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!
As I. push the carriage forward the slices get bigger and bigger even if I push only the carriage.
Weekly Blog Post - Octopus and Squid, Vacuum Packing
Find out what's going on at Walton's and Meatgistics this week. We will have a loose schedule for soon to be released videos, what we are working on long-term and maybe a few quick tips and tricks that are on our mind!What Videos are being released soon?
Depending on what you see as soon we will have the almost complete first round of Meatgistics University Classes released. We have broken everything down into these categories; Meat Processing Equipment, Seasoning and Additives, Fresh Sausage, Cured Sausage, Jerky, Sausage Casings, Deli Meats, Smoked Meats, Cured Whole Muscle Meats, and Specialty Sausages. Each of these topics will have multiple entry-level classes covering topics like the type of casing to use, equipment needed and a basic processing class where appropriate.What Projects are we looking ahead at?
We are going to be doing two new Will it BBQ’s, hopefully, this week where we try BBQ’ing Squid and Octopus! The squid was a suggestion by Bob Zambutto through Walton’s Inc Facebook account! I had been wanting to do both of these for a while and when I went to our local Asian Grocery Store (Tai Binh for anyone local to Wichita, KS) and they had lots of options for both, they have almost anything and I got a few more weird ideas while I was there! Anyway, I picked up some baby octopus and a full size one, some small squid and two large ones as well. I am excited and nervous to see how this goes if nothing else it should be fun to watch!What’s on our Mind?
Did you know that you shouldn’t vacuum pack Mushrooms or Garlic? I was reading a Vacmaster VP120 instruction manual the other day and I saw an interesting note that said not to vacuum pack Garlic or Mushrooms! I had no idea that you shouldn’t do this so I thought I would share that with meatgistics readers to let you know not to do it as well. Apparently, they both are prone to bacteria that will continue to grow in oxygen-free environments. I was hoping it was something more impressive than that but it is good information to have.New Products
22" X 24" Collagen Sheets This are typically used for larger whole muscle cuts of meat, like when you are making prosciutto, capocollo, or other dried hams. This is an item that we have had lots of requests for over the years so we were happy to finally find a reliable and reputable source for it.
Thanks for the response!
I think a video on processed celery would be incredible. The only place I have been able to find celery powder as a cure was from “The Sausage Maker”, they have a Facebook page. It was expensive, designed only for sausages, and wasn’t packaged well.
As for the tackiness, good idea with the cornstarch! There are a bunch of big brands with zero additives that were able to achieve the soft texture with no tackiness, so I’m thinking it has to be in the processing. I read an article where someone at KRAVE mentioned a couple details about how they process their jerky. He said they first inject the meat, then cook the whole pieces, then slice, then marinate, then dry. I have messed around with the idea behind this process a lot. Injecting with brine, sous-viding at a variety of temperatures and times, slicing, marinating, and drying. Decent results, but to be honest the high sugar method you introduced to me has seemed to have better results.
Anyway, I will keep trying to figure this out and will definitely keep you guys posted if I make any headway. In the meantime, if there is anything else you think might be worth testing, please let me know! It would be great to try and perfect this process together.
@bob-s-meatgistics I moved one of my first pork butts into the oven and my whole house smelled like smoke. My wife did not stop complaining for a week until the smell was gone from both the house and the oven. I finish all my cooks outside. If you wrap it to speed up the cook you may want to unwrap it for the last hour to put the bark back on it.
@jonathon I am definitely going to purchase and follow the steps you’ve post, thank you sir! Additionally, if anyone has recipes, please share. I’ll try them all and post what my family thought of each. Thank you all, this is a very cool and educational blog, glad I found it wish it was years ago! Thanks again.