Imitation Ba^D^DChicharrones



  • Well, I really wanted to try out my Imitation Bacon Seasoning, but only had access to 94% lean turkey. So, I took 1 lb of the turkey, added 1 T seasoning (no cure), 3/8 c H2O, and ~1 T veggie oil. Let it sit O/N in the fridge, then baked it according to directions.

    When I tried frying the slices, it was awful (but not terribly surprising since I didn’t use the right meat).

    HOWEVER, I decided maybe I should try zapping it in the microwave instead (I put a LOT of things in the microwave), and what I got were these crispy, airy things almost like fried pork rinds. Not at all what I was looking for, but still a nice enough treat.

    Now I’m wondering what other seasonings might work – pretty much any of the sausage seasonings? I don’t know meat chemistry enough to figure it out just from the ingredients lists.


  • Walton's Employee

    @21cedar I think one of the main issues is that bacon really needs a way higher fat content than what you had. 94% lean i going to make an odd bacon no matter what you do to it. The second thing is the olive oil, were you trying to add fat content by adding the olive oil? I have never tried that but I am not at all surprised that you ended up with a less than ideal product for pan frying! Getting the proper level of protein extraction was probably really difficult to achieve with 94% lean.

    So…you basically found a way to make fried pork rinds without frying them?! I have no idea what the science is behind this but I can tell you I am going to be trying it with a bunch of seasonings and seeing if I can replicate and make “healthy” pork rinds at my house. I personally don’t watch my fat intake so pork rinds don’t bother me all that much other than the oil they use to fry them isn’t my favorite thing to consume.

    How was the smell in the house? Am I going to get an earful from my wife if I try this at home?

    Seasonings I am thinking of trying this with
    Salt and Vinegar Wing Shake
    Chorizo
    Smokehouse BBQ
    Apple Sweet & Sassy

    Now, I realize the Salt and Vinegar Wing Shake might initially sound disgusting but, have you ever had Salt and Vinegar Pork Rinds? They are amazing!



  • @Jonathon Haha Yeah, I knew it was a long shot, trying to supplement the 94% lean with 1) a liquid fat (soybean oil) and 2) not knowing whether the reported fat content in meats reflects the wet weight or dry weight. Let’s say I was “disappointed but not surprised” (sort of like watching the San Diego Chargers when I was growing up).

    My impression of the process is that the microwave is creating tiny pockets of steam throughout the slices of loaf as they are heated (held in by the network of protein) – you could see them puff up a little, sort of like you see with marshmallows in the microwave. And although the fat content was too low to fry in the pan, I guess there’s still enough present to crisp things up once the water is driven off. IIRC, there wasn’t really much of an odor to speak of, so you shouldn’t have to worry too much in that regard.

    BTW, is it the phosphate in the Bacon Seasoning that creates the rubbery texture in the baked loaf?


  • Walton's Employee

    @21cedar That’s a great question on the phospshates, I have never thought of that. Let me talk to some people next week and see if there is a scientific reason behind it. I’ll warn you though it probably wont be until later in the week. We are working around the clock to get Meatgistics University ready for our 4 PM (CST) live time on Monday! We’ll have it all ready, just don’t be surprised if you tune in to our live stream at waltonsinc.com/live and Austin and I look a little haggard!


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