back to article Peak tech! Bacon vending machine signals apex of human invention

Lovers of pork products rejoice! There is now a vending machine from which you can indulge in porcine pleasure until the, er, pigs come home. The bad news? This is only happening in the US... for now. In a pilot programme, the Ohio Pork Council (OPC) has installed the device in the Meat Sciences Department of the Ohio State …

jake
Silver badge

Which is better?

Neither.

The only bacon worth eating is homemade. Period. End of discussion.

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Re: Which is better?

> The only bacon worth eating is homemade. Period. End of discussion.

Prosecution: Your honour, we intend to show that the defendant's statement is i-rasher-nal.

Judge Rind-er: Sustained!

Fungus Bob
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Re: Which is better?

Doesn't matter. Bacon is meat candy.

Mark 85
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Re: Which is better?

I agree with Jake, but if homemade isn't available then I'm impartial to US or UK styles as long as it's "thick" and not paper thin charcoal. Bacon in all it's types is wonderful and a gift from the Food Gods.

Gene Cash
Silver badge

Re: Which is better?

> The only bacon worth eating is homemade.

I wish. Unfortunately after 40 years of trying, I can't reliably cook decent bacon to my liking.

If I could, I'd probably be 600lbs. And so would my dog.

Pen-y-gors
Silver badge

Re: Which is better?

The only bacon worth eating is homemade. Period. End of discussion.

Do you mean home-made or home-cooked?

It's a hell of a big job to find somewhere in your house where you can salt and smoke half a pig. I find the locally-cured bacon from our butcher down the road is excellent (and more like a steak than a 'slice'). And nicely grilled at home, in a soft white bap, with <insert sauce of choice>. Yum.

But having said that, a decent freshly-cooked bacon roll from a roadside van (fat trimmed off) is often a delight.

jake
Silver badge

Re: Which is better?

You don't need to turn an entire half a pig into bacon. You can start with little bits of pig. Guanciale comes to mind ... In the Italian tradition it's not normally smoked, but who's quibbling? Pork bellies are easier to find and are a good "learner" bacon.

Rinse & dry the bit of pork to be cured. Put it on a large piece of plastic wrap and add salt, maybe with sugar/honey/maple syrup (to taste). Pepper, juniper, allspice or bay/laural etc. can be added if you like. Then wrap securely in the plastic wrap. I usually wrap it in two more layers. Place in a tray (to capture any leaks) and stash it at the back of the lowest shelf in your fridge. I usually go 10 to 14 days per inch of pork, turning it over once or twice per day. When cured to your taste, smoke on green apple twigs, again to taste.

People have been curing and smoking meat at home for millennia. It's not exactly rocket science.

If you don't have a dedicated smoker, either make one (you tube for instructions?) or purchase one. I use and recommend the Masterbuilt brand electric smokers for small, family sized projects. Can get one large enough to smoke a couple of medium sized pork bellies (or four whole spatchcocked chickens, or one dismembered 28 pound turkey, or ~25 pounds of homemade sausage) for about US$200. Mine is nearly 10 years old, gets used 5 or 7 times per month, and shows no sign of falling apart. It's an investment that keeps on delivering a dividend.

jake
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Re: Which is better?

Gene, proper bacon doesn't require cooking. It's fully cured and ready to eat as-is.

That said, try your oven. Times/temps available in your .fav search engine.

Symon
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Re: Which is better?

"proper bacon doesn't require cooking"

Does curing the meat kill the Trichinella cysts?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trichinosis

This post has been deleted by its author

Omgwtfbbqtime
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Boffin

Re: Which is better?

Upvote for more like a steak.

Almost a downvote for soft white bap.

The perfect bacon sandwich is a couple of bacon slices/steaks between two gammon rounds.

Jedit
Paris Hilton

"The only bacon worth eating is homemade"

What, you mean "long pig"? A bold and audacious statement to be making.

(Paris, because she's enjoyed a bit of pork in her time I am told.)

jake
Silver badge

Re: Which is better?

No, the cure doesn't always kill trichinella. But trichinella is far, far less common than salmonella in domestic fowl here in the lower 48, and I see no issues eating raw eggs (salad dressings, ice cream, etc.). There are typically fewer than 25 human cases of trichinosis each year here in the US, and most of those are NOT related to hogs or other domestic critters, but wild game.

Commercial hogs here in the US are particularly safe, so your local meat market's pork bellies are probably OK. Home raised hogs depend on the owner's ability to follow guidelines. If in doubt, cook it. I trust mine. I do NOT usually trust wild boar.

Benchops

Re: Which is better?

Home-made presumably means rearing the pig in the first place?

jake
Silver badge

Re: Which is better?

You don't have to raise it yourself, but it's more satisfying if you do.

Aladdin Sane
Silver badge

Re: Which is better?

From bacon seed to bacon.

Locky

Re: Which is better?

What we need now is a Lester-style investigation of what is the be bacon.

El Reg, you know what to do

Ken 16
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Trollface

Long pig?

Home made rather than home grown suggests auto cannibalism

disgustedoftunbridgewells
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Re: Which is better?

Almost a downvote for having bacon on anything other than either a (large) plate or a barmcake.

Anne-Lise Pasch

Re: Which is better?

And wrapped in bacon

harmjschoonhoven
Mushroom

@jake Re: Which is better?

Maryn McKenna writes in Scientific American of April 2012 that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimated in 2011 that the U.S. (population 2011 311.6 million) sees 48 million illnesses, 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths every year from foodborne organisms. The Europen Union (population 2009 502.09 million) had 48,964 cases and 46 deaths in 2009.

jake
Silver badge

Re: @jake Which is better?

That's all very nice and all, harmjschoonhoven, but I fail to see how it has anything whatsoever to do with anything that I posted in this thread. Care to elucidate?

Clunking Fist
Bronze badge

Re: Which is better?

"freshly-cooked bacon roll from a roadside van (fat trimmed off) is often a delight."

Fat trimmed off? What are ya, a vegan?

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

Quorn bacon.

I'll get me coat.

defiler
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They look, feel and taste like shoe insoles. Their sausages are substantially better, but that's because I suspect many brands of sausage have just about as much meat in them...

jake
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Quorn bacon?

Git a rope ...

Anonymous Cowtard

As a lifelong non-carnist who has never eaten meat bacon : Quorn bacon is not an edible foodstuff. Yuck.

Kane
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Mushroom

"Quorn bacon."

Fuck off.

"I'll get me coat."

No, you won't. You can fucking well walk home in the rain.

jake
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Cowtard ...

... have you tried the coconut version of bacon? When done right, it's nearly indistinguishable from the real thing. Completely surprised me! I keep it on hand for our vegan friends.

Anonymous Cowtard

Re: Cowtard ...

Coconut bacon sounds like a Reeves & Mortimer sketch, I'll order some purely for that reason :)

Clunking Fist
Bronze badge

Re: Cowtard ...

You have... vegan friends?

vir
Silver badge

I'll throw my hat in the ring for American bacon (streaky bacon?).

Not too much fat, but enough so that it crisps up nicely and gives you that crunchiness that you can't get without close intermingling of fat and meat. Bacon weights help, as well as a not-too-hot pan.

LenG

You're kidding, right? My memory of bacon in the US was that there was virtually no meat on it at all - just fat cooked until it rivaled the hardness of my tooth enamel.

Nice dry-cured wood-smoked back bacon is what you really want - you can taste the meat and you don't get that disgusting scum from the injected water or the unpleasant aftertaste of sprayed-on essence of wood smoke (AKA tar).

cookieMonster

I'd upvote this 20 times if I could. US bacon (from my 10+ visits there) is pants.

vir
Silver badge

If you had it from a hotel breakfast buffet, then it was most likely was the precooked stuff heated up in a steam tray which is to good bacon what a can of cooked peas is to the fresh kind. Even many restaurants will just have a tub of thin bacon (profit margins!), burnt to a crisp, sitting off to the side and congealing. It's not hard to find the good stuff; many butcher shops will have meaty, thick cut - or if you're lucky, slab - bacon that they smoke themselves. I've got nothing against back bacon, but it's a shame to see so many people put off by inferior versions of something that can be so good.

Hate me.

jake
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Not just US ...

... most commercial bacon everywhere is pants.

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
Silver badge

Re: Not just US ...

most commercial bacon everywhere is pants.

Unless you're Lady Gaga, in which case it can be a complete outfit

A. Coatsworth
Flame

Re: Not just US ...

It is the "American Beer Syndrome"

Of course there are good beers in the US, but you'd never know it if you only taste the popular brands commonly available.

Same with bacon. You don't need to go full homemade like Jake here (although it does sound cool), but it is necessary to look a bit harder beyond the all-you-can-eat buffet trays to find the good stuff...

Toni the terrible

You said Peas

Whats wrong with canned mushy peas, great stuff. I even eat canned Brussel Sprouts!

FozzyBear
Silver badge
Flame

What outrages me the most is the authors' suggestion that bacon is a mere snack.

SNACK?

SERIOUSLY?

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

FozzyBear,

I thought Bacon was a separate essential food group ???!!! :)

Re: US/UK Bacon

For a burger US Bacon is the best topping as it crisps up easily.

For Bacon as a food source UK Bacon, smoked if possible.

jake
Silver badge

No, not a snack.

Bacon is my favorite vegetable.

rcxb

This doesn't sound like the USA I know... That bacon should be chocolate-covered!

Anonymous Coward
Anonymous Coward

With a side helping of strawberries?

defiler
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With a side helping of strawberries?

Which will be treated as garnish and left, given the last time I saw Americans eating bacon...

jake
Silver badge

Strangely enough ...

Dark chocolate dipped streaky bacon is really, really tasty. Just make sure it's good dark chocolate (85% or better) and good bacon, fried crispy but not glass-like ... it need a little chew to it. Sometimes I dust it with a little chipotle powder. Food of the gawd/ess(s)!

Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese
Silver badge

Re: Strangely enough ...

If we're getting into discussion about ways to augment bacon, for better or worse.... next time you're frying some bacon, when it's nearly cooked throw a glug or two of rum into the frying pan and pop a lid on for a minute. I highly recommend it :-)

Kane
Silver badge

Re: Strangely enough ...

Got to agree with jake on this one. My experiments with bacon over the years have produced some remarkable results. Dark chocolate is one of the exceptionally tasty ones.

Another great one is a coating of brown/dememara sugar during the cooking process - cinnamon optional, then allow to cool.

Mmmmm, candied bacon!

defiler
Silver badge

Re: Strangely enough ...

Dark chocolate dipped streaky bacon

Not remotely surprising. I remember reading about a delicacy in Georgia (think Tbilisi, not Atlanta) which was cooked pork fat covered in really dark chocolate. First impression was "eww", and after a minute "oooh". Bacon can't be that different.

Also, The Simpsons came up with bacon and fudge, which sounds amazing.

Steve Gill

Re: Strangely enough ...

But bacon doesn't need to cook for a whole minute - anything over 40 seconds and you risk it drying out and hardening :-o

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