HTT: How To Turkey Bacon

I'm pretty sure that I've said this before.

But I think we all need to consider Turkey Bacon as an actual food.

However, and this is a 'must understand', there have to be a few ground rules. The breaking of any one of which will undermine all the progress we've made so far as to dismantle the entire theory that one can enjoy Turkey Bacon with impunity.

Since there never will be any formal study, for the pork lobby is too strong, and the health food lobby weakly protein deficient, I've taken upon myself to run several taste trials and method experimentation. My data has been tracked informally, and yes, you might be able to say that it is just one man's opinion and therefore scientifically invalid, but I assure you, as both a proponent of sizzling belly fat, salt, apple-wood smoke, foodie purist, and a champion of good eats, I'm simply the best friend turkey bacon will ever have.

Also, I doubt very highly that Ron Swanson reads my blogs, so there shouldn't be fear of fictional retrobution.

Anyway . . . 

Here are the ground rules:

First and Foremost: Turkey Bacon is NOT a bacon substitute, but it can be an alternative.

Case in point, you can use a slices of cooked Turkey Bacon to seperate the layers of deli meat in a club sandwich, but you cannot make a BLT with it. You can't, don't do it.

Also, you can have eggs and Turkey Bacon for breakfast. It is salty and chewy and rich in animal protien, however, you can not order it at a breakfast cafe. You do not go to cafes because you're interested in making good decisions. You go to breakfast cafes to be bad.

Be bad.

Also, Turkey Bacon is not acceptable to be used in soups, stews, and god have mercy on your soul should you hand me a bowl of chili with Turkey Bacon bits.

I will gut you.

(Same chili rules apply to yogurt instead of sour cream, and any form of mild chedder.)

Next, Turkey Bacon needs to be fried, in a pan.

My method for pig belly bacon is to bake it in the oven at roughly 400 degrees on a foil lined cookie sheet. This does magical things. It not only cooks the bacon evenly, but because of heat diferentials in every oven ever, there will be a range of slices that go from chewy to crispy to extra crispy all on the same sheet. Major plus for a household of picky bacon slice eaters. It also has the added benefit of collecting all the bacon fat so that you can crumple the foil to form a little bowl and let it congeal before throwing it in the garbage. Never pour bacon fat down a drain. Unless the cute girl next door happens to be both a runway model and a part time plummer.

But Turkey Bacon cannot be cooked using the magical bacon method. No. It has to be fried in a pan under medium high heat until the slices start to sizzle, then it has to be flipped and you have to keep an eye on it so it doesn't over cook.

Extra-crispy Turkey Bacon is not enjoyable.

Now . . . 

When going to purchase Turkey Bacon it is important that you read the ingredients. It should have turkey in it. And salt, it's definitely gonna have salt. Oil too. Probably canola oil. Then we get down to the flavoring and preservative parts. Most likey it's gonna have some sodium nitrate in it. That's the stuff the makes hot dogs hotdogs. If you can stomache hotdogs, you're good to go.

But . . . 

Do not purchase if the list contains sugar. Sweet Turkey Bacon is pretty gross.

Also, and super super important, do not purchase if there is any hint of some kind of liquid smoke flavoring. Not only is that stuff freakishly over-powering and just a nasty thing to do to your olfactory senses, but it will repeat on you for like three days.

I am a man who enjoys a good burp, but liquid smoke will just linger in the back of your throat and make you wish you could get through life without eating another thing again.

Do not hide Turkey Bacon in things. We all know the difference. Even though the Turkey Bacon producers think they're terribly cute in cutting the slices to look like bacon, no one is fooled. 

If you are the primary cook of your household and are considering making the switch to Turkey Bacon for health reasons or because it's a little cheaper, make sure you pass the idea to your SO before placing a plate of the stuff in front of him or her on some random morning.

If you do that, they're gonna be dissapointed. Possibly angry. And if you did it before they've had a cup of coffee, you're likely to get some mild verbal abuse.

Instead, start the conversation before you go to the super market with something like this:

Hey Honey?


I was thinking about trying Turkey Bacon.

That sounds terrible.

Well, it's a bit cheaper, doesn't have quite so much concentrated animal fat, and I've been trying to think of simple ways to get  back into that catholic girl school uniform that you used to like.


Yeah. Remember back when we could both fit in the shower together?

Yes honey. Yes I do.


Well what?

Can we try it?

Yes dear. Yes we can.

It really is that simple. Don't force it. Make it a "Why don't we give it a try?" adventure, instead of a punishment for putting so much cream cheese on your pastrami sandwiches.

Turkey Bacon is not a cure-all.

But it can be tasty.

And that's all that really matters isn't it?

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