New Zealand's best bacon and ham

It's official, the judging is complete and New Zealand's best bacon and ham have been identified for another year in the 100% New Zealand Bacon and Ham Awards.

This year the Supreme Award winner in both the bacon and ham categories is Wild Game from Hastings.

Wild Game owners Jordan and Varnnah Hamilton-Bicknell run a boutique butchery in Camberley, Hastings where they create quality products which are sold both in-store and online.

Jordan, who has a passion for hunting and the outdoors, started his butchery trade at the age of 15 in a butcher shop in Woodville. After working six years for the previous owner of Wild Game, Jordan took over the business and takes great pride in crafting his award-winning products.

Jordan says “it blows me away to be the supreme winner of both the bacon and ham awards.  It’s the first time I have entered and I never thought I would win both.”

“My secret is really just keeping it real, creating old school bacon and ham, using good quality New Zealand pork - keeping it simple and doing it well.”

It’s a local success story with the pork being supplied by Dean Nikora of Crackling Good Farm also in the Hawkes Bay.

Dean was delighted to have played a part in Jordan’s success, saying “supplying someone like Wild Game is critical to us because it helps us to grow, in terms of offering a specialised product, caring for the animal really well and being able to present it to Jordan in the way that he needs it. This allows him to create a superior product.” 

Judging took place over three days, with a team of butchers and culinary experts inspecting and sampling our country’s finest bacon and ham products, all produced from 100% New Zealand born and raised New Zealand pork. Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded in each of the seven bacon categories and the two ham categories. From there, all gold medal winners were re-judged against each other to then find New Zealand’s supreme bacon and ham.

Butcheries across the country picked up medals in this year's awards, look out for the award winning labels on pack when you're next in stores to know you're getting a taste of some of the best!

You can see the full list of winners below:

Dry Cured Middle/ Middle Eye Bacon

GOLD ~ Sam’s Butchery, Auckland | Dry Cured Middle Bacon
GOLD ~ Westmere Butchery, Auckland | Dry Cured Bacon
SILVER ~ Cattermoles Butchery, Kaiapoi | Dry Cured Bacon
BRONZE ~ Pokeno Bacon, Waikato | Dry Cured Middle Bacon

Dry Cured Streaky Bacon

GOLD ~ Kiwi Fresh Meats, Tauranga | KFM Dry Cure Streaky
SILVER ~ Harrington’s Smallgoods, Wellington | Harrington’s Dry Cured Streaky Bacon
BRONZE ~ New World Broadway, Palmerston North | Streaky Bacon

Middle Bacon

GOLD ~ Uppercuts Butchery, Winton | Loin Bacon
GOLD ~ The Kiwi Butcher Shop, New Plymouth | Traditional Middle Bacon - Honey Cured Manuka Smoked
SILVER ~ Westmere Butchery, Auckland | Ayrshire Unsmoked
BRONZE ~ Aussie Butchery New Lynn, Auckland | Reubens Traditional Middle Bacon

Middle Eye/ Loin Bacon

GOLD ~ Wild Game, Hastings | Old School Bacon
Harris Farms Ltd, Domett | Free Farmed Loin Bacon
Aussie Butcher New Lynn, Auckland | Reubens Middle Eye Bacon

Naturally Cured Bacon

GOLD ~ Salash - Artisan Meats, Auckland | Cold Smoked Speck Bacon
Westmere Butchery, Auckland| Nitrate Free Bacon
Hibbards Butchery, Christchurch | Nitrate Free Streaky Bacon

Shoulder Bacon

GOLD ~ Sam’s Butchery, Auckland | Dry Cure Rid Eye Bacon
SILVER ~ Franklin Country Meats, Auckland | Shoulder Bacon
BRONZE ~ Miller’s Meats: Bream Bay Butchers, Ruakākā | Miller’s Made Shoulder Bacon

Streaky Bacon

GOLD ~ Cameron Harrison Butchery, Upper Hutt | Manuka Smoked Streaky Bacon
SILVER ~ Franklin Country Meats, Auckland | Streaky Bacon
BRONZE ~ The Chopping Block, Coromandel | Coromandel Streaky Bacon

Ham - Bone In

GOLD ~ Pokeno Bacon, Waikato | Honey Cured, Manuka Smoked Ham
SILVER ~ Franklin Country Meats, Auckland | Double Smoked Ham on the Bone
BRONZE ~ Aussie Butcher Henderson, Auckland | COB Ham

Ham - Boneless

GOLD ~ Wild Game, Hastings | Old School Pressed Ham
SILVER ~ Aussie Butcher New Lynn, Auckland | Reubens Manuka Smoked Boneless Ham
BRONZE ~ Morepork BBQ, Auckland | Morepork Boneless Picnic Ham