Intro: Bacon Candle (a.k.a., the Man-dle)
Guys, let's face it. Scented candles are most definitely NOT manly. Imagine, if you will, the humiliation that would be yours if one of your chums were to drop by and discover you home, alone, with a room full of scented candles spewing their dainty perfume throughout your abode! The shame would be so overwhelming that it would neutralize every last molecule of testosterone fleeing your loins!
Without doubt, jasmine, rose petal, lavender, vanilla, and similarly scented candles are all intended for the enjoyment of the fairer sex. Heck, as far as I am concerned, the only two reasons to use a candle are during power outages and....well...er...a..., let's just say that the second reason has a lot to do with playing to the fancies of the aforementioned fairer sex.
No More! It's time we MEN have a candle we can burn proudly: one proclaiming our manhood instead of severing it! Introducing the Man-dle!
- Bee's wax
- Cotton yarn, cord, or similar wick material.
Step 1: Cook Bacon
This is beef bacon, so feel free to use it for a Hanukkah candle!
We want to get as much of the oil out of the Bacon as possible without burning it. Cook on medium low heat. This will take a while.
If you don't know how to cook bacon, you should stop reading now. You are clearly not man enough to continue. I suggest drawing a nice warm bath, adding a few drops of lavender oil, and soaking until you grow a pair!
Step 2: Simmer Grease
Essentially, we are rendering the bacon fat and creating tallow (beef) or lard (pork).
Two noteworthy points.
- If you cook too fast, the grease will burn; it will still work in our Man-dle, but it may smell "off".
- If you stop too early, it will still work, but the Man-dle may smoke and sputter a bit more than normal.
Step 3: Make a BLATT
While you are waiting for the grease to finish steaming, make good use of that bacon you just cooked. I suggest a tasty BLATT: Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Tomato, and Turkey sandwich. Yummy.
Of course, real men will probably want to modify this recipe by eliminating the Lettuce, Avocado, Tomato, and Turkey. Yep....get rid of the bread and we have the perfect manly sandwich! Now we're talking!
Step 4: Filter Oil
This step is optional, but it makes for a cleaner looking candle and reduces sputtering and smoking from the burning bacon bits.
Once the grease is finished steaming, filter it through a fine sieve. I used a paper towel and it worked perfectly.
Wipe the saucepan out and put the oil back into the pan. Return to heat.
We could use the now-rendered grease as is, but this would result in a Man-dle with a very low melting point; the entire thing would be completely liquid within 10 minutes of lighting. Not ideal conditions for wick support! Read on for an easy solution.
By the way, the paper towel that was used to filter the bacon grease makes the perfect manly sachet to put in your underwear drawer. Just be careful walking near the Bark Park.
Step 5: Add Bee's Wax
To raise the melting temperature of the Man-dle, we add 1 part bee's wax for every 2 parts grease. More wax will raise the melting point further, but I find this ratio sufficient.
To melt the wax, you can either add solid wax to the grease or you could pre-melt the wax in a jar placed in a pot of boiling water. I chose the latter because my wax was in a Mason jar, and it was easier to melt the wax than to break off a hunk without breaking the jar.
Either way, move on to next step while your wax is melting.
Insert inappropriate waxing joke here; the one I have in mind will insult a lot of metrosexuals and get my Instructable flagged!
Step 6: Set Up Wick
I used a piece of cotton cord for my wick. Other suitable wick options include cotton yarn, a thin strip of cotton fabric, a strand from a clean cotton mop head, or a commercially available wick from a hobby or craft store.
I tied a small washer to one end of the wick for weight. The other end was tied to a pencil so that the wick hung in the center of my Man-dle jar.
Basically, you want your wick long enough to reach the bottom without being so sloppy that it makes a mess when things start heating up. Yeah....ahem.
Step 7: Combine and Fill Jar
Once the rendered grease and melted wax have been combined, it's time to pour the Man-dle. If the Man-dle is large-ish, there will likely be "significant shrinkage" as the mixture cools. This is normal and will not effect the performance of your Man-dle, only its appearance (honest, ladies!). To minimize this, allow the mixture to cool slowly. Another alternative is to pour the mixture in several layers, cooling the Man-dle in the freezer between each layer.
Once the Man-dle has solidified, cut the excess wick material.
The Man-dle is shelf stable for several months without refrigeration, but I suggest it be stored in the freezer. This will increase the Man-dle burn time.
I used a 4 ounce jelly jar for my Man-dle container so that I could add a lid and give it to my buddy at his Bachelor Party.
Yep, that's right, a Bachelor Party. If we aren't careful, men around the globe might start having their own scented candle parties at home with 15 of their closest friends! I can only imagine what we could expect at a Rubbermaid party for men!
Light 'em if you got 'em.
Runner Up in the