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What Is Halal Bacon?

By Eugene P.
Updated May 16, 2024
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In explaining what halal bacon is, the easiest approach is to start with what it is not. It is not pork, a meat generally synonymous with bacon. Anyone following halal dietary guidelines knows pork and all products derived from a pig are forbidden and cannot be eaten. In this case, bacon is not about the animal from which the meat came, but about the process used to cure the meat or another type of food. For this reason, halal bacon is really any type of halal food that has been cured in a way to make it into bacon. It also can refer to any halal food product that has been shaped or colored to look like a piece of bacon.

The process of making bacon begins with a piece of meat. For halal bacon, this must be a piece of meat from an animal that was slaughtered and butchered in accordance with Islamic guidelines. Once the meat is butchered, salt is poured over every surface of the meat and worked into the flesh. The salted meat is then put in a room or a refrigerator and left to cure for some time. The salt will draw out the moisture and preserve the meat.

The next step in making bacon is to take the cured meat and suspend it in the air in a smoker. The smoke from the room will further cure and almost cook the meat while also imparting a distinctive bacon flavor. The type of wood used can have an effect on the final taste of the bacon.

There are many meat options for halal bacon. Turkey meat has become common because it is a very lean meat. Beef bacon also can be made and, in some areas, is what is specifically meant by halal bacon. Less common types of bacon can be made from salmon or other types of fish. Using a slightly modified process, bacon can even be made from a vegetarian pate.

One aspect of finding acceptable bacon that might be difficult is that the meat and the bacon must not have come into contact with any non-halal meats throughout the entire curing process. This excludes any meats that are cured in a smoke house where pork products also have been cured. For this reason, the only truly halal bacon must come from a butcher or company that has been certified as practicing the correct halal procedures.

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Discussion Comments

By anon1001564 — On May 13, 2019

Halal alcohol? No. Halal beer and wine? In a sense, yes.

By anon1001563 — On May 13, 2019

It is sad that there is a division with people and foods. The apostle Paul said not to do anything that stumbles your brother. He even went as far as saying "If it causes my brother to stumble I will never eat meat again", although that it was highly unlikely he never needed to go to these extremes.

While many worry about some food being halal or haram, or let's even say kosher, there is a disagreement among others who eat such animals. An argument can be picked in every single claim. For example:

Haram for pork but not for camel - The laws for camel were the same for pork according to the Books of Moses. So a Jew would not view either as Kosher. Still, a Christian may choose not to eat either, may eat one, or may eat both. It is a choice for a Christian on their own taste, and not according to any law, as that law was not given to Christians, but to the Israelites. (Exodus 31:16-17, Romans 14). As for Islam, Islam claims that this book of Moses is not the Taurat, yet the evidence shows otherwise, as the Qur'an has Muhammad ten times in the first five suwar stating that the Qur'an is "confirming that which is WITH you", and thanks to archaeology, we have copies of those books that pre-date Muhammad.

What about pork being unacceptable because Al Masih Isa cast the demons into the swine?

If this is the case, then the genuine Muslim is under obligation to read the rest of the Injeel and not pick and choose like it is a smorgasbord, and just take the bits that suit their already existing beliefs. Either the Injeel is changed, or it isn't. But if it is changed, then Muhammad's claims of nobody altering God's word would be proven false, especially when he is challenging the Jews and Christians to compare it with "that which is with" them. (An-Nisa 4:47, 82) The good news is though that the demons being cast into the pigs weren't because they were any more unclean than any other animal around, but because the demons weren't to be destroyed at this particular time. So they chose to go into the pigs, and all the pigs ran off the cliff and died. The demons obviously get pleasure out of feeling the terror of when a creature goes through dying. As for the pigs though, firstly God views every single life he has created as sacred, and also those pigs all died. So all the demons did was kill a farmer's herd of pigs. They didn't go off into other pigs specifically. But still, it is not wrong to abstain from pork. Good for you if you choose not to.

What about this fake bacon?

Will it offend your brother? Will it make them stumble? For Jews, Muslims, Hindus and certain sects of Christendom, there are meats that they don't eat. What is more important? The friendship with the person who you are a fellow worshipper with, and of course with our creator, or the potential to stumble them? (1Corinthians chapter 8)

If there is not an instance of stumbling somebody, it may very well be an enjoyable thing to eat of these products, but each should be looking at themselves and making sacrifices to not offend their brothers, but more importantly God.

As for the vegetarians and vegans, there are organisations also making meat-flavoured products. So the issue even comes to those who don't worship or believe in God. In this instance, the same principles apply. You are not the lawmaker of the world, and therefore judge things for your own stomach.

So "fake" bacon is a food that one should consider from their own standpoints. As claiming it from a religious source, one needs to be sure of all things. God will judge us based on our choices. If "fake" bacon is chosen to be eaten, then my concern would be "are the ingredients in it harmful to my health" firstly.

Enjoy your choice.

By anon997287 — On Dec 08, 2016

Eat proper bacon, not fake stuff. And why would muslims want to eat anything that 'looks' or has the name of bacon? Halal even has Easter products, but muslims don't do Easter. I boycott all Halal anyway, and it should be banned in non-muslim countries.

By anon996539 — On Sep 11, 2016

@anon990065: Bacon isn't pork. It's made from pork. Similarly wine is made from alcohol. If there's a halal wine (non-alcoholic wine), I'd sure love to have it.

By anon990065 — On Apr 04, 2015

Bacon is pork. Have they got halal alcohol too?

By ZipLine — On Oct 05, 2014

@turquoise-- You are absolutely right. We Americans love our bacon. I'm a convert to Islam and I grew up eating pork bacon before becoming Muslim in my twenties. So when suddenly I could not have regular bacon, I looked for an alternative and was relieved to find halal bacon. It's not available everywhere and the quality and flavor does range from product to product. But it allows me to have my favorite breakfast. So I completely agree with you.

By turquoise — On Oct 04, 2014

@stoneMason-- I'm Muslim and of course, I've never had pork bacon. I was curious about what bacon is though and did have halal turkey bacon once. I didn't find it particularly tasty so it's not a food that I buy regularly. But then again, I didn't grow up eating any kind of bacon and it's not a part of my family's culinary culture.

I have non-Muslim friends who love their bacon and eat it all the time. There is even a restaurant in our area that specializes in bacon dishes. I've heard that they sell everything from a basic bacon and eggs to chocolate dipped bacon. It sounds weird to me but I understand that bacon has come to be an important and comforting food in American culture. I personally don't eat it but there are lots of people who do. And it's great that halal bacon is an option for those who want to enjoy bacon while staying true to their religious responsibilities.

By stoneMason — On Oct 04, 2014

Halal bacon sounds a little silly to me. Although bacon can be made from other meats, like the article said, it is synonymous with pork. And the fat content in the pork used to make bacon is what makes bacon what it is. Those who cannot have pork due to dietary or religious reasons should probably skip bacon altogether.

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