When I went vegan 15 years ago I never thought I’d write the words of the title to this blog. Back then I was strolling through the aisles of the supermarket picking up products to scour their ingredients lists. I was looking for whether I was fortunate enough to eat the chips I was holding, or if the manufacturer had decided to add milk solids in yet again. You better believe that I developed a nasty habit for Kettle Salt and Vinegar chips (they were pretty much the only flavoured chips I could eat!).
Anyway, that’s not why we’re here today. We’re here to talk bacon. Or facon. Or fake bacon. Or plant based fake bacon – whatever tickles your fancy. Let’s jump in.
So, who are we looking at today?
- Meat Free Bacon by Made by Plants
- Plant Based Bacon Strips by NEXT
- Bacon Style Rashers by Vegie Delights
- Smokey Rashers by Suzy Spoon’s
Meat Free Bacon by Made With Plants
I’ve put this bacon first in the list for a reason. And what is that reason? Because it is hands down my favourite. But that’s not to say that the others don’t have a place in my heart.
Okay, so the Meat Free Bacon by Made With Plants. It’s a seriously thick bacon. So thick that if you are after the crisp of a traditional bacon then I’m sorry to say, you probably won’t find it here (unless you’re a whiz on the pan). It cooks well but if you leave it on the pan for too long it ends up having all that juicy goodness sucked out of it. Then, you’re basically left with a slab of dry, bacon-y looking plants. In other words – it’s not nice anymore. Friends, take this guy off the pan before it’s too late!
This plant based bacon is best eaten with some juice left in it, which due to the size means that it won’t have any crisp. If that floats your boat then you can have a full mouth of bacon taste that works beautifully next to some toast and snags or as a delicious B in your next BLT (here’s the last one I made).
If you value flavour over crispy crunch, then go for the Made With Plants.
Plant Based Bacon Strips by NEXT
I can save you some time here. First, read my thoughts on the Made With Plants contender above.
Okay, now that you’re back, just imagine that you have the EXACT same piece of facon, but it is sliced in half. That is, it’s half as thick as the Made With Plants but is made up of the exact same ingredients and looks exactly the same. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re both using the same supplier to put this bad boy together.
But, being half the size means that there’s some serious changes. First up, you can actually achieve a crisp with the NEXT plant based bacon – kind of. Due to the thin nature of the bacon it will cook through and maintain some juice while producing a small amount of crunch to accompany your bite.
The problem? Due to the thin size the flavour really does not come through nearly as much. I feel like I need to stuff a whole bloody strip in my mouth to taste the flavour that I want. And, you know, that just doesn’t cut it for me.
If you value crispy crunch over flavour, then go for the NEXT.
Bacon Style Rashers by Vegie Delights
Much like Vegie Delights has been for most of my mock meat eating experiences, it was my first foray into the world of facon. And, it will always have that place in my heart. It’s like the Menulog to my Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Door Dash. It’s like my So Good soy milk to my Bonsoy. It’s my Cheezly cheese to my The Vegan Dairy. Hopefully you get the picture, but I can keep going if you like. Just comment below and I’ll give you some more examples of what this mock bacon means to me.
Okay, anyway, we’re here to talk about the baconio (my affectionate name for mock bacon). Overall – it’s okay. It’s not something you’re going to write home about, but it’s not something that’s going to end up in the bin before you finish it. The rashers are small (too small for my liking) in length and are about halfway between the NEXT and Made With Plants (above) thickness. They cook easily but lack in the taste category.
If you were picking up these guys just a year ago you’d know that they were IMPOSSIBLE to pull apart. You’d literally waste half the packet pulling them apart and end up with quarter chunks of bacon rashers everywhere (yuck). Thankfully this issue is now resolved, which you’ll see at the top left of their packaging, ‘Easy Peel’.
If you value affordability and accessibility, then you’ll be in luck – the Bacon Style Rasher by Vegie Delights are widely ranged.
Smokey Rasher by Suzy Spoon’s
Let me preface this one by saying this – I have only ever eaten these rashers when I was, let’s say, far from sober. And, as you do, when I was far from sober I thought it would be a good idea to make a BLT.
These rashers are less of a ‘bacon’ and more a truly plant based delicacy. What I mean is that it does not feel, look or taste as though it is replicating something that it is not. You can tell it is not bacon and no meat eater would be convinced it was – but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. In fact, it can be a breath of fresh air and a pleasantly light feeling dish that does not feel like you’ve eaten something that needed to go through a food processor to get to you.
It was delightfully tasty and has a delicious smokey flavour running through it, as well as a slight kick to really knock you in the feels. And, it maintains one of the best parts of bacon – when it’s on the pan, it makes the home smell like bacon. Which, we all know is one of the best smalls this side of the universe.
If you want a plant-first flavour that isn’t processed, then go for Suzy Spoon’s.
And there you have it. 4 plant based bacons, 1 man, 1 stomach, 1 mouth and about 1000 words.
To me, the race to the best plant based bacon is not yet over. There is no killer bacon like there is for burgers (hello Beyond Burger). Each have their flaws, whether they’re too thin, not crispy or just don’t quite fill the void. That being said, they’re definitely a regular on my Saturday and Sunday mornings and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Want me to review something else next? Just drop a comment below or flick me a message on the Contact page. Ciao!