Anyone who has read a food blog in past 2 years knows that bacon is beloved by many foodies.  Whether it’s creating bacon vodka or electing bacon the top meat in the land in So Good’s Meat Madness, bacon is HOT.  Anyone who dares criticize bacon on their blog will likely be hit with a flurry of comments along the lines of, “bacon is the greatest meat ever,”  “EVERYTHING is better with bacon” or “bacon can improve any food.”  While I’m not crazy about the obsessive level of bacon fervor, I do think bacon is delicious and has its place.  But I’ll tell you one of the places bacon should NOT be: on your burger.


Many of you are probably thinking, “whaaaaaaaaa? how can you not like bacon on a burger?” It’s seems like one of the most obvious and easy uses for bacon.  Most people believe that if you add some crispy, greasy bacon to pretty much any burger, good, bad or mediocre, it WILL be better. WRONG. WRONG. WRONG.

How many times have you ordered a mediocre fast food burger that came with soft, chewy or generally gross, low quality bacon? In those cases, you aren’t adding anything but cost, calories and consternation to your burger order.  But the main reason that your opinion is WRONG?  It completely disregards a new food fad that has been trending mainstream like crazy in the past five years: the rise of the easily accessible & affordable premium burger.

California residents, with access to In-n-Out Burger, have long known the joys of being able to get affordable, fresh and delicious burgers. But  in other parts of the country, many consumers are just now becoming able to find premium, fresh (not frozen) hamburgers at affordable prices. Whether it’s the expanding-faster-than-you-can-blink Five Guys, or city specific chains like Shake Shack in NYC or Ray’s Hell Burger or Z Burger in DC,  there are a LOT of really, really good burgers available to the public in the $4 – $10 price range.  Not to mention the growing number of bars and restaurants who are now putting a bigger menu focus on burgers.  Many of these are damn tasty burgers, with fresh, well seasoned and perfectly moist and greasy hand-formed patties.

You want to taste bacon? Eat a BLT or order it with your eggs at breakfast. Order it off the in-n-out secret menu if you need to. You want to taste a burger? Then really TASTE a burger. Don’t mask it with the flavor of bacon. Yeah, it’s delicious, we know.  But what are you really in the mood for? Bacon? Or a juicy burger? If it’s the latter, your addition of bacon to the mix is preventing you from enjoying the full wonderfulness of a well-made, perfectly cooked burger.  There’s a reason In-n-Out doesn’t serve bacon on their burgers: they don’t NEED bacon. They are f-ing awesome on their own, and if you want to take issue with the menu options of perhaps the best burger chain in the country, then be perpared for a horde of burger loving Mormons to hunt you down.

There are so many good burgers these days, and if you haven’t enjoyed the taste of one of them without the addition of bacon, you aren’t doing justice to the tremendous amount of time and work burger joint owners have put into raising the quality of this classic American dining staple. Your decision to add bacon is an insult to the high level of quality and deliciousness of these burgers.

So give it some thought So Good readers. Are you always ordering bacon on your burger?  STOP. Dial it back a bit. Recognize that sometimes, you don’t need bacon.  Sometimes, you need to appreciate good burgers for exactly what they are: good burgers.   There ain’t nothing wrong with that.

19 Responses

  1. Bear Silber

    Yeah!!!!! That’s what I’ve been saying. “We don’t need no stinkin’ bacon”….and hooray for In-N-Out.

    “Less is more” is certainly true here. You want to be able to actually taste the beef. Excellent, excellent post…..and in defiance of the great Meat Madness (Scandal) too. I salute you sir.

  2. BS

    I totally agree — but for somewhat different reasons. Bacon just so often gets lost on a burger. You just can’t really taste two slices of bacon on a giant cheeseburger, and losing bacon is a moral sin. You really need to pile the bacon on (6+ strips) for it to be worth putting on a burger, and of course eating a 6+ strip bacon-burger is a whole ‘nother problem.

  3. rossitron

    another reason: bacon is the easy way out when you’re choosing toppings for your burger. sure, you know it will be good and bacon-y, but there are a ton of other DELICIOUS things to do with your burger. bacon is the easy choice, but doesn’t it get… dare i say it?… boring.

    my fave for a while has been the style of burger that has a peppercorn crusted patty with some roadhouse onions on top and maybe some bleu or gorgonzola. mmmmmm…… a much more robust and interesting flavor combination than a bacon burger offers, i must say.

  4. Kelly

    All a delicious burger needs is a good cheese and maybe some sauce. For the not so delicious burgers, I see nothing wrong with loading up on toppings like crispy bacon that’ll make the mediocre burger better.

  5. DAVE ID

    I’ll agree with you on this but also I got a Burger shop near my place that when you order bacon for your Burger, the cook takes out thick uncooked bacon and makes it fresh for your fresh burger also, topped with cheese and their insanely perfectly simple slaw. It just rocks. To me it depends on the burger.

    Just like fries. Some fries are best with salt only, some with vinegar, some with ketchup, some with mayo… it depends on how the fries are prepared.

  6. Raiders757

    I agree on the fast food bacon burgers. Most places just cant get it right for the most part. All it does is add fat and very little flavor due to the use of cheap bacon. The worst offender has to be Burger King. What they pass off as bacon, is just an epic fail.

    Another bacon burger trend I can’t stand, is when they only put two slices on in an “x” pattern. What the hell it that!? If I am going to have bacon on my burger, at least make sure it covers the entire burger, so I get bacon in every single bite. Two slices in an “x” is perpetrating a fraud on the consumer.

    In the end, for me, I have become disenchanted with bacon burgers. I’m all for the minimalist approach, and as far as I’ll go topping wise, is lettuce, onions, and ketchup mixed with Texas Pete.

  7. Spam

    You speak as if adding bacon to a burger prevents you from tasting the beef.

    I agree with shatraw…bacon doesn’t ruin a burger any differently than any other topping. If you’re in the mood for a burger with bacon, go for it. It’s a topping, no differently than mustard or mushrooms or peanut butter or whatever you care to taste as part of the experience.

    And another thing: Since when is a $10 burger considered “affordable”? If I’m paying that much for a hamburger, it had BETTER have bacon or some other price-justifying elements to it.

  8. Sethonious

    A voice of reason in a fog if bacon-induced-artery-clogged-insanity.

    I recently visited a high end burger joint while away from my home state of CA on business. This joint bills itself as high-end, and as such I was fully prepared for the 16 dollar price tag. Since I only eat beef once or twice/month I tend to go a little overboard (16 dollars for a burger, or 20 bucks for a thick grass fed porterhouse, it is really more of an indulgance than a staple)

    This high end buger joint didn’t mess around. They made their own ketchup, mustard and mayo (all served on the side). Baked thier whole wheat rolls fresh daily. Made pickles in-house. Most imortantly ground premium meat fresh daily for the burgers. All toppings/condiments were served on the side. And you know what it was the best burger I have ever had.

    You don’t need a lot of BS on a burger to make it good, and in this case less was a whole heck of a lot more. I wound up with just mayonaise and pickle and a whisper of mustard on the burger and it was perfection on a bun. Don’t get me wrong, that ketchup was good but I saved it for the fresh cut shoestring fries.

    Bacon-mania has gone too far. Really, it is time to pull it back a few notches.

    By the way here is my prediction:
    Sustainable meat buyers clubs= Bacon 2.0
    Wild game = Bacon 3.0

  9. Natural Soap Man

    I would completely agree but as Shatraw said this argument really negates any themed topping and again I would completely agree with that. Just a simply Good Ol’ American Burger. No Baconator Burger or Mexi Burger or Italiano Burgers. Just Simple Burgers.

  10. Juci_Shockwave

    Personally I add the bacon just to enhance the meaty goodness not to mask it as you FALSELY put it as. Too bad you can’t see the purpose of bacon in a tasty burger to make it tastier. >_> I mean seriously… why not attack cheese while your f^_> Do your f^<king research before stating shit like "Don't add bacon, but cheese is ok"… regardless of cheese having more calories, fat, cost, and masks the beef taste to your burger… dumb @ss!

  11. Mr. Bacon Man

    Are you kidding me? I cook bacon burgers made ENTIRELY out of chopped bacon! OMG! I can’t believe that you’re actually telling people to stop putting bacon on their burgers! Really?

  12. BJ

    I like bacon on breakfast sandwiches, pizza, BLT, etc. There is something gross about putting it on a burger though. I think it’s weird to have a main meat and then put another meat on top.

    Perfect burger for me is no cheese, just a couple of raw onion slices with a little ketchup and mustard on a toasted bun.


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