Bacon Nuggets

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Introduction: Bacon Nuggets

About: Just another wanderer.

The other day I had an idea: what if I could compress all the flavor and texture of bacon down into a tiny little cube? I set out to make what I initially thought would be "bacon bars," little perfect Platonic prisms of bacon that would pack our beloved pork belly down into a flavorful singularity of crispiness and fat. It didn't quite turn out like that, though. Instead, I ended up by accident making bacon nuggets -- that is, little packets of bacon that are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside with something of a recognizable geometry. Sort of like chicken nuggets, but with bacon instead of chicken. And they turned out delicious. Here's how to make them!

Step 1: Ingredients

To make bacon nuggets you will need:

  • Bacon
  • Chocolate syrup Maple syrup (or any other dipping sauce! I started with chocolate syrup but ended up deciding to use maple syrup in the end.)
  • Transglutaminase (aka "meat glue")
  • A scale
  • An ice cube tray
  • A blender

Transglutaminase is what makes the magic happen in this Instructable. In order to force bacon into an unnatural shape such as a rectangular prism, we need to blend it up, mold it, and then have some way to make it semi-solid so that it keeps its shape. (If the blended bacon remains as a paste, it will fall apart easily when it cooks -- try frying up some blended bacon, you'll end up with bacon bits instead!) Transglutaminase acts as a binding agent for meat, and so we add it into our blended-up bacon in order to make it solid. Once we mold our bacon and transglutaminase mixture, we let it sit in the refrigerator for a while so that it can set. You can read more about the science of how transglutaminase works here.

Step 2: Weigh Out Transglutaminase

Weigh out enough transglutaminase to make a 1% by weight mixture of bacon and transglutaminase. E.g., if you had 500g of bacon like I did, you'd need 5g of transglutaminase.

Step 3: Blend the Bacon and Add the Transglutaminase

Blend the bacon until it's a smooth paste. It should be homogeneous in color and nearly homogeneous in texture. For me, the bacon turned into a thick, salmon-colored paste. (Unless you have a really powerful blender like a Vitamix, you may not want to put all the bacon into the blender at once like I've done in the photo.) Once the bacon has been blended to a paste, add the transglutaminase and blend a short while longer to get the transglutaminase dispersed into the paste.

Step 4: Mold the Bacon

Scoop out the bacon mixture and place it into the ice cube tray to give the bacon paste a shape. You can try whatever other shape you want, but keep in mind that the bacon will shrink and change shape when you cook it.

Step 5: Refrigerate

Refrigerate the bacon and transglutaminase mixture for at least 4 hours -- the longer the better. When you take it out, the bacon should be at least somewhat solid. It's okay if it's a little pasty as long as it can hold its shape.

Step 6: Bake

Once the raw bacon nuggets are done refrigerating, place them on a baking sheet and bake it at 400F / 205C for 5-10 minutes. Once the bottom has gotten crispy, flip the nuggets and allow them to cook until they opposite side is nice and crispy, too.

Step 7: Serve!

You should end up with bacon nuggets that are crispy on the outside but chewy on the inside. Drizzle maple syrup over them to make a delicious snack. Enjoy!

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    4 Comments

    I have to do this. Thanks for sharing.

    Being British and eccentric, I recollect that most of our alehouses sell a product called pork scratchings, these are made of little bits of chewed up pig skin which is then fried to the consistency of gravel, and sold in small expensive bags, I think they were invented by a dentist, who needed to drum up some more work, I just wondered how the flavor compared with your efforts, but then again we are the country that invented "Hedgehog flavored potato crisps" !!!

    Looking forward to making these every day for the rest of my life.

    Thanks for sharing, they look pretty tasty. I appreciated your presentation.

    Have a happy spring!

    sunshiine