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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@KSHusker First, yes they should be safe to eat. You cooked them to 160° which will kill anything harmful. Now, obviously use common sense and your senses, if it smells bad don’t eat it!
The first thing to know is if you used sure cure (or another version) or not? From the sounds of it, you did but I just want to make sure we are looking at all possibilities. Were the butts untrimmed? If they had a nice fat cap on them then you should have been okay, I still like to use a little more fat than that but you should have been in the realm. How did you mix it, was it by hand? If you mixed for 30 minutes in a meat mixer that is a long time to be mixing it (I don’t think this was your issue, just pointing it out). Starting at 200 is a little high but it also sounds like it came down to 180° pretty quickly but this would be my thought on why the casing stuck, cooking too high can cause this.
For the color, the only thing I can think of (if you used a cure) is that it looks pinker around the edges because you got a nice smoke ring around it? How deep does the nice pink color go and what type of casing did you use? With wild game, I always use some sort of cure accelerator, either Encapsulated Citric Acid, Smoked Meat Stabilizer or something, it helps burn the color more and then you can skip holding it overnight and go right from stuffing to the smokehouse.
Anyone else have thoughts?