my idea of a good time.

I'll be on the lookout for more brands in different stores as well, and definitely be on the lookout for sales. Thanks guys :)
Also a fan of the thighs. Not because of the price, but because they're a lot tastier, IMHO, of course. I love to make any kind of fruit sauce with them; brown boneless, skinless thighs (seasoned with S&P) in butter in a heavy skillet (about five minutes per side), put on a plate tented with foil. Then, in the same skillet, use some combo of fruit preserves/spread with some bitter/pungent/aromatic. Here's what I've been successful with: apricot preserves with dark brown mustard; cherry preserves with red wine vinegar; plum preserves with a little soy sauce, chicken stock and Chinese 5-spice. But really, pick your preserve, pick your aromatic, and go for it. It's all good. Works for pork, too!

Also norinew, a nitpick - you described yourself as a SAHM. As I recall, you do quite a lot of work tending to your rental properties!
True, but my work hours are flexible, and I have the time to peruse the weekly sales, etc. Plus, for about 12 years prior to this professional endeavor (hah!), I really was a SAHM. I got into the habit of watching sales, planning my weekly menus around sales/coupons, etc. Many of those habits have stuck.

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