Are you tired of the same old bacon routine?
Why not switch things up and try frying some delicious venison bacon?
Not only is it a healthier alternative to traditional bacon, but it also has a unique flavor that will leave your taste buds wanting more.
Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a beginner in the kitchen, this guide will walk you through the steps to fry up some mouth-watering venison bacon.
So grab your cast iron skillet and let’s get cooking!
How To Fry Venison Bacon?
First things first, you’ll need to make sure you have some venison bacon on hand. You can either purchase it pre-made or make your own using one of the recipes available online.
Once you have your venison bacon ready, it’s time to start frying. The key to perfectly cooked venison bacon is to use a cast iron skillet and a medium heat setting.
Unlike traditional bacon, you don’t need to add any extra fat when cooking venison bacon. The high heat frying process will cause the good fats from oil vaporization to escape through the pores on the surface of the pan, while still allowing enough moisture to remain for perfectly cooked bacon.
When frying venison bacon, it’s important not to overcook it or cook it on too high of a heat setting. This will result in dry and tough bacon. Instead, cook each side for 6 to 8 minutes until it is slightly flexible.
Since venison bacon is already aged and cured, the internal temperature of the meat only needs to reach 130 degrees Fahrenheit for it to be done. Be sure to use a meat thermometer to ensure that your bacon is cooked to perfection.
What Is Venison Bacon?
Venison bacon is a type of bacon that is made from a combination of ground venison and pork fat, which is seasoned, cured, and smoked. Unlike traditional bacon, which is made from pork belly, venison bacon is made from lean deer meat mixed with fatty pork cuts. This combination of meats creates a mouthwatering fattiness that is similar to traditional bacon.
To make venison bacon, the meat is ground twice through a 3/8″ and a 3/16″ plate. The protein extraction process is then used to bind the protein with the fat, resulting in the perfect sliceable texture. The meat is then seasoned with a mixture of cure and smoke to create that crispy, smoky bacon flavor.
Venison bacon is a healthier alternative to traditional bacon because it contains fewer harmful ingredients like fat and cholesterol. Additionally, deer meat contains numerous vitamins and minerals that the body needs. Venison bacon can be used in much the same way as traditional bacon – fried up for BLTs and sandwiches, crumbled into salads, or served alongside your eggs in the morning.
When frying venison bacon, it’s important to use a cast iron skillet and cook it on medium heat to prevent overcooking and drying out the meat. The internal temperature only needs to reach 130 degrees Fahrenheit for it to be done. Venison bacon is a delicious treat that can be enjoyed by hunters and non-hunters alike.
Health Benefits Of Venison Bacon
Venison bacon has several health benefits that make it a great alternative to traditional pork bacon. Venison meat contains numerous vitamins and minerals that the body needs, such as iron, B vitamins, and protein. Additionally, venison meat is usually much leaner than farmed animals such as pigs or cows, which means that venison bacon has less fat and cholesterol than traditional bacon.
Furthermore, venison meat is completely natural and does not contain any additives or steroids if it is not purchased from a deer farm. This makes venison bacon a better choice for people who want to watch what they eat but do not want to give up eating meat. Even though venison bacon contains pork, the bad aspects of this livestock are cut in half.
Venison bacon is also a great source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which is thought to protect against heart disease and cancer. The small amount of fat in venison is likely to contain high levels of CLA due to all the wild and pasture food that deer eat.
Moreover, venison bacon can be a great option for people who are limiting their intake of saturated fat or following a heart-healthy diet. Venison contains slightly more cholesterol than other types of meat but is lower in total and saturated fat. This makes it a healthier option overall compared to traditional pork bacon.
Choosing The Right Cut Of Venison For Bacon
When it comes to making venison bacon, choosing the right cut of venison is crucial. Since venison is extremely lean, it’s important to add a fatty cut of pork to create that mouthwatering fattiness you love in traditional bacon.
When selecting venison for bacon, it’s best to use a mixture of ground venison and a fatty cut of pork trimmings from the shoulder or butt. The recommended ratio for venison bacon is about 50% venison and 50% pork trim, for a total ratio of 80% lean to 20% fat.
Most cuts of venison will work for making bacon, but it’s important to trim any fat and connective tissue from the roasts before grinding. Our venison block was a mixture of sirloin, steaks, and a little backstrap that we had leftover in the freezer.
When grinding the meat, it’s recommended to grind twice: once through a 3/8″ plate and then through a 3/16″ plate. This will give you the perfect texture for venison bacon.
Preparing The Venison For Bacon
If you want to make your own venison bacon, the first step is to prepare the meat. Start by trimming any fat and connective tissue from venison roasts. Then, cut the venison and pork into chunks that will fit your grinder.
Next, feed both pork and venison alternately through the grinder’s largest plate. Partially freezing the meat before grinding will speed up the process. Once the meat is ground, follow the instructions on your seasoning and cure kit.
For most kits, you will need to mix the seasoning and cure blend into cold water, then pour it over the coarsely ground meat. Mix it in by hand for about 3 minutes, then re-grind the seasoned meat mixture through the smallest plate on your grinder. Hand mix again for another 3 minutes.
Line 2-inch-tall disposable aluminum pans with plastic wrap, then fill them with the meat mixture. Pack it in firmly to eliminate air pockets, then cover the surface of the meat with additional plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.
The next day, remove the top plastic wrap and gently invert the pans onto your smoker rack and lift away the pan. Peel away the plastic wrap that lined the pan.
Smoke the bacon at 185 degrees until it reaches an internal temperature of 155 to 160 degrees. Once it’s done smoking, remove it from the smoker and allow it to cool on wire racks.
Finally, slice the bacon on a meat slicer or with a sharp knife. Vacuum seal extra bacon in one or two-pound packs and freeze for long-term storage. When you’re ready to fry up some delicious venison bacon, simply thaw it out and follow the instructions above for perfectly cooked bacon every time.
Curing The Venison For Bacon
Before you can fry up some delicious venison bacon, you’ll need to cure the venison. Curing is the process of adding seasonings and curing agents to the meat to enhance its flavor and prolong its shelf life.
To start, you’ll need to trim any fat and connective tissue from your venison roasts. Cut the venison and pork into chunks that will fit through your grinder. It’s recommended to use a mixture of up to 50/50 venison to pork butt or shoulder for proper texture. However, you can adjust the ratio to your liking, keeping in mind that going too heavy on the venison can result in dry, crumbly bacon.
Next, feed both the pork and venison alternately through the largest plate on your grinder. Partially freezing the meat before grinding will speed up the process. Once ground, follow the instructions on your seasoning and cure kit. For example, if using Legg’s Old Plantation seasoning kit, mix the seasoning and cure blend into just under 1 quart of cold water. Pour this mixture over the coarsely ground meat and mix by hand for 3 minutes.
After mixing, re-grind the seasoned meat mixture through the smallest plate on your grinder. Hand mix again for another 3 minutes. Line 2-inch-tall disposable aluminum pans with plastic wrap and pack the meat mixture in firmly to eliminate air pockets. Cover the surface of the meat with additional plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, remove the top plastic wrap and gently invert the pans onto your smoker rack and lift away the pan. Peel away the plastic wrap that lined the pan. Smoke the bacon at 185 degrees until it reaches an internal temperature of 155 to 160 degrees. Once smoked, remove from the smoker and allow it to cool on wire racks.
Finally, slice your venison bacon on a meat slicer or with a sharp knife. Vacuum seal any extra bacon in one or 2-pound packs and freeze for long-term storage. Now that your venison bacon is cured and ready to go, it’s time to fry it up for a delicious breakfast treat!
Slicing The Venison For Bacon
Before you can fry your venison bacon, you’ll need to slice it into the desired thickness. It’s important to slice the bacon evenly so that it cooks evenly.
To start, remove the venison bacon from the packaging and place it on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to slice the bacon into thin strips, about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick.
When slicing, be sure to cut against the grain of the meat. This will help to break down any tough fibers and result in tender and juicy bacon.
If you prefer thicker slices of bacon, feel free to adjust the thickness to your liking. Just keep in mind that thicker slices may take longer to cook.
Once you’ve sliced all of your venison bacon, you’re ready to start frying. Heat up your cast iron skillet over medium heat and add the bacon slices, cooking each side for 6 to 8 minutes until slightly flexible.
With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to slice and fry your venison bacon perfectly every time. Enjoy!