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Bacon Candy
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jducoeur
Okay, this insanity has evolved well enough that it's worth posting.

Mara turned me on to Slow-Cooked Bacon a few years ago, and I've extolled its virtues before -- I call it "Bacon Candy", and often keep some in the fridge for snacking and ingredients.

But a couple of months ago, I woke up one morning with the combined flavors of bacon and Korean Hot Sauce in my mouth, and had a sudden epiphany. Slow-cooked bacon is *basically* jerky, and most people don't make jerky plain -- they add flavors! So what flavors would work on bacon?

I've been experimenting for a couple of months now: I've been through four experimental batches, with a wide variety of flavorings, experimenting with time and temp (which turns out to be critical for these flavored versions). I'm still experimenting actively, but am finally getting to the point where I have half a dozen variants that are working pretty well. So I added the concept of "Variations" to my Querki Recipes Space, and have written up the master recipe, with the Variations that are working reasonably well at the bottom.

Obviously this is trafe-tastic, so not relevant to anybody keeping kosher, but the bacon fans in the audience may want to check it out...
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(Deleted comment)
Mmm -- haven't tried that one yet, although it's on my list. My higher priority so far has been experimenting with Maple Syrup, since that's a combination everybody kind of expects; not there yet, although making progress.

As for drippings, my only problem is that I quickly build up far too *much* of them: one pound of slow-cooked bacon produces a *lot* of fat, more than I need. I've gradually learned to keep it now and then, but I don't need to try keeping all of it.

(And an unfortunate side-effect of the flavored versions is that they tend to corrupt the otherwise-clean fat. Although I was intrigued by the color of the fat from the Curried Bacon -- if I make an entire tray of that sometime, I may have to save the fat and see what it's like...)

(Deleted comment)
You have two challenges - your temperature is too low (most people candy bacon at higher temperatures)

Could be. I like the fool-proof-ness of the low-temp method in general, and the resulting texture, and most of the toppings I'm playing with turn out to require *extremely* low temps in order to work well -- they over-evaporate / caramelize / burn at even 250. But it may be that the sugar flavors need a different approach.

maple syrup is a rather soft flavor

Yaas. I've already concluded that I need a robust B-grade maple in order to get any real flavor out of it. Still need to see whether two coats of that produces enough to be interesting.

Skip straight to maple sugar?

Intriguing idea, although maple sugar tends to be fairly mildly flavored itself. But I probably have some around, so it's worth a try.

Indeed, I have a *lot* of flavored sugars, several of which are probably worth trying. Now that you bring up the idea, I'll have to see how the Ginger Sugar that I picked up from Auntie Arwen does...

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