Bacon, with its crispy texture and savory flavor, has long been a staple in breakfasts and sandwiches. While traditional bacon is made from pork, an increasing number of people are seeking healthier bacon alternatives without compromising taste. Enter turkey bacon, a delicious substitute that has gained popularity among health-conscious individuals. In this blog post, we'll explore the fascinating process of how our turkey bacon is made, from farm to table.
Step 1: Selection of Quality Turkey: The first crucial step in making turkey bacon is selecting high-quality turkey meat. The meat should be fresh and sourced from reputable suppliers who prioritize animal welfare and sustainable practices. At Stoltzfus Meats, we source our boneless turkey thighs from Sensenig's Turkey Farm, a local Mennonite farm famous for their delicious, antibiotic-free turkeys.
Step 2: Brining and Curing: Once the turkey meat is selected, it goes through a process called brining. Brining involves immersing the meat in a solution containing salt, water, and various seasonings (a mixture called "cure"). This step enhances the flavor, tenderness, and moisture content of the turkey. At Stoltzfus Meats, we course grind boneless turkey thighs before brining so that the flavor is evenly dispersed throughout the meat. We sell two flavors of Turkey Bacon: Regular and Maple. The latter uses real Maple Syrup in the brining and curing process.
Step 3: Smoking: After the brining and curing process, the turkey meat is placed into a smoking bag, which gives structure and shape to the bacon. Next, it is smoked at a low temp for a long time (6 hours or more). The long and slow smoking process allows for the flavor of the smoke to penetrate the meat.
Step 4: Packaging: After smoking, the turkey bacon is fully cooked. The turkey bacon is removed from the smoking bag, flash cooled, and vacuum sealed to preserve freshness. Vendors slice turkey bacon on-site at their stores, restaurants, or market stands. Once sliced, it sold to customers.
Step 5: Cooking: There are two common methods for cooking turkey bacon: oven baking and pan frying. Oven baking involves laying the marinated turkey strips on a baking sheet and cooking them at a controlled temperature until they achieve the desired crispness. Pan frying, on the other hand, involves cooking the strips in a skillet until they become crispy and browned. It is important to note that turkey bacon often contains less fat than traditional bacon, which contributes to its healthier reputation. For that reason, it often requires butter or oil to fry it properly.
Turkey bacon offers a delectable alternative to traditional pork bacon, appealing to those who desire a healthier bacon option without sacrificing taste. By following a meticulous process of selecting high-quality turkey, brining, smoking, and packaging, we are able to offer a turkey bacon unmatched in its quality and flavor. Whether you're looking to reduce your pork intake, follow a specific dietary plan, or simply explore new culinary horizons, turkey bacon is a versatile and delicious option worth trying. So, why not add a touch of poultry goodness to your breakfast or sandwich today?