Making Bacon Jerky
Learn about Making Bacon Jerky with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below."
We started off with bacon that had already been cured and cooked until the internal temperature was 132°, pretty much the same bacon you would buy at the store just better since we made it. Since it has already been cured we did not need to limit ourselves to a jerky seasoning so I decided to try some with our Signature Pork Rub, Smokehouse Wing Shake, Salt & Vinegar Wing Shake and the St Louis Rump Rub. I sprinkled a good amount of this on one side of the bacon and then cooked at 200° for 1 hour, then I flipped it over and sprinkled the seasonings on the other side and cooked at 200° for another hour.
After they have cooked I took them out and put them in the Weston 6 Tray Digital Dehydrators. This is a nice easy dehydrator to use and I especially like that it will let you run it at 160°. I set the timer for 6 hours and let it run, flipping it at the 3 hour point.
Now, since bacon has so much fat it is going to be difficult to judge when the best time to pull it out of the dehydrator is. The fat will still have some oil well after it has hit a water activity that would make it perfectly safe to eat. Ours had a water activity of .38 which is well below the required amount for shelf stability.
The best tasting Bacon Jerky was Signature Pork Rub, this is a favorite seasoning of a few Walton’s employees and since it is designed to be used with Pork it should not be a huge surprise that it worked well for Bacon Jerky. Next was the Smokehouse Wing Shake which had a nice sweetness to it and added a little smoky flavor. The Salt & Vinegar was good but I was hoping for more of a vinegar taste to it, which sounds weird when talking about jerky and last was the St Louis Rum Rub, the taste just didn’t come through and it was the blandest of them all.
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Just an FYI, everybody that received snack sticks for Christmas last year loved them… I just ordered another batch of Willie’s Snack Stick spice blend to do it again this year!
Jonathon, I have to agree that 275 is too hot… If you have the time I’d shoot for 225, but if it needs to be “done”, then 250 would be the max I would do…
I have always filled the water pan for everything I smoke… 2 reasons, first it does tend to add moisture during the long cook thus keeping the bark from turning to shoe leather… and second because the water pan acts as a heat sink and helps maintain the temperature (in my vertical propane smoker) a bit more accurately… I’ve heard folks tout using apple juice in the water pan to impart a sweeter flavor, but I’ve never tried it…
On the other hand, my dad smoked for years, mostly in a converted fridge with an electric hotplate in the bottom… he never used a water pan and never had an issue with dry meat…
As for the type of wood to use, that’s just a trial and error, personal preference thing… I happen to like steaks cooked with oak… that may be too strong a flavor for your taste (my GF hates it)… Recently I have been using a lot of maple for NC bbq, chicken and even cheese… I like the maple for the meats, but next batch of cheese will go back to the hickory / cherry mix that I was using…
I followed the instructions on the video. It may have something to do with the sausage not getting as firm as it should. I used the cotto salami on duck breast with pork fat. It sure tastes good. But it’s a little soft.
I’ve done a lot both ways. I would highly recommend a stuffer and I have the Weston grinder with the auger stuffing attachment. It’s slow, but if you’re doing 5# or 10# batches, it’s not that bad. I’ve had small 5# stuffer, old school cast iron Enterprise, 11# vertical and now a 35# hydraulic. Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t trade the hydraulic but the 11# vertical I got on amazon had a lot of versatility. I think your bigger decision should be what type of stuffer should I buy. I would recommend the taller, smaller diameter instead of the large shorter one. The smaller diameter allow for a higher pressure for doing sticks with cure in them. The large short ones would be great for doing pork sausage or larger diameter casings, not 19-22mm sticks with cure. It would be fine as long as you’re doing fresh like breakfast or something like that. If you go the stuffer route I’d get it from Waltons and get the Weston-they stock parts, other no name from amazon is a one shot deal, once ours broke couldn’t find parts. Plus they have so many tube sizes now and Walton’s does a great job helping with casing and stuffing horn sizes, they carry them all.
I purchased a stuffer off Amazon for under $100 and would never go back to using the grinder. With the grinder, it was always a two man job and took forever. The stuffer is much faster and have no problems doing it all by myself. Plus with a hand crank stuffer, no electricity usage and wear and tear on your grinder.
Thank You Sir: