There’s nothing more American than bacon, and don’t even try to deny that. We love it, cherish it, and with good reason since breakfast isn’t the same without those mouth-watering, fat-laden pork strips. I know that for the most part bacon’s a big dietary no-no, but what would life be if we couldn’t indulge on simple things like bacon?
Yup, you’ve guessed it – since he’s a big fan of bacon and, to that end, he has searched high and low for all kinds of wacky ways to make those juicy strips last longer. That’s the trouble with bacon I guess – you’ve got to cook it as fast as possible. Otherwise, you will end up with some bad to the bone meat (insert guitar riff here), along with a lot of crushed breakfast dreams and hopes.
Anyway, since yours truly hasn’t better things to do around the house than looking for ways to preserve food, in one of my scavenger hunts, I’ve stumbled upon a kick-ass bacon storage method. Of course, I couldn’t resist the urge of writing about it and sharing it with you wonderful people. What stroke me the most was the method’s simplicity.
Come to think of it; it’s almost elegant. What’s even better is that, according to the guy who recommended it, by following a couple of simple steps you can potentially increase the bacon’s shelf life by at least 15 years if not more.
As far as the ingredients are concerned, I’ve only tried it on a single batch of common supermarket bacon. Still, if you’re the kind of person that fancies pancetta or prosciutto over bacon, you could try canning those as well (as someone who a lot of cooks, I can tell you that there’s virtually no difference between the three types of meats, except for the fancy names).
Well, time’s a-wasting, and you’ve grown tired of hearing me talk about my buds and exploits. So, without further ado, here’s the well-kept, military-grade secret of storing bacon.
Ingredients and materials:
- Bacon (as much as you can find).
- Pressure canner (I use a traditional one).
- Canning jar (be sure they’re sterilized).
- Parchment paper (use the unbleached kind. I don’t have some nearby, use masking paper instead).
How to prepare
Step 1. Get your pressure cooker ready. If you opted for the no-power version, it would be a good idea to bring it to a boil before placing the canned bacon inside. As for the electric version, plug it in, pour water inside, and set the pressure between 10 and 15 PSI.
Step 2. Take the parchment roll and use a pair of scissors or sharp knife to cut a long piece (it should be at least 18 inches in length).
Step 3. Get your bacon out of the fridge and separate the slices.
Step 4. Arrange the bacon slices on the parchment. Don’t leave any gaps between them. You’ll see in a moment why this is essential.
Step 5. After arranging the bacon on the parchment, fold over both paper and bacon in half. By the way, someone suggested that you can make the bacon last longer in the fridge or even in a space without refrigeration by coating each piece with a very thin layer of maple syrup.
‘Twould be better to do this after placing the bacon on the parchment paper. Otherwise, the pieces will be a sticker and, therefore, harder to arrange on paper.
Step 6. Upon folding the paper into half, grab the other hand and start rolling it. Just like you do with the newspaper when the dog goes number two on your grandma’s Persian rug. Tuck in the excess paper at both ends to ensure that the parchments don’t unravel inside the jar.
Step 7. Put the Bacon Parchment of Absolute Truth and Might inside a CLEAN and STERILIZED canning jar. Regarding the latter part, there are various ways to do it. If you’re just as lazy as I am, fill a tub with hot water, pour liquid detergent, and dump your canning jars inside. Let them soak for about half a day.
Afterward, take them out and rinse out the excess detergent. Still, if you want to take the high road, you can always boil the living Hell out of those jars before using them for canning. The choice is entirely up to you.
Step 8. Put the lid on each jar and tighten them gently. You won’t need to apply too much force as your pressure canner will do all the heavy lifting.
Step 9. If the water inside your pressure canner has reached the boiling point, carefully place the cans inside. Put the lid on, set the pressure to 10 PSI, and let them simmer for approximately 90 minutes.
Step 10. When it’s over, kill the fire, pop the lid off the pressure cooker, and carefully remove each jar. Place them on a wooden support or something and allow them to cool down. Word of caution – don’t try to force-cool the jars. Heard my mother-in-law say that ‘cooked’ jars are liable to blow up in your face if you run them under cool water or submerge them in ice.
Your best choice would be to leave them be for the time being. Another thing I should mention is that the canned bacon will leave quite a lot of fat on the bottom of the jar. Don’t concern yourself with that part, ‘cause it’s normal.
That’s it! You now know how to can bacon, prepper-style. As I’ve mentioned, this method extends the bacon’s shelf life by at least 15 years. Perhaps even more. To store, either place the canning jars inside the fridge or stick them in the pantry you usually keep your emergency supplies.
Works both ways. To eat, pop the lid, unroll the bacon, cook, and enjoy. I personally like to eat plain canned bacon – it’s less smoky compared to the fresh variety, but has a gentle aroma that reminds me of meatloaf.
What’s your take on this awesome canning method? Let me know what you think in the comment section.