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Pork Belly vs Bacon: Ultimate Keto Eating Guide

Bacon VS Pork Belly Keto guide

Table of Contents


I started the paleo diet in 2019. A few months after, I switched to the keto diet. I had even tried the carnivore diet too. Nowadays, my diet prioritizes protein first. One thing always stayed the same: pork belly and bacon always became my top choice food. My love for them is never changed.


Even though they come from the same part of the same animal, they have different tastes and textures. The cool thing is that they are really different, but you could use them interchangeably in a pork recipe.


Bacon is actually made from pork belly. It is very time-consuming and troublesome to manufacture a piece of bacon. So, most of us usually buy them in stores.


But, remember, as a keto-er, we always want to study the label, making sure it fits our keto diet. In fact, we should make that into our habit whenever we buy anything from the store.


The Basics: Pork Belly and Bacon

Pork belly is the most versatile meat cut. It works on any cooking method.


The pork belly is located on the bottom of a pig. It is famous for its tenderness, fattiness, and succulence. Eating it can be really fulfilling. 


On the other hand, tenderness, fattiness, and juiciness do not apply to bacon. Bacon is basically produced from pork belly. Pork belly is cured and smoked before it becomes the bacon in the store. Only one word to describe bacon, drum rolls……… “Crispiness.” 



The raw bacon after cured and smoked.
Bacon the keto guide


Flavor and Texture

Let’s talk about texture first. Bacon and pork belly have nothing in common. During my few years in Nevada, I cooked a lot of bacon during my breakfast morning shift in the all-you-can-eat buffet dining. 


I also can’t recall eating pork in America besides a lot of bacon. America is definitely more into bacon. Please correct me if I am wrong. I believe people in America love crispiness. 


There you have it. Bacon is super crispy. On the other hand, pork belly meat itself, when cooked, is not crispy. One word to describe pork belly is “tenderness.”


What about flavor? Pork belly has a rich and fatty flavor. It is typically used in a dish that requires a meaty and umami taste.


In contrast, bacon has a salty and smoky flavor. It is mainly used as a topping or ingredient for added flavor and texture. Of course, you can eat it on its own too.



Raw pork belly. A keto guide.
Pork Belly the keto guide


Cooking with Pork Belly and Bacon

Pork belly and bacon can be used in various ways in cooking. 


A pork belly is very versatile. More so than bacon. It adds a succulent taste and tender texture to recipes that call for a bold and meaty flavor. It is used for various cuisines and cooking methods. 


Bacon is a popular ingredient for breakfast dishes. Bacon is made by salting and smoking. It makes sense they add a salty, smoky flavor and crispy texture to plates. The keto and carnivores love eating bacon with eggs, steak, or a keto bun treat.



The excess pork belly and bacon oil used for cooking
Bacon pork belly oil


Pork Belly and Bacon Oil

After cooking pork belly and bacon, you see a pile of oil when you look at the frying pan. Yes, even bacon left a lot of excess fat on the pan or wok. You are thinking about thrashing them into your sink. Stop right there, ladies and gentlemen!


Whether pork belly or bacon oil, they are pure gold for keto people. There are 2 main reasons why you should refrain from throwing them. Number one, it causes money to buy oil. That is free oil right there.


Second reason, it is very flavorful. Use pork belly or bacon oil for cooking an egg or a quick veggie stir fry. Those smell 10 times better than regular neutral oil. 


By the way, consume them as soon as possible. Otherwise, just keep them in the refrigerator. 

They all have their own unique taste. If I have to choose, bacon oil is the most flavorful one. Try them yourself next time. You might love it so much that you might start drinking it : )



Crispy pork belly recipe
Crispy pork belly recipe


Pork Belly Recipes

Here are some of the most sought-after keto dishes. Also, check out “The best methods to cook pork belly.” to learn more cooking methods.

  • Crispy Pork Belly: When it comes to pork belly recipes. Nothing beats this crispy pork belly. Check this super details recipe I wrote, with step-by-step detail photos,  Best Crackling on Pork Belly: Super Crispy, Salt Only.” 

  • Slow-Cooked Chinese Braised Pork Belly – a classic Chinese dish that is slow-cooked in soy sauce and sweet sauce. It can be done using coconut amino. More recipes coming on your way. Stay tuned.



Bacon Egg keto recipe
Bacon Egg keto recipe


Bacon Recipes

Bacon is hard to resist. Here are some of the bacon keto dishes I love making.


  • Bacon Wrapped pork tenderloin –  Pork wrapped with bacon, then baked in the air fryer or oven until the meat is fully cooked. Bacon is fat, and tenderloin is lean. Best combination.

  • Bacon Wrapped Asparagus – a simple recipe that involves wrapping asparagus with bacon and baking it until crispy.

  • Bacon and Egg Breakfast with a keto burger bun.

  • Bacon with steak – I like medium-rare beef with slices of bacon on top. When I was on the carnivore diet, I ate this way daily. Best combination.


Pork belly and bacon are keto, carnivore friendly. Bacon is made from pork belly using salting and smoking method. They can be used interchangeably in some cooking recipes. However, changing one recipe with bacon or belly will change the taste significantly. Also, the excess oil you find after cooking the meat is very flavorful; any excess fat from bacon or pork belly should be reused.






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