Canadian Bacon vs Ham: How Do They Compare

When it comes to breakfast, Canadian bacon is one of our favorite side orders, but once evening arrives, we cant help but go for a thick slice of ham. Its true Canadian bacon is usually served as a morning staple, whereas ham is typically eaten for dinner and for a long time, this was the only difference we knew about them.

However, the main difference between ham and Canadian bacon is actually the fact that theyre cut from different areas of the pig. As such, the two have distinct tastes and nutritional values.

But this is simply the tip of the iceberg. So if you are keen to learn more, follow along as we sizzle your minds with some meaty knowledge.

Difference Between Canadian Bacon vs. Ham

These two meaty delicacies are cut from different parts of the same animal. Canadian bacon is a loin cut along the pigs back, while ham is made from the primal cut of the pig, which includes the leg, butt, and shank.

Here are some more distinctions between the two.

Preservation Method

Curing or smoking is the most common way to make these kinds of meat but the brining process is what makes them unique. The Canadian bacon brine is made of salt and maple syrup. The ham brine includes herbs, spices, vinegar, and a sweet ingredient like caramel, honey, or maple syrup.

You might skip the brining when preserving ham, but its simply a must with Canadian bacon.


Both Canadian bacon and ham are available in thick or thin slices, with the thinner ones being the more favorable choice.

Canadian bacon is cylindrical and often sold rolled in cornmeal, also known as cornmeal bacon. Ham, on the other hand, comes in all shapes and sizes, from cubes and big chunks to bone-in and boneless cuts!

Flavor and Texture

Canadian bacon and ham are lean pork cuts with delicate marbling throughout.

Canadian bacon is sweet and juicy, with less salty aromas. While there is only one variety of Canadian bacon, there are many different types of ham. Each type has a distinctive traditional taste, but in general, ham is salty, mildly sweet, and somewhat smoky.

Eating Time

Typically, Canadian bacon is for the early birds, whereas ham is for the night owls.

Canadian bacon has been a breakfast staple since the 1920s. It was then that the general population was advised to eat bacon and eggs as a filling breakfast. We all loved it so much that weve kept it on our breakfast menus ever since.

In contrast, most individuals eat ham around lunch or supper. One theory about this is that ham is usually served during Easter lunch and supper, and as such, many people continue to eat it around that time.

Way of Serving

While ham is more frequently consumed fresh, Canadian bacon is typically cooked.

Canadian bacon can be roasted, grilled, sauteed, or straight from the packet. The most popular breakfast dish that includes Canadian bacon is an egg McMuffin. Some also like to sprinkle it on top of spaghetti, pizza, soups, and stews, as well as on casseroles, fried rice, salads, and roasted vegetables.

Ham often doesnt require any further cooking, but you can certainly pan-fry it or roast it if you like. It frequently appears piled in sandwiches and antipasto dishes and goes well with mashed potatoes and cornmeal. You can also throw in a few cubes on top of mac n cheese or your preferred pizza dish.

Canadian Bacon vs. Ham Comparison Table

Category Canadian Bacon Ham
Type of meat Pork Pork
Preservation method Curing, smoking, brining Curing, smoking, brining
Brine mixture Salt and maple syrup Honey, maple syrup, herbs, vinegar, spices, caramel
Type of cut Pork loin’s center Butt, back legs, shank
Shape Oval shape Oval shape
Slices Thin or thick slicesCornmeal-wrapped Thin or thick slicesCubesBone-in or boneless chunks
Texture Lean meat with mild marbling Lean meat with delicate marbling
Flavor Sweet and mildly salty Salty, less sweet, and somewhat smoky
Serving time Breakfast or brunch Lunch or supper
Cooking Usually cooked prior to eating Mostly enjoyed fresh straight from the box

Nutritional Content Breakdown: Which One Is Healthier?

In terms of nutritional value, Canadian bacon is typically leaner and has less fat and calories than ham per slice.

The salt content of these two meals differs as well. Sodium levels in Canadian bacon are a little lower, unlike ham, which usually has a lot of sodium, depending on the brand.

Canadian bacon is therefore seen as the healthier option. It may be prepared similarly to ham, despite frequently being marketed as a morning meal. By doing this, you can reduce the amount of salt and fat in your meal.

Canadian Bacon vs. Ham: Nutritional Profile

Category (100g) Canadian Bacon Ham
Calories 110 145
Carbs 1.34g 1.5g
Fat 2.62g 5.53g
Saturated fat 0.9g 1.81g
Cholesterol 48 mg 53 mg
Sodium 751 mg 1203 mg
Potassium 683 mg 287 mg
Protein 20.31g 20.93g
Fiber 0g 0g
Sugars 0.9g 0g
Vitamins & Minerals
Vitamin A 0IU 0IU
Calcium 6mg 8mg
Vitamin B5 0.61 mg 0.403 mg
Vitamin B6 0.241 mg 0.4 mg
Vitamin E 0.22 mg 0.25 mg
Phosphorous 240 mg 196 mg
Copper 0.053 mg 0.079 mg
Vitamin C 0 mg 0 mg
Iron 0.44 mg 1.48 mg
Vitamin D 6 IU 32 IU
Vitamin B12 0.37 µg 0.65 µg
Magnesium 20 mg 14 mg
Zinc 1.23 mg 2.88 mg

Can I Substitute Canadian Bacon for Ham & Vice Versa?

The butcher assured us that you could definitely swap out ham for Canadian bacon and vice versa. Fortunately, there are only two things you need to remember.

  1. Cooking time for Canadian bacon is shorter than that of ham. The meat will become too dry if you leave it to cook for too long. The best way is to add it last once every ingredient is fully cooked.
  2. The best ham cut in terms of flavor is the center cut. Its a piece from the leg primal cut, so if you have the chance, pick this one since its the juiciest and most flavorful.

Have the meaty munchies hit you yet? Good! The Canadian bacon and ham recipes below are the ideal way to sate your appetite. Plus, this is the perfect chance to taste-test all the differences we just discussed!

Eggs Benedict Canadian Bacon Casserole

The ideal holiday breakfast is an egg-benedict casserole. Its stuffed with protein-rich eggs, Canadian bacon, robust English muffins, and delectable hollandaise sauce.

You can prepare this decadent, warm breakfast the night before, so it has plenty of time to soak all the flavors! All you need to do in the morning is preheat the oven and bake it. A tasty meal that may be prepared ahead of time is always appreciated especially first thing in the morning.

Homemade Ham & Cheese Pizza

If you like the ham and cheese combo in a sandwich, then youll adore them on a pizza, too! This dish calls for ham, mozzarella, mushrooms, olives, oregano, and basil simple ingredients, yet refined taste.

If you got discouraged about making the batter, dont be! You won’t believe how simple it is to prepare. Each step is explained in the recipe to stop you from buying that pre-made pizza dough from the store!

Canadian Bacon Egg Cups

The flavor of a recipe is crucial when it comes to its success, but it wouldnt hurt if the meal is also extremely cute, like these egg cups!

How could anyone not fall in love with these adorable delights? The ingredients include cheese, pieces of Canadian bacon, and an egg with the yolk still runny. Since the flavor is the most crucial aspect, it goes without saying that these cups taste fantastic. They’re also finished in under 20 minutes. Perfect!


Congratulations, now you own a piece or should we say, a slice of valuable knowledge from the world of meat!

Remember: Ham is created from the pigs back legs, as opposed to Canadian bacon, which is produced from the pigs back. Despite being fattier than ham, Canadian bacon has less salt.

For the ham brine, sugar and honey are the main ingredients, whereas Canadian Bacon is brined with salt and maple syrup. Canadian bacon is typically cooked, unlike ham, which can be consumed right out of the box.

Now choose a recipe and get to work testing it!


Which is better Canadian bacon or ham?

Canadian bacon overall is healthier than regular ham. There are fewer carbohydrates and more protein in Canadian bacon when compared to ham, and a lower sodium level than ham. Ham contains more Vitamin C and calcium than Canadian bacon, but ham also has a higher calorie count.

Do ham and Canadian bacon taste the same?

Though ham and Canadian bacon look and taste remarkably similar, they’re not the same thing. Here’s how to tell the difference between these two appetizing pork products.

Does Canadian bacon taste like ham or bacon?

Like regular bacon, Canadian bacon is salted, smoked and cured with slightly more sugar added. It has lean and juicy meat, with a slightly sweet taste. It also is significantly thicker than streaky bacon.

Is Canadian bacon considered a processed meat?

“Canadian bacon is still processed, but it’s not one big chunk of fat with a little bit of meat,” Angelone says.

Why does Canadian bacon taste like ham?

Pork Loin: Canadian Bacon. Canadian bacon is more like a ham steak than the streaky cured and smoked strips of bacon that most of us are used to. American bacon comes from the fatty belly of the pig while Canadian bacon is typically cut from the loin.

Is Canadian bacon just sliced ham?

Cut: The main difference between the two is that Canadian-style bacon comes from the back of the pig, and is a loin cut. Ham comes from the back legs or butt. Preparation: Canadian bacon comes in both thick and thin slices. Ham comes in cubes, as thick slabs of meat, or even in slices.

Why do Americans call ham Canadian bacon?

To make up for the shortfall, pork was imported from Canada. The British used this lean loin of the pig’s back to make what was called peameal bacon since it would be rolled in ground split yellow peas after it was cured in a special brine. It then became known as Canadian bacon.

Can you eat Canadian bacon raw?

While it’s generally cooked before being served, many people wonder if it’s safe to eat Canadian bacon raw. The fact is that eating raw Canadian bacon is not advised. While it’s pre-cooked, it’s unsafe to consume without further cooking it.

What meat is similar to Canadian bacon?

Irish Bacon or Rashers

This type is also known as “English bacon.” It’s another type of back bacon similar to Canadian bacon, but with a layer of fat around the outer edge of the slices. Rashers are a staple of the traditional Irish breakfast.

Why is Canadian bacon the best?

Canadian bacon is on the lean side

If you’re looking to increase your protein intake or cut out unnecessary fat, you might want to consider Canadian bacon for your next breakfast. Compared to other breakfast meats, Canadian bacon is often leaner, lower in fat content, and higher in protein.

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