Wenneman Meat Co. has won numerous awards for their bacon (including 2014 Reserve Grand Champion) and boasts of producing more than 10,000 pounds of bacon each week. Located just less than an hour Southeast of downtown St. Louis, Missouri, in Southern Illinois, Wenneman Meat Co. is seemingly a big deal tucked away in a tiny town.
The journey from St. Louis was very pleasant – lots of beautiful country roads. I passed several Wenneman trucks on their way to make deliveries on my way into St. Libory to stop by their facility to pick up some of their vaunted bacon. Wenneman Meat Co. is probably the largest place I have ever been for a Bacon Scouts scouting trip. I have been to other larger meat processors before, but not on official business.
Hickory Smoked Bacon
I picked up a package of the regular hickory smoked bacon. Not only was the facility very clean, but the prices are some of the best I have ever seen for bacon of this quality. After baking the bacon in the oven, I eagerly dove into the plate of crisp bacon for a very pleasant reward. I found Wenneman Meat’s hickory smoked bacon to be a very solid and delicious bacon. It was a little on the salty side, but it had really great texture and very hearty. The bacon strips very large and the flavor was plentiful. It had a great smoked flavor, not overbearing. I was very pleased after starting with 10.5″ strips that they were 8″ cooked.
I’ve had the opportunity to sample a few bacons from this region of the United States. I tend to prefer the taste and style of Wood Smoked Meats’ Sweet Betsy from Pike brand bacon (made in Bowling Green, Missouri) best with Wenneman Meat Co. coming in second. Either way, you have a few good choices in the St. Louis area.
|Wenneman Meat Co.||Overall Rating||75%||Shrinkage||60%||Robust Flavor||80%||Fat to Meat Ratio||90%||Saltiness||70%|