Some of the best tips for cooking with bacon bits are to use the crumbs as toppings, know what the bits are made of, and replace regular bacon with bits of bacon. Bits of bacon are not meant to be used as snack food or the primary meat served at dinner; they are rich in taste, but also in calories, fat, and sodium. There are also different types of bacon bits, some which are healthier than others, usually because they are not made from real bacon. In addition, bacon bits are sometimes the healthiest and most convenient option to replace strips of freshly cooked bacon when following a recipe.
Bacon bits are primarily used as a condiment. They are sprinkled atop baked potatoes, salads, and other side dishes to give them a rich crunch. It is usually not advisable to use store-bought bacon bits as more than a condiment because they differ in flavor from freshly cooked bacon, but this is most noticeable when eating the bits in bulk. Store-bought bits of bacon are typically cooked in a microwave rather than more standard methods of cooking bacon, which gives the bacon a rubbery texture. In addition, they are coated with preservatives to extend their shelf life.
There are various types of bacon bits, which differ quite a bit from one another. Before adding the bits to a dish, a cook should note what the bits are made of. Most people assume bacon bits are just that: bits of bacon. Vegetarian bits of bacon, made from textured vegetable protein, are also popular and cheaper than real bacon. In addition, bacon bits can be made from meat from animals other than pigs, like turkeys. These products tend to look very similar, so the best method of getting the right type of bits is to check the package ingredients.
In some cases, eating bits of bacon is healthier than eating strips of bacon. This is especially true when replacing real strips of bacon with textured vegetable protein. A cook can check the back of a package to read the ingredients and confirm what is healthiest before purchasing the product. It can also be very fast and convenient for people to simply purchase and use bacon bits instead of having to cook strips of bacon. Not only do bits of bacon have a longer shelf life than strips of bacon, but they are also less messy, do not need to be frozen, and no preparation is required.