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.