Be it a birthday party or holiday dinner; bacon jerky is one of a kind that never disappoints and is a quintessential American snack. Could call it a distant cousin of candied bacon; bacon jerky is a slow-cooked version of cooked bacon with a crispier texture. Due to its longer shelf life, it makes an excellent snack for road trips and hiking trails; delicious and healthy at the same time.
There are different ways to make this quick and easy snack. Some like to cook it on gas; some like to bake it in the oven or toss it into an air fryer. However, there is another method that, from our point of view, makes the most delicious bacon jerky, and that is “Dehydrating” You must be wondering how to make bacon jerky in the dehydrator? Don’t fret; you will be able to do it yourself by the end of this article.
Can you Make Bacon Jerky in Dehydrator?
Yes, you can make bacon jerky in a dehydrator at home by following simple and easy steps. Many bacon lovers believe that bacon jerky smoked in the dehydrator is the most mouthwatering version. In addition, you can enjoy your favorite snack without burning a hole in your pocket, as the bacon jerky available in the supermarket is a little higher on the price list. Many people believe making bacon jerky at home is time-consuming and thus prefer the ready-to-eat versions available at the supermarket. It can be tricky to get that perfect texture, but once you get the hang of it, you will enjoy making it for yourself and your family.
How to Make Bacon Jerky in Dehydrator?
First things first, you need to look for the following items in your pantry to get them perfectly cooked bacon jerky:
Bacon: You can get any bacon, and we can guarantee the taste. But our personal preference is the thick-cut bacon as it gives the perfect texture. You must be thinking, “Can I use regular your bacon may turn; you can. However, if you use the regular cut, your bacon may be slightly brittle.
Sugar: Sweetener is essential to get the perfectly made bacon jerky. The sugar melts into caramel and coats the surface of bacon, adding a perfect tinge of sweetness. You can use sweeteners like honey, dark brown sugar, brown sugar, white sugar, maple syrup, etc.
Spices: Imagine a bacon jerky without spices; you can’t do that, right? You can add the seasonings of your choice to the recipe. Some popular options are cayenne pepper, sriracha sauce, black pepper, or red pepper.
Dehydrator: A food dehydrator is a simple machine to remove moisture from food items. It is simple and easy to use and a lifetime investment.
Pro Tip: Make sure you mix dry and wet ingredients in such a ratio that makes the perfectly sticky paste that can evenly coat the bacon slices.
Once you have all the ingredients, it’s time to follow your favorite recipe.
- Coat the bacon strips in a marinade and close them in a zip lock bag.
- Leave them for 4 to 8 hours.
- Transfer to a strainer so that extra marinade comes off.
It’s now time for the dehydrator. Follow the following steps:
- Plug in the dehydrator and set it at 200 F. Preheating the dehydrator is very important as the bacon contains extra fat and has a high chance of burning.
- Place a cookie sheet at the bottom of the dehydrator to avoid a mess in case of droppings.
- Place the slices on the dehydrator rack carefully. Make sure there is a gap between the pieces, and they are never stacked on top of each other.
- Leave them in the dehydrator for about 6 hours.
Side note: People often divide the duration into two halves. In the first half, the bacon is cooked before coating with the marinade. And the rest of the cooking is done later.
Do you have to cook the bacon before dehydrating it?
Cooking is not a necessary step before dehydration, but it is always better to cook your bacon before tossing it into a dehydrator. Dehydrating meat is a slow cooking method that does not kill harmful or disease-causing bacteria that are almost always present in the meat. Such as E.coli and salmonella. You will need to heat it again after dehydrating before consumption to ensure all the bacteria are dead. So, it is recommended to cook the bacon before dehydrating it. Not only is it healthier, but it also saves you time and effort.
How to Know If My Bacon jerky is Ready or Not?
This is very easy to determine. One of the easiest ways to know the readiness of bacon is to notice the color change. When your meat changes its color, it is a sign that it is ready. You can also peek into the dehydrator in the middle of the process and flip the sides to avoid burning. When the bacon is ready, take it out of the dehydrator. Dab with a paper towel to absorb the excess fat and set them for cooling. Some people also like to freeze dehydrated bacon as it tastes like a sweet and sour chewy candy.
What Temperature Do I Dehydrate Bacon?
You can dehydrate the bacon at 200 F. It would take approximately 4 to 6 hours to attain the desired texture. This temperature is ideal if you dehydrate the bacon without a marinade coating. In another case, if you are coating a layer of marinade over the bacon strips, you must set the dehydrator’s temperature somewhere between 160 F and 190 F to prevent burning. You can also dehydrate the bacon in two steps. First at 200 F for 2 to 3 hours and then at 190 F for another 2 to 3 after coating with marinade.
Bacon jerky, one of the most sought-after American snacks, can be made via several cooking methods, out of which “dehydration” is recommended more often. All you need is a food dehydrator, thick-cut bacon, and a time slot of 6 to 8 hours. You can get the crispiest, chewy, and most delicious bacon jerky straight out of a dehydrator in a few simple steps.