Are you a hunting enthusiast looking to explore new and delicious treats? Look no further than venison bacon! This sweet and smoky bacon, made with a blend of ground venison and pork fat, will tantalize your taste buds like never before. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of venison bacon and guide you on how to make your very own mouthwatering creation.
Venison Bacon: A Twist on Tradition
Unlike traditional bacon, which uses whole cuts like pork belly, venison bacon is made with ground meat. It can be more accurately described as formed ground bacon. Similar to venison sausage, it is seasoned with a combination of bacon flavors and thinly sliced for optimal enjoyment.
Does Venison Bacon Taste Like Bacon?
Although venison has its unique flavor, venison bacon shares the same delicious traits as traditional bacon – it’s wonderfully sweet, smoky, and salty! The distinctive taste of venison adds an exciting twist to this classic treat.
Equipment Needed for Venison Bacon
To embark on your venison bacon adventure, you’ll need a few key tools. Here’s a list of essentials that will make the process easier and enhance the flavors:
- Smoker: While you can prepare venison bacon in a traditional oven, smoking it adds a delightful depth of flavor. Consider using an electric smoker for precise temperature control during the cooking process.
- Deli Slicer: Thinly slicing the bacon is essential for achieving the perfect texture. While a chef knife can get the job done, a deli slicer will make the task quicker and more efficient.
- Meat Grinder: Since venison bacon is made from ground and formed meat, a meat grinder will be necessary. It’s crucial to grind your venison trimmings properly to achieve the desired consistency.
Venison Bacon Ingredients
If you’re not accustomed to making bacon or sausage, a few ingredients may be new to you. Here are the key components for crafting delicious venison bacon:
- Cure: Cooking the meat for extended periods at low temperatures requires the use of a cure. This prevents dangerous bacteria from multiplying during the cooking process. Make sure to read the label and follow the recommended amount for your chosen cure.
- Dry Non-Fat Milk Powder: Acting as a binder, this common grocery store ingredient reduces shrinkage and helps retain moisture in the sausage.
- Brown Sugar: The classic combination of sweet and smoky is perfectly captured by the addition of brown sugar. It adds a delightful sweetness to the meat and creates a sticky glaze on the exterior. You can also experiment with adding or substituting maple syrup for a unique twist.
- Ground Venison: For the base of your venison bacon, combine ground venison with pork fat. A ratio of 80% lean meat to 20% fat is a good starting point, but you can increase the fat content to 30% if desired. Avoid going too lean, as it may result in dry and less flavorful bacon. If you had your venison processed by a butcher, you can consult them regarding the fat ratio used.
How to Make Venison Bacon
To achieve the perfect venison bacon, it’s crucial to follow the right cooking process. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
- Set your smoker to 130 degrees Fahrenheit and add mild-flavored wood chips, such as apple wood, for a delicious smoky aroma.
- Allow the meat to soak in the smoke flavor by slowly raising the temperature every hour, increasing it by 10 degrees each time. Continue until the smoker reaches 180 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Monitor the internal temperature of the bacon. Once it reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit, your venison bacon is ready to be savored!
Enjoy the Fruits of Your Labor
Now that you’ve mastered the art of making venison bacon, it’s time to savor your creation. Whether you enjoy it as a standalone treat, crumbled in salads, or wrapped around other ingredients, this unique delicacy will impress friends and family alike.
Ready to embark on your culinary adventure? Visit Ekilove for more mouthwatering recipes and inspiration!
Remember, making your own venison bacon allows you to take pride in every step of the process. Happy cooking!