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Can You Freeze Dry Bacon?
Nope. I mean, you can try. I won’t stop you, because for the time being this is a free country. But let’s be honest, I don’t want you to waste your money doing something that a lot of other people have already proven isn’t a good idea. You can’t freeze dry bacon and end up with a successful product.
So I’m going to tell you not to do it and give you an alternative.
How Can I Store Bacon?
We love bacon here. Love it. But we can’t freeze it – I mean, we can and we do, but it’s not the best to store for more than a year in the freezer. As it is, it’s probably going to get freezer burn at that point. So, what can we do?
And, I know you’re here at Freeze Drying Mama, so the next logical answer would be freeze drying, but as stated above, that’s not the answer either.
No, the answer is canning.
Wait. Don’t run in fear. I know canning sounds daunting. Pressure canner. Hot water bath. Seals. All the things that literally… I usually don’t love talking about. But after I moved and I realized I need to be able to store some things better than just throwing them in the freezers, I did a bunch of research.
Here’s what I find out.
Pressure canning isn’t scary. In fact, it’s a lot like freeze drying. You do your prep work, set up the machine, let it work for it’s amount of time, and then you clean up and put away. Easy.
There are other ways of doing things than just what one person says. Phew, on that one.
Pressure canning doesn’t need to be fancy. I’m using one my mother-in-law got me at a garage sale. It’s missing a handle and glass and you know what? I love it! It works great and it’s pretty big! I did buy this one as a backup.
Here’s how I pressure can and store my bacon.
What bacon can I can?
I just grab whatever is available. Here’s some that was available on sale at a local grocer.
How Do I Prepare Bacon For Canning?
I like it to be at least partially frozen. This makes it easier to cut into chunks.
As you can see, I cut this bacon into about half inch chunks. I’ve done 2 inch chunks as well. It’s your preference and how you’re going to use them when you’re finished.
The bacon chunks piled into a bowl before canning.
Here you can see how much I got. This is a LOT of bacon prepped for canning.
How Do I Pack Bacon For Canning?
I did an experiment when I first started canning bacon. I would give a lot of space and not pack the chunks into the jar. But once I saw how much it cooked down, I started packing it as high as I could get it and as tight. It shrinks a LOT.
How Long Do I Cook My Bacon In The Pressure Canner?
I brought my 7 quart jars up to 10 lbs pressure and then held it there for 40 minutes. Once I hit the time, I turned off the heat and let it cool. Once I was able to safely take the lid off, I pulled out my jars to finish cooling on a cloth for 24 to 48 hours.
You can see the lovely juices in there mixed with all the meat. I’m a HUGE bacon fat fan and I didn’t want to lose it all by canning bacon wrapped in parchment paper. If that’s how you do your bacon, that’s terrific! I just really value those juices.
I also, don’t always just make strips of bacon. I use bacon in a lot of my soup recipes, casseroles, eggs, omelets, etc. So, I like having everything available to me – minus the paper.
How Do You Use Canned Bacon
I found that I love canned bacon more than I thought I would.
Here it is open. You can see all of the beautiful juices and fats as well as the meat. If I wanted to, I could just use a spoon and eat it as is, but that takes all of the fun out of it.
Essentially, it’s cooked meat. Now you can do whatever you want with it.
I scooped out a bit of the meat and a scoop of the fat and put it on a griddle. Spreading it out, I made sure to give it a minute to crisp up.
Then I added an egg. This was just to see if I would like it like this.
I salt and peppered the egg and flipped it when it was ready.
I had some of this egg and so did my daughter. I should just tell the truth and say what really happened. I offered my daughter a bite, then I took one and then she walked off with the plate.
There are so many different ways to do things. I don’t believe in the One Way Mentality. I just don’t. I like rebel canning, Amish canning, I like freeze drying, and I like dehydrating. I like all the ways and I’m open to anything.
What’s your favorite way to preserve bacon?