How to Make Homemade Imitation Bacon - Recipe
How to Make Imitation Bacon
Learn how to make Imitation Bacon with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.
What Is Imitation Bacon?
Imitation Bacon is any meat that has been ground and seasoned with Imitation Bacon Seasoning, then formed into a loaf and cooked or smoked. You can use Beef, Wild Game, Poultry or even just leaner cuts of pork. Today we are going to be showing you how to make three different types out of Turkey, Leaner Pork and Beef. Rather than a whole muscle product, our imitation bacon will be a ground and formed product. We are going to be making this out of three different types of meat.
2 lb of Ground Beef
2 lb of Ground Pork
4 lb of Ground Turkey
Our process is going to be very similar for all of these other than the amount of fat that we are going to be adding, or not adding. If you are making this out of whole muscle you need to grind your lean product twice through a 1/8" plate and your fat once through a 3/16" plate. We have some 80/20 ground beef here and some fatty ground pork as well so we are starting out with an already ground product on these. For the Turkey we just stopped by the store and picked up some 85/15 lean to fat ratio pre-ground turkey to make turkey bacon. We’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating, whether you are making Bratwursts or Snack Sticks or whatever, there is nothing wrong with picking up a previously ground product at the store and starting from there if you don’t have a grinder. You won’t have as much control over the entire process but you can still get a great tasty product by doing this.
We have measured all of this out for 2 lb batches, so we have .075 lb (1.2 oz) of the seasoning (which already includes our cure), 4.8 oz of water and .16 oz of smoked meat stabilizer. We are adding smoked meat stabilizer because we don’t want to wait overnight for the cure to work in the meat, basically we are hungry and we want to cook it immediately!
So we are going to mix all of this until we have protein extraction and the meat is nice and sticky. With a mixer, this would take about 5 minutes, but since we are doing such small batches we need to do this by hand, so it will just take as long as it takes.
Once you have it all mixed you can put it in 2 lb foil pans or form a loaf on a cooking sheet. We used the foil pans just because it was a little easier
Thermal Processing & Smoking
Stage 1 - 120° for 1 hour
Stage 2 - 140° for 1 hour
Stage 3 - 175° until internal temperature is 160°
Once it is done cooking you can either cut it with a knife and eat right away or you can allow it to cool down and then use a slicer to get a more traditional bacon look. Either way is fine, we’ve just been cooking this all day and don’t want to wait any longer. For the best results, slice the imitation bacon, and pan fry just like normal bacon. It will crisp up great and have a taste very similar to traditional bacon!
While all of these are ready to eat at this point the best way to get a true bacon taste is to cook them in a pan or oven to the point where they are crisp before serving or using them in a recipe.
- If you want to get real fancy with your imitation bacon, and start with whole muscle meat and grind it yourself, you can keep the lean meat separated from the fat to layer the lean and fat meat and truly create a more bacon looking product. We will be simply combining it all together, so we won’t get that separate and visible distinction between the lean and fat particles, so it won’t look as close to normal bacon.
Watch WaltonsTV: How to Make Imitation Bacon
I made a 2lb batch of both turkey and beef imitation bacon. I followed the online recipie exactly. It seems rubbery. The only thing I can see that may be different is I sliced it as thin as I could with a Sharp knife. I also used a kitchen aid mixer to mix in the seasoning and get to the protein extraction stage.I am wondering if I mixed it to long causing it to become rubbery?
@sierrapete Is it rubbery before you cook it in a pan or oven? If you followed our directions and then did not finish it up by cooking it like you would cook packaged bacon then yes, I can see how it might have a rubber texture. It’s possible that you mixed it too much but in my mind it’s more likely that pan frying or baking it in the oven would fix your issue.
Let me know if you already did finish the bacon off in the pan or oven and we can go from there to see what else might have happened.
SierraPete last edited by SierraPete
Kind of rubbery prior to frying up in my go to cast iron skillet. I fried some up and it wasn’t bad. Even though I sliced as thin as I could with a really sharp knife I think a slicer would give a uniform thickness to avoid this.
Pre-cook of imitation bacon and final product browning up. Turkey is the lighter loaf, beef is the darker one and in the skillet.
@sierrapete How was the taste on the turkey? When we did it I thought it was a great way to use some extra turkey but didn’t think it tasted as good as the pork. Now that is sort of obvious but I am curious about your thoughts on the taste of it?
@jonathon I got through my pack of beef bacon and opened the turkey. I think the flavor was better. Definitely leaner. It definitely has a different texture than the beef. I didn’t do pork, but now have something else to make.
@sierrapete Thanks for the information, maybe my taste buds were just off from eating too much of the bacon made from beef and pork first!
JSmokedfoods last edited by
Can I make Salmon Bacon with this recipe?
@JSmokedfoods In theory yes, you should be able to do this, however I have never tried it with fish and I don’t know if you are going to be able to get enough protein extraction during the mixing process. My thought is that you would be able to but the water content is probably high enough that you would have to do some experimenting and I am almost sure you would need to add a Binder like Sure Gel or Soy Protein Blend. If you try it please let us know if it worked out or not!
Hello from Alpine, Texas.
Gary T. From Branford CT, I’ve been making jerky for some 30 years now, not sure how I missed Waltons site but I’m glad I found it, great to see all the videos tips and forums.
Trying the Waltons BOLD Jerky seasoning today in a restructured mix, I normally try a mix as is the 1st time then alter to my taste later on, I needs TONS of flavor so I’m hoping this one does the trick. I also bought the Teriyaki & Cajun to try.
Thanks for the invite. Gary T.
Quick question? Why is it NOT recommended to mix your cure and seasoning until it’s ready to be used??
Because the Excalibur Jerky Seasoning comes in bags suited to use 25# of meat I wanted to break it down into smaller mixing batches, I know I don’t mix 25# of meat at a time, I usually cut it in half for 12.5# each. Anyway I’d really like to mix all the cure and seasoning once then break in down for smaller batches of meat for later use, also when I say later I only mean like 1-3 months.
Thanks Gary T.
This is my tounge recipe. I get the tounge usually from people I work with that buy freezer beef from a farmer. They usually throw them out or feed them to the dog. NO WAY. Here is how I process the tounge.
Rinse the tounge well as it is dipped in a antiseptic. State law I think. Lay it out on your cutting board. Cut the tounge into at just back from where it tarts to narrow as the narrow part of the tounge has very little meat . Now take your sharp fillet knife and skin the little well marbled roast. Now lets make the juice. I like to use Mrs. Smiths dill pickle / Jalapeno mix follow the directions on the mix.
Then smoke it with your favorite wood till the internal temp for beef reaches 160 degrees . I then remove from the smoker and let cool for 20 minutes. I then cut the tounge into chunks about the size of sugar cubes and pack into a qt. jar. I then slice a Vidallia onion into rings and add to the qt. jar. I pour the pickling spice over it covering all of the tounge and onion. Install a lid and refrigerate for 2 days and enjoy. I take this to work and always bring home a empty jar. Another version is brad and butter pickle mix.
Haysville Ks. Smoking and grilling for 10 years. Limited meat processing about 8 years
Most recipes I’ve researched suggest an IT of 152° - 155°. My question is, what’s the most efficient method of taking the IT of a snack stick. Should I use a probe and slide it into the center of one of the snack sticks hanging in the smoker? Is it better to slide the probe into the top of a snack stick as it hangs or up from the bottom? Thanks in advance for your help!