Are you a fan of peameal bacon?
This Canadian specialty is a type of bacon that’s made from lean pork loin, rather than the fatty belly.
It’s cured in a mixture of salt and sugar, then rolled in cornmeal to create a crispy exterior.
But can you eat peameal bacon raw?
While some types of bacon are safe to eat without cooking, it’s important to know whether this particular variety is safe to consume uncooked.
In this article, we’ll explore the risks associated with eating raw peameal bacon and provide some tips for cooking it to perfection.
So grab a cup of coffee and let’s dive in!
Can You Eat Peameal Bacon Raw?
Peameal bacon is a type of cured pork that has been rolled in cornmeal. While it may be tempting to try this delicious bacon raw, it’s not recommended.
Raw meat can harbor harmful bacteria and parasites that can cause food poisoning. Peameal bacon is no exception. Eating raw peameal bacon can put you at risk of bacterial infections, such as Salmonella, as well as parasitic infections like Trichinosis.
It’s important to note that peameal bacon is not the same as Canadian bacon. Canadian bacon is a type of pre-cooked ham that has already been cooked, but not to a temperature high enough to kill bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Peameal bacon, on the other hand, is not pre-cooked and should always be cooked before consumption.
What Is Peameal Bacon?
Peameal bacon is a type of back bacon made from lean boneless pork loin that has been wet-cured and rolled in cornmeal. It is a Canadian specialty that likely originated in Toronto in the 1850s, where it is still beloved today. The name “peameal” comes from the historic practice of rolling the cured and trimmed boneless loin in dried and ground yellow peas to extend its shelf life. However, since the end of World War I, it has been rolled in ground yellow cornmeal instead. Unlike other types of bacon, peameal bacon is trimmed of fat and is not smoked, giving it a milder flavor once it’s cooked. The lack of fat means that it stays juicy, rather than becoming crunchy and dry. It can be found across Canada and parts of England and is often considered a signature dish of Toronto, particularly from Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market. Peameal bacon can be enjoyed in various dishes such as sandwiches, roasts, and breakfast plates. However, it should never be consumed raw due to the risk of bacterial and parasitic infections.
The Curing Process
Peameal bacon, like other types of bacon, is cured to preserve the meat and enhance its flavor. The curing process involves coating the pork loin in a mixture of salt, sugar, and other spices. This mixture draws out the moisture from the meat, which helps to inhibit the growth of bacteria and other harmful microorganisms.
In addition to salt and sugar, some curing mixtures also contain nitrates or nitrites. These chemicals help to preserve the meat by inhibiting the growth of bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Nitrates and nitrites also give the bacon its characteristic pink color and distinctive flavor.
After the pork loin has been coated in the curing mixture, it is left to rest for several days. This allows the salt and other ingredients to penetrate the meat and work their magic. Once the curing process is complete, the pork loin is rolled in cornmeal to create peameal bacon.
It’s important to note that while curing helps to preserve the meat, it does not make it safe to eat raw. Peameal bacon should always be cooked before consumption to ensure that any harmful bacteria or parasites are destroyed.
Risks Of Consuming Raw Peameal Bacon
Consuming raw peameal bacon can expose you to harmful bacteria and parasites that can cause foodborne illnesses. Bacteria such as Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli can be present in raw meat, and consuming them can lead to symptoms such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal cramps. Parasitic infections like Trichinosis can also be contracted from consuming raw peameal bacon, which can cause symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, and eye swelling.
Since it’s hard to check the temperature of thin meat like bacon, cooking it thoroughly is the best way to ensure that harmful bacteria and parasites are killed. Cooking peameal bacon to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit is recommended to ensure that it’s safe to eat. It’s also important to handle raw meat carefully to avoid cross-contamination with other foods.
While peameal bacon may be delicious, it’s not worth the risk of getting sick from consuming it raw. Always cook your peameal bacon thoroughly before consumption to ensure that it’s safe to eat.
Cooking Peameal Bacon To Perfection
Cooking peameal bacon to perfection is easy and can be done in a variety of ways. One popular method is to roast the whole unsliced peameal bacon in a sweet and zesty glaze. To do this, mix together water, maple syrup, salt, cure, and spices in a plastic container large enough to hold both the brine and the meat. Remove the peameal bacon from its packaging, being careful to remove any plastic wrap around it. Score the top of the bacon horizontally and vertically with a sharp knife. This will help the roast cook evenly and absorb more smoke flavor. Lightly coat the bacon with your favorite pork seasoning and place it on a pellet grill preheated to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a water pan to add moisture to the lean peameal bacon roast. Smoke it for approximately 2 1/2 hours or until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Another method for cooking peameal bacon is to fry it up in a pan or on a griddle. Simply slice the bacon and cook it like you would any other bacon, using a little oil if necessary. This method is quick and easy and perfect for a breakfast setting.
If you prefer baking your bacon, you can also bake peameal bacon in the oven. Preheat your oven to 400°F and line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil to catch the drippings. Lay a wire rack on top of the foil and arrange slices of bacon on top of the rack so there is no overlap. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes depending on how thick you prefer your bacon.
No matter which method you choose, it’s important to make sure that your peameal bacon is fully cooked before consuming it. This will ensure that any harmful bacteria or parasites are destroyed, making it safe for consumption. With these simple steps, you can enjoy delicious and perfectly cooked peameal bacon every time!
Delicious Peameal Bacon Recipes To Try
If you’re a fan of peameal bacon, there are plenty of delicious recipes to try. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Grilled Peameal Bacon: Slice your peameal bacon into 1/4 inch thick slices and grill them over low heat until they’re crispy and golden brown. This is a great option for a quick and easy breakfast or brunch.
2. Slow Cooker Peameal Bacon and Sauerkraut: For a hearty German-inspired meal, try cooking your peameal bacon in a slow cooker with sauerkraut. The result is a tender, flavorful dish that’s perfect for a cold winter night.
3. Sheet Pan Pizza with Peameal Bacon: Peameal bacon makes a delicious topping for pizza. Try adding it to your favorite pizza recipe for a unique twist on a classic dish.
4. Baked Peameal Bacon: For a simple and delicious meal, bake your peameal bacon in the oven at 375°F for about an hour, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 142°F. You can also add a dash of maple syrup for some extra sweetness.
No matter how you choose to cook your peameal bacon, be sure to handle it safely and cook it thoroughly to avoid any risk of foodborne illness. With these delicious recipes, you can enjoy the unique flavor and texture of peameal bacon in a variety of different dishes.