Bacon Jerky !!!
OMG Bacon!!! Bacon is so diverse with so many amazing preparations. This is everyone’s favorite part of pork, and if anyone says differently, there is a good chance they are lying. I honestly had to seriously edit down my intro in my video because I may have lovingly word vomited all of my many many favorite bacon-food combos in what started as nearly five minutes of my passion for bacon.
I honestly don’t think I am the only person to randomly crave a piece of bacon in the middle of the work day or in some place inconvenient to having an ability to prep food; Let me say: Bacon Jerky is the perfect solution! It stores for up to two weeks (if it even lasts that long!) in room temperature containers–longer in fridge/freezer in airtight vacuum bags.
Plus, Bacon jerky is super portable-I even enjoyed some mid flight on my way to the World Domination Summit in Portland, Oregon while editing this video 🙂 and a bit more just now in my hotel room writing this post!
But really, this is such an easy one ingredient recipe. The hardest part for me is allowing the bacon to become jerky without me snacking it all away!
First, choose your favorite thick cut bacon. I recommend the unpackaged kind from the meat counter, and if possible look for bacon with more red meat and less white fat (too much fat and the bacon will not cure super well) .
Next, bake the bacon! Normally I bake my bacon for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees to make it super crispy for breakfast or sandwiches. For Jerky, we want to fully cook the bacon BUT we do not want it crispy. I did about 15 minutes at 350 degrees, turning the bacon once. The bacon needs to have retained some flexibility when you take it from the oven while also have had a chance to cook out and render a lot of the fat.
*note–if you are using any kind of bacon with sugar (like my maple cured bacon or one of my other favorites-brown sugar bacon) then you need to pay extra close attention to the baking process. Sugar cured bacons have a tendency to become crispy (or burnt) more quickly than other bacons.
Hard part: do not use this delicious smelling bacon as a snack!
Before going in the food dehydrator, you want the bacon to be dry. I use paper towels and roll it up like a bacon burrito and squeeze. The now dry bacon is to be laid in the food dehydrator.
Use your dehydrator to the manufacture specifications, and check on it regularly. The temperature I used in my Nesco FD-60 Snackmaster was 160 degrees. I used the paper towel burrito method to remove more rendered fat and oil at the one hour mark and again at the two hour mark.
Obviously you must go against my previous advice to not snack on the bacon and try it when you are checking on the jerky process. I felt this batch was ready to go at the two hour mark but some of my previous batches were better at the 2 1/2 hour mark. I think it all depends on exactly how thick your bacon is as well as the fat to meat ratio and how much fat was able to render out in the oven…so there are multiple variables to pay attention to!
I really hope this one ingredient recipe finds a way into your kitchen! Once jerkified, this bacon is so portable! You won’t be disappointed!