Bacon is a staple food not just for Americans, but for millions of people from all walks of life around the world. If you’re a lover of bacon or if you’re interested in taking your culinary skills to the next level, you may be wondering if it is possible to dehydrate bacon (it is), and how to get started.
If you are wondering if it is possible to dehydrate bacon, yes, it is. Dehydrating bacon is essentially removing all of the moisture from the meat itself, rendering it dry and dehydrated. You can dehydrate bacon using a dehydrator or a more traditional method at home or outdoors.
What is the Purpose of Dehydrating Meats Such as Bacon?
Dehydrating meats such as bacon can provide numerous benefits. When you dehydrate meats, you significantly extend their lifespan. Additionally, dehydrating meats such as bacon can also help you to keep meats on hand during the off-season, such as wintertime.
How Do I Dehydrate Bacon?
Before you begin the dehydration process, you must first cook the bacon you intend to use. Cook the bacon using a traditional pan-frying method or by baking is often preferred and can render results the fastest.
The following steps will need to be completed after you have cooked the original raw bacon you intend to dehydrate:
- Dehydrating bacon in the oven: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit before getting started. Do not place the bacon in a cold oven to begin the dehydration process. Allow the oven to warm entirely.
- Use a wire rack: When dehydrating bacon in the oven, use a wire rack. Use a foil-lined baking sheet that can be placed beneath the wire rack you will be using for your bacon. Place the bacon on top of the wiring rack and over the foil-lined baking sheet.
- Place the bacon on the wire rack: Place the bacon directly on the wire rack to begin the dehydration process.
How Long Do I Dehydrate Bacon in the Oven?
If you are cooking bacon in the oven at 200 degrees Fahrenheit (for dehydration purposes), you will need to dehydrate your bacon anywhere between 8 and 12 hours in total. You should check your bacon beginning at the 8-hour mark to determine its doneness.
If you prefer your dehydrated bacon slices or pieces to be crispier, allow the bacon to dehydrate a bit longer.
Why Do I Need to Cook the Bacon Before Dehydrating It?
Cooking and draining the bacon thoroughly before you begin the dehydration process is highly recommended. Cooking the bacon beforehand ensures that the fat on the bacon has been properly rendered.
Additionally, cooking bacon before you dehydrate ensures various bacteria are killed and are no longer a danger or threat. Cooking the bacon before you dehydrate is also a way to maintain peace of mind throughout the process.
What Are the Benefits of Dehydrating Bacon?
Dehydrating bacon is not just about extending the amount of food you can store in your home year-round. There are numerous benefits to dehydrating bacon, including:
- Weight decrease: If you are seeking a space-saving option for storing and managing your meats, dehydrating bacon is essential. Significantly reduce the overall volume and weight of any meat you dehydrate, providing you with more room to work in your storage container(s).
- Extended lifespan: Simply dehydrating bacon (or any type of meat for that matter) can help to extend its lifespan. While traditional bacon is likely to go bad in less than a week, dehydrated bacon can last weeks, months, and even up to a year in proper storage.
- Improved shelf life: Ensure that your bacon lasts longer even when it is not refrigerated once it is dehydrated.
Can I Dehydrate Raw Bacon?
No, it is not recommended to dehydrate raw bacon. Dehydrating raw bacon can leave potentially dangerous and harmful pathogens behind, even if you are an experienced cook. Always take the time to prep your bacon ahead of time whenever you are planning to dehydrate the meat.
How Do I Cook My Bacon Before Dehydrating It
Cooking your bacon before dehydrating it is a personal choice and is based on how you prefer to cook your bacon. While some may prefer to cook their bacon in the oven prior to dehydrating it, others prefer to pan-fry their bacon.
If you choose to cook your bacon in the oven, you can do so anywhere between 350 degrees Fahrenheit (for 25-40 minutes) to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (for 20-30 minutes in total).
If you choose to pan-fry your bacon before dehydrating it, consider how you will be serving dehydrated pieces. Should you cut the bacon into smaller square pieces, or leave longer strips to enjoy? These are decisions that should be made based on personal preference and nothing more.
What Temperature Should I Dehydrate Bacon Using a Dehydrator?
If you have a standard dehydrator, you can also dehydrate bacon without a hassle. Most often, dehydrating bacon with the use of a dehydrator will take anywhere between six to eight hours (when set at 150 to 155 degrees Fahrenheit).
Is it Possible to Dehydrate Bacon Using an Air Fryer?
In some instances, yes, it may be possible to dehydrate bacon with the use of an air fryer. Dehydrating any type of meat, including bacon, with an air fryer, requires a low temperature for an extended period of time.
Because most air fryers today do not have extremely low temperatures for dehydration purposes, it may be best to invest in a gadget that is designed for dehydration.
Dehydrating bacon is a great way to store meat while giving your bacon many versatile uses. Choosing to dehydrate your bacon (or any other kind of meat) can help with extending its shelf-stable lifespan, providing you with more access to food for an extended period of time.