After my first attempt at bacon seasoning didn’t go so terrifically, I finally decided to try again thanks to some new additions to my household: a little food processor and a tub of tapioca maltodextrin, both gifts from my in-laws.
Tapioca maltodextrin comes in an enormous tub. I should have realized this, because it’s so light and fluffy. One pound of it is in a cylinder about nine inches wide and about as high. You could fit about a chicken and a half in that thing.
I had just made up some bacon yesterday for my favorite sandwich, so I had a lot leftover in the fridge waiting to be used for anything. I also had some bacon grease.
First, I tried just making straight powder out of bacon grease and TM. You have to mix 60% fat (cooled) with 40% TM, by weight, to make the powder come out right. Thankfully I have a nifty little folding scale, another recent gift from the in-laws. I measured out 6g of TM, and spooned in enough bacon grease (which wasn’t very much) to make it 15g. This is metric because 6g of tapioca maltodextrin is quite a lot. This mixed up rather nicely, and the resulting powder is just plain white and has a bacon grease flavor. It doesn’t taste a lot like the experience of bacon, so per some other suggestions I read online I added some kosher salt. That helped. I liked how this came out, but it will work best on things like popcorn, I think. I tried adding some food coloring to make it look more bacony, but I ended up basically with white powder with little red and green dots all over. It looks like Christmas flour.
So then I decided I’d try something a little different. I took two slices worth (thick cut) of the bacon, broke them up as best I could into pieces, and put them in the food processor. After pulsing a few times to really get it ground up as much as I could, I spooned in some TM. I put in probably 4 tbsp. or so, but I don’t have an exact measurement because I was using an actual tablespoon. The goal here was to extend the mix and also absorb some of the free oil so I’d get something drier. This was a much better seasoning, but it lacked some punch, so I added a little salt: maybe half a teaspoon. I used table salt because it already includes some anti-caking agents. Then I just kept pulsing to get the seasoning as fine as I could.
Mark III appears to be right on the money. An absolute perfect fine grind was not achieved, but what I’ve basically got is ground bacon stabilized into a seasoning-friendly form. It seems to be caking up a little at room temperature, but not badly like the last stuff I made: the TM is likely what made the difference. I’m leaving this at room temperature because 1) I think I’m really supposed to be able to keep it that way for a few months, and 2) I’d like to know that for sure, or at least up to the point where I finish using it.
I have some cheese powder I’ve been dying to put to good use too. This means one thing: Epic popcorn!