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After success making several fancy salts including Sriracha, smoked, and green chili I've decided to try to move in to stranger and tastier territories. As such I want to make a bacon salt. The commercial products don't use real bacon (or at least the ones I've seen) and all the do-it-yourself recipes claim it not to be shelf stable.

My hope was that cooking the bacon crisp would remove a majority of the moisture, preserving something akin to jerky. Once cooked it would be pulverized and adding have a large amount of kosher salt added to it, many times that than the weight of bacon used. I would hope that these preservation techniques being used two-fold would help make said meat candy shelf-stable.

However I worry that there is risk of some of the greases in the pulverized bacon going rancid. Is there anything I can do short of keeping it in the fridge or heat preserving the entire concoction, or is my plan likely to work?

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All of my googling indicates that bacon salt is, despite the name, a vegetarian product. For example, lifehacker.com/5838933/make-your-own-bacon-salt They also include a recipe for real bacon salt, but it must go in the fridge. –  SAJ14SAJ Dec 25 '12 at 22:19
    
Surely the salt would extract whatever moisture was left in the dried and pulverised bacon anyway? I'd be fascinated to hear how you made your smoked salt. –  spiceyokooko Dec 27 '12 at 20:44
    
Salt is one of the best preservatives out there. I don't understand why the authors of those recipes believe that bacon salt would be capable of spoiling. –  Marti Jul 31 '13 at 14:03
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4 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Remember that the whole reason we cure bacon is to make it shelf stable over time, a process developed before refrigeration was as it is today. Now we do it more for taste, but the salt and curing process make bacon pretty shelf stable. If you are cooking the bacon as well, before you put it in the salt, I don't see any reason not to leave the bacon salt on the counter.

I'd try leaving it on the shelf until you noticed any issues. But I'm willing to live a little more dangerously than some others. :)

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This is more or less the way I was thinking. However I know that smoked bacon is still meant to be kept cool, like ambient winter temperature cool. This also assume that it will be used in a comparatively short period of time. My first batch was 1/2 cup of salt and 4 slices of bacon. Half a cup of salt is a lot of salt to go though in the short "cured bacon eating time". What the heck though, I see how long it lasts out on the counter. –  rheone Dec 27 '12 at 20:32
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I would think that dehydrating a less fatty but similar tasting meat like prosciutto or even turkey bacon (to make a jerky) then using the standard recipe would take out the risk of the fat going rancid.

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Beef jerky is shelf stable, so you could try something similar with the bacon, but you're going to have a harder time getting the fatty parts shelf stable.

You could try replicating the flavors with things like liquid smoke.

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Beef jerky will not survive forever at room temperature. Saying "if jerky can survive, why not something else?" starts with a flawed premise. –  Steve in Maine Dec 5 '13 at 8:54
    
@SteveinMaine "Shelf stable" doesn't necessarily mean "will last forever" - a few years is a plenty long shelf life. The question is about avoiding fat going rancid in months. –  Jefromi Dec 5 '13 at 18:38
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So you'd be making cooked, dryed, salted pork, nearly powdered, with extra salt. You can reduce rancidity problems by storing in an airtight container with an Oxygen Absorber (example ony). Long term, I'd freeze the bacon salt, but the common, steel wool based, O2 scavengers generally seem to work well at preventing rancidity in grains, flours and oils.

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I'll look into an oxygen absorbed, thanks. –  rheone Dec 27 '12 at 20:33
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