Sunday, March 29, 2015

March 29, 2015: Smoking Goose Bacon

MY LIFE WITH BACON CONTINUES this week with a review of the Smoking Goose Uncured Applewood Smoked bacon, from Indianapolis, Indiana and some Bacon In the News.

Thought I'd shake it up this week with my bacon review up front, followed by the news section. Feel free to comment on my blog (I get scant few comments but lots of viewers). I'd like to hear from you!


I believe I got this bacon at the suggestion of Thomas Parkinson, CEO of PeaPod, with whom I had lunch a while back. Turns out to be a great suggestion. I also got a bunch of Stop 'N Shop bacon, which I'll review in the future.

This bacon weighed in at 11.9 ounces in a 12-ounce package. Post cooking 4.1 ounces and produced 150ml of rendered pig fat. It produced exactly 12 slices - about an ounce a slice pre-cooked.

It had absolutely no aroma/scent at all coming out of the package; very unusual. Upon cooking, it developed a deep, rich color; burgundy-like. This is extreme bacon - very flavorful (4 out of 5), not crispy (2.5) but great succulence (3.5). Overall an outstanding value. Definite re-buy!

BACON IN THE NEWS begins this week with a couple of updates on the crazy lady who allegedly shot a drive-through clerk at McDonalds for not putting bacon on her burger.

Her lawyer says it wasn't the bacon that made her do it.

Comedy Central's new late night show, "The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore" re-enacted the event with a performance that was apparently very funny, albeit not exactly accurate.

Del Ray Beach, Florida, is putting on a Bacon & Bourbon Fest today, if you're in the area. There's still time - you have all day!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

March 22, 2015: Re-reviewing my own bacon


HERE'S MY BACON before cooking, during cooking and after cooking. I give myself 4's across the board in flavor, succulence and chewiness. Only a 2 on crispness. This bacon had a seriously intense smoky flavor. Not for the faint of heart. This was the last of the refrigerated batch; I luckily have more in the freezer!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

March 15, 2015: Cooking Bacon with Firearms, New Food Items, and Heinen's Own Thick Cut

MY LIFE WITH BACON continues this week with a review of Heinen's brother's bacon and some awesome bacon items for sale in the world.


Bacon makes news again with two awesome creations, which pictures appear below. First is the Krispy Kreme Bacon Donut Dog! Nice article with video here.

What a great idea. Right behind it is the Citi Field Churro Dog, first of it's kind. Ok, I know, Churros aren't bacon, but what a great concept anyway.

IN MORE NEWS, courtesy of WEIRD NEWS, an article entitled "In America, We Shoot our Guns to Cook our Bacon."  Yes, you read that right. Guys are wrapping gun barrels with bacon, and then firing them until they are so hot that the bacon cooks.  Turns out this guy isn't the first, or even the best. But it's news this week.

I don't think I would eat that bacon. It turns out that fumes from firearms and explosives are highly toxic; I wouldn't smoke food in that vapor. It's certainly unhealthy.

THIS WEEK'S BACON IS Heinen's Own Extra Thick Sliced Bacon. It certainly is thick.

You can smell the sticky-sweetness immediately upon opening. The packaging itself gives it away "SUGAR CURED AND HARDWOOD SMOKED". First three ingredients: water, sugar, salt. First off, why water? When I do my cures there is no water; use a dry rub folks! Looks like waaaaaay too much sugar, but let's see.

It was indeed, way too sweet. Not recommended. The one-pound package did weigh in at exactly 16.0 ounces and post-cooking, 5.3 ounces. Produced 120 ml of rendered bacon fat, average. I'd give it a 2 on Flavor, a 2 on crispness, and a 2 on succulence. Don't buy. Unfortunately, I have a 'thin slice' version of the same thing. Maybe better crumbled on a burger or a salad?

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

March 8, 2014: Upcoming Baconfests, and 365 degree Uncured Applewood Smoked

MY LIFE WITH BACON CONTINUES this week with a review of the 356 Everyday Value bacon, and a couple of upcoming Baconfests.

THIS WEEK'S BACON is the aforementioned 365 degree Uncured Applewood Smoked bacon, from Whole Foods. This is their store brand. Some pictures below.

I decided to find out who actually makes this 365 brand bacon, which led me to this site: "caloriecount". It's an interesting site, which as you can see from the screen shot on the left, evaluates this bacon as "Grade F".  The nutritional value is just like other bacon, so no surprise there.

The site classifies this bacon as "everyday bacon" and I wholeheartedly agree.

It was about 1/4 inch thick, and weighed one pound 3 ounces in a one-pound package, so I got about one extra slice. This is truly "extra value", right?

It didn't stick to the pan, which indicates that it wasn't overly sugared, and curled normally. Nice and salty.  Strange thing was that it was crispy AND thick. Normall, you're either crispy OR thick, so I liked that part about this bacon.

It produced an average 120 ml of rendered bacon fat. I would call this 'everyday' bacon; nothing to write home about. Very bland colors; average taste, Crisp:3, Succulent: 2.5, Flavor 2.5

The Caloriecount home page allows you to search for specific foods, and also gives you lists of foods chosen with grades.  See below; left side is the home page, right side is the search for 'bacon'. I will have to look into how they come up with their grades...

Interestingly, "Fooducate" grades the same bacon as a B-.  Their site is a lot more colorful.

UPCOMING BACONFESTS INCLUDE Baconfest Chicago, and the Northshore Baconfest, both of which I intend to attend.

Baconfest Chicago info and tickets here.

Northshore Baconfest info an tickets here. They are only a month apart!  Yaay!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

March 1, 2015: Bacon from the Publican, and Man Eats 182 Slices of Bacon in Five Minutes

MY LIFE WITH BACON continues this week with a new world speed record for bacon eating, and some terrific bacon from Publican in Chicago. Here's a nice Google Street View shot of the Publican.

A RECORD SETTING EATING CONTEST  happened last week with a fellow eating 182 slices in five minutes. The cool part about it is that the guy, Matt "Megatoad" Stonie (what a name!) really likes bacon! Great article and video here.  In the photo, check out some of the folks on the stage and the expressions on their faces!  The contest was put on by Smithfield, whose rep would not agree to be interviewed by me, unfortunately.
Stonie shattered the previous record set in 2010 by Mark "The Human Vacuum" Lyle —a measly 54 pieces in five minutes. 
“I’m a huge bacon fan, so I jumped at the chance to team up with Smithfield to set the bacon-eating world record,” Stonie told WXIA Atlanta. “As one of the youngest competitive eaters on the circuit, I’m always looking to push myself so I aimed to eat 150 slices, but when I passed that and got to 182 slices, I knew it must be because I’m fueled by bacon!” 
The Smithfield Pig Out Chase, sponsored by Smithfield Foods, took place in Dayton, Florida over the weekend. The contest is an amateur eating competition and is just one of several events leading up to the “ultimate eating showdown” set to take place this November at Homestead-Miami Speedway. 
Stonie reportedly holds world records for eating the most gyros, birthday cake, frozen yogurt and pumpkin pie, and is ranked second in the world according to Major League Eating.

FINALLY TRIED SOME PHILADELPHIA BACON-FLAVORED CREAM CHEESE and it was just fine. Splurged and had it on a nice toasted bagel from Einstein's.  Mmmmmm.

UPDATE ON MY HOME MADE BACON. I got a lot of reviews, ranging from "it disappeared immediately" to "best bacon I ever tasted".  I personally thought it was a little too smoky, but my 'customers' enjoyed it!

ON TO THIS WEEK'S BACON. This week's bacon is from the Publican, a Chicago purveyor of quality meats at 825 W Fulton Street.  Our friends the Oakleys dropped off three packages for us and I finally got around to cooking them up on Sunday.


It weighed in at 15.0 ounces, but the most striking thing was the thickness: a full 1/3 of an inch! And the 15 ounces consisted of only five slices - three ounces per slice! I let it come to room temperature and placed it on a room-temp griddle; followed by slowly cooking on medium heat.  That's the best way to cook bacon, in my opinion.  This bacon was very sticky - it wouldn't let go of the surface! In addition to tongs, I had to use a spatula.  The bacon was the most tender of any bacon I've ever made - kind of like 'falling off the bone' tender, really coming apart.  It was a challenge to keep the bacon looking like intact pieces.

Pre cooked, it was 15 ounces; post, 10.4 (minimal shrinkage) and only 25 ml of rendered fat. The meat's consistency make it seem like "the fish of bacon" according to my older son, Sam. He's right - it had the consistency of properly cooked fish.  Flavor was out of this world, but it didn't taste like regular bacon. This would be perfect for salad or a garnish for virtually anything.


This came in at 1 pound 4 ounces pre cooked; 8.6 post with 170ml of rendered beef tallow.  It had a very very very very strong beef odor, and it permeated the entire house.  Some comments from my evaluators included that it was like "a slice of steak", "beef jerky on steroids", "would be great on a BLT" and "superior sandwich bacon".  All good.  Well worth trying again!

I wasn't able to cook up their SLAB BACON due to technical difficulties, but will do so in the future.

SMOKED UP SOME TROUT this weekend too; pre-cooked picture on planks, below.  Excellent.  Used my UDS again!