Can You Dehydrate Bacon

Bacon is a popular food not only in the United States but in other parts of the world as well. The salted dish is made mostly of pork belly and the back. It is a delicious cuisine but you have to store it properly to extend its life just like all other foods. Refrigerating and freezing are the two obvious choices when it comes to storing food for later use. But – can you dehydrate bacon to make it last longer? The simple answer is yes.

People have been dehydrating meat for time immemorial. You essentially remove all the moisture from the meat, making it completely dry.  As a result, the meat remains fresh for a long time because bacteria and other microbes cannot proliferate it.

Dehydrating bacon does not only increase its shelf life but you can also use it in times like winter when the supply of pork is limited.

Do You Cook Bacon First or Dry it Raw?

You can store bacon without putting it in a refrigerator or freezer in case you dehydrate it. However, bacon contains numerous parasites and bacteria. You usually dry bacon at slow heat, providing these germs a chance to survive. Therefore, it is better to cook the bacon before you dry it.

Bacteria will survive if you dry raw bacon. It is recommended to heat the bacon multiple times to remove bacteria. Therefore, you should ideally cook your bacon before dehydration.

Keep in mind that baking the bacon does not kill bacteria as well because of the low heat. You should only dehydrate bacon in a dehydrator, air fryer, or oven at a temperature between 130°F and 140°F. Now, wait for almost 6 to hours to fully dehydrate the bacon.

How to Dehydrate Bacon?

You need to implement the following tips to properly dry your bacon for storage.

Dehydrating Bacon in an Oven

Preheat the oven to 200°F followed by putting the bacon in the oven. Placing the bacon in a cold oven will not yield the desired results. I also recommend using a wire rack lined with a foil or baking sheet. Put the bacon on the baking sheet.

You must be wondering how long to dehydrate bacon. Leave your bacon in the oven for 8 to 12 hours for dehydration. However, keep checking your bacon for doneness, especially after 8 hours mark. Heat the meat a bit longer if you want more crispness.

Use a Dehydrator

The best way to dehydrate bacon is by using a dehydrator. A standard dehydrator enables you to dehydrate almost anything without any problem. Simply set the temperature of the dehydrator to 150° to 155° and let the bacon inside for 6 to 8 hours.

Can You Dehydrate Bacon in an Air Fryer?

Yes, you can use an air fryer to dry bacon. However, you have to heat bacon for a very long time at a low temperature. Unfortunately, most modern air fryers cannot maintain such low temperatures. Therefore, it is better to use an oven or a proper dehydrator for the job.

Can You Dehydrate Raw Bacon?

As mentioned above, dehydrating raw bacon does not kill all the bacteria and parasites in the meat. Microorganisms are likely to survive no matter how experienced a cook you are. Therefore, you must try to cook the bacon before dehydrating it.

How to Cook Bacon before Dehydration?

So, you have decided to dehydrate bacon after cooking it. Cooking bacon is also very simple as you can use either the frying pan or an oven to accomplish the task. You can cook bacon in an oven for 25-40 minutes at 350°F or for 20-30 minutes at 425°F.

What are the Benefits of Dehydrating Bacon?

Dehydrating bacon offers several benefits, some of which are as below.

Improved Shelf Life

First of all, dehydrating bacon considerably improves its shelf life even if you don’t refrigerate it.

Extended Lifespan

You can make bacon last longer simply by removing all of its moisture. Dehydrated meat remains fresh and edible for up to a year whereas regular bacon goes bad within a week.

Weight Decrease

Dehydrating bacon decreases the weight and volume of the meat as well. Therefore, it is an ideal way of storing your bacon if you have limited space.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to dehydrate raw bacon?

Dehydrating raw bacon means some of the bacteria will survive. Therefore, it is better to thoroughly cook and prepare your bacon before dehydrating it. It is the only way to kill those harmful microorganisms.

How long does dried bacon last?

Dried bacon can last for up to 12 months. However, try to consume it within 10 days if it has been on the countertop. Similarly, you can use dried slabbed bacon for up to 3 weeks.

Why you shouldn’t freeze bacon?

Bacon and other cured meat will develop a rancid smell and go bad within days even if frozen because they have high levels of fat. Salts in these foods expedite the process of rancidity as well.

Final Beliefs

You can easily store meat or bacon for a long time just by dehydrating it. Similarly, it also offers a lot of benefits and multiple uses. It is also easy to dehydrate bacon and therefore, you should consider employing this technique every time you have to store your meat. I hope you lie reading “Can You Dehydrate Bacon?”



Bacon / Dehydrating Tips / Food Preservation

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