I now believe there are only two different types of people in the world. To find out which one you are, reflect on the next sentence:
Our loft has smelled like bacon for 3 days.
That`s either a wonderful thing – or a horrible form of torture. Around these parts, it`s just par for the course! Candied bacon jerky is a fun novelty that is as fascinating to eat as it is to make – it is full of bacony goodness.
Before we share the details of bacon jerky, let`s answer a few pressing questions:
- The best jerky is made from lean meat. Fat does not dry well and stores worse. This recipe is not shelf stable – it`s for quick eating or for the fridge. We`ll share our caramel recipe that we made this for tomorrow.
- The mess isn`t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be to clean up.
- Meat has a danger zone when exposed to temperatures between 40-140 farenheit. Our dehydrator has temperatures up to 160 degrees; if yours doesn`t go that warm I would advise not making jerky of any type in it.
- The final product is a little greasy – even more so at room temperature.
- Lots of people eat this just the way it is and love it. While it was really interesting and very good, I prefered it as an ingredient to use. Since we were using it in caramel, I upped the sweetness when drying it.
- This is far more like bacon candy than candied bacon. This isn`t bacon that`s been sweetened – it`s a sweet that`s made of bacon. That`s a world of difference. The bacon almost explodes in your mouth and is an intense concentration of bacony goodness. Yes, I said bacony goodness.
Here`s a few photos of the process before we share the details:
The basics of the recipe:
- For every pound of bacon, mix 1 cup of brown sugar. Try to distribute sugar so that the bacon is wearing a good coat of it.
- Place on trays for the dehydrator. Leave lots of space for air circulation. Set dehydrator to 160 degrees.
- Allow it till dry until all moisture is removed from the bacon. Although some advocate 36 hours for this process, I was far more comfortable with 60.
- Check periodically (i.e. every 12 hours). Your bacon will go through a stage where it will be almost see-through. Be patient, it will become dense again.
- After the first 24 hours, separate the bacon from the tray – this will make it easier to remove later. Flip at this stage if you`d prefer.
Here`s a few things I`d consider doing differently next time:
- Part way through I would have emptied a tray of bacon onto another tray (keeping all meat in the dehydrator at all times) and washed the empty tray. I would continue to rotate like this until all trays were clean. This would remove the small amounts of liquid fat that filled the screens and slowed air circulation (and the process).
- Because I was going to be using these in `bits`, I would have crumbled them part way through the process – which would have also sped things along as small pieces dry faster.
I hope you’ll give it a try!
If the idea of your house smelling like bacon for 2-3 days sounds great to you, we hope you’ll share this with others to inspire them to the same level of maddness. You can eat this as-is or use it in other recipes – like this one for spicy bacon caramel.