Are you a bacon lover looking to try something new?
Have you heard of picnic bacon but aren’t quite sure what it is?
Look no further!
Picnic bacon is a delicious and affordable alternative to traditional bacon cuts.
Made from the shoulder of a pig, this lean and flavorful meat can be sliced and served like regular bacon or used as a topping for salads, pies, and other dishes.
In this article, we’ll explore the characteristics of picnic bacon and how it differs from other types of bacon.
So grab a seat and get ready to learn all about this tasty treat!
What Is Picnic Bacon?
Picnic bacon is a type of bacon that is made from the shoulder of a pig, also known as the Picnic cut. This cut of meat is much cheaper than other bacon cuts like the Belly or the Loin, making it a great option for those on a budget.
Unlike traditional bacon, which is usually made from the pork belly, picnic bacon is fairly lean. It contains a portion of the shoulder beneath the shoulder blade, which gives it a unique flavor and texture.
After being cured and smoked, picnic bacon can be sliced and served like regular bacon. It can also be chopped and fried to use as a topping for salads, pies, and other dishes.
How Is Picnic Bacon Made?
To make picnic bacon, the first step is to select a high-quality picnic cut from the pig’s shoulder. The meat is then cured with a mixture of salt, sugar, and other seasonings to enhance its flavor. This curing process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the desired level of flavor.
Once the meat has been cured, it is smoked using wood chips or other smoking materials to give it a rich, smoky flavor. The smoking process can take several hours, and the temperature must be carefully controlled to ensure that the meat is cooked through and safe to eat.
After smoking, the picnic bacon is allowed to cool before being sliced and packaged for sale. It can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for later use.
How Does Picnic Bacon Differ From Traditional Bacon?
Picnic bacon differs from traditional bacon in a few key ways. Firstly, it is made from a different cut of meat – the shoulder of the pig, also known as the Picnic cut. This cut is leaner than the pork belly typically used for traditional bacon, resulting in a meatier texture and flavor.
Additionally, picnic bacon is often cheaper than traditional bacon due to the cut of meat used. This makes it a great option for those on a budget who still want to enjoy the taste of bacon.
While traditional bacon is often sliced and served on its own, picnic bacon can also be chopped and used as a topping for salads, pies, and other dishes. This versatility makes it a great ingredient to have on hand in the kitchen.
Finally, it’s worth noting that there are other types of bacon available, such as speck which is made from pork leg instead of belly. While not specifically used in picnics, picnic bacon is a great alternative to traditional bacon that offers a unique flavor and texture.
Cooking Tips For Picnic Bacon
If you’re looking to cook with picnic bacon, there are a few things you should keep in mind to ensure the best results.
Firstly, it’s important to note that picnic bacon is often sold as a large slab with the rind still attached. Before cooking, you’ll want to remove the rind using a sharp knife. This will allow the bacon to cook evenly and prevent any tough or chewy bits.
When it comes to cooking, there are a few different methods you can use. One popular option is to bake the bacon in the oven. Simply preheat your oven to 400°F, place the bacon on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and bake for 15-20 minutes or until crispy.
Another option is to fry the bacon in a skillet on the stovetop. Heat a bit of oil or butter in a pan over medium-high heat, then add the bacon and cook for 4-6 minutes per side or until crispy.
No matter which method you choose, be sure to watch the bacon closely as it cooks. Picnic bacon can be leaner than other cuts, which means it can easily go from crispy to burnt if left unattended.
Finally, don’t be afraid to get creative with your picnic bacon! It’s a versatile ingredient that can be used in a wide variety of dishes, from breakfast sandwiches to savory pies. So experiment with different recipes and enjoy the unique flavor and texture of this delicious cut of bacon.
Creative Ways To Use Picnic Bacon In Your Meals
If you’re looking for creative ways to use picnic bacon in your meals, look no further. Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Bacon Deviled Eggs: Hard-boil some eggs, cut them in half, and remove the yolks. Mash the yolks with mayonnaise, chopped pickled jalapeños and a splash of the brine, Dijon mustard, and smoked paprika. Add chopped cooked picnic bacon slices and stuff the mixture into the egg whites.
2. Bacon and Potato Frittata: Whip up an Italian-style frittata with potatoes, onions, and chopped picnic bacon. This dish can be served at any meal and is sure to satisfy your cravings.
3. Bacon and Egg Pie: This easy dish is a staple in Australia and New Zealand. Use puff pastry as the base and fill it with beaten eggs, chopped picnic bacon, and your favorite vegetables. Perfect for a picnic or potluck.
4. Pulled Pork: The shoulder roast from a pig can be used to make pulled pork or carnitas. Cook it bone-in for added flavor and tenderness. Add some chopped picnic bacon to the mix for a smoky twist on this classic dish.
5. Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf: Take your meatloaf to the next level by wrapping it in strips of picnic bacon before baking. The bacon will add a delicious smoky flavor and keep the meatloaf moist.
These are just a few ideas to help you get creative with picnic bacon in your cooking. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things – who knows, you might just discover your new favorite recipe!
Where To Find And Buy Picnic Bacon
If you’re interested in trying picnic bacon, you may be wondering where to find and buy it. One option is to check your local grocery store or butcher shop. Some larger chain stores may carry it in the bacon section, while smaller specialty shops may have it available upon request.
Another option is to purchase picnic bacon online. Many meat delivery services and specialty food websites offer picnic bacon for sale. Be sure to check the reviews and ratings of the seller before making a purchase, and make sure they have a good reputation for quality and customer service.
When buying picnic bacon, keep in mind that it may be labeled under different names, such as “shoulder bacon” or “picnic ham.” Make sure to read the packaging carefully to ensure you are getting the correct cut of meat.