Did you know this??? An easy way to store bacon in your preps. Plus a bonus recipe!
As I was cooking my breakfast today, I realized something. Here's what happened...I cut up a medium sized potato into tiny dices, warmed up my cast iron 8" skillet, then put two tablespoons of butter into the warmed up skillet. After the butter melted, I scraped the potatoes off of my cutting board into the skillet. Then, I added one tablespoon of dehydrated onions and one tablespoon of dehydrated (or freeze dried?) red and green bell peppers, and put a lid on the skillet. Then, I pulled out a small to medium sized bowl and cracked two eggs into it. I used a fork to stir up the eggs in the bowl; I added about two tablespoons water and continued to stir the eggs. When the eggs were the consistency I wanted them to be, I sat them aside. Then, I got my microwave bacon out of the fridge and proceeded to prepare it for cooking. I got out a paper plate, laid a paper towel on the plate and then put 3 slices of Hormel Black Label Ready to Eat bacon on the paper towel, then covered the bacon with another paper towel. I only use this "microwave" bacon when I don't have enough time to, or just am not up to, frying "real" bacon.
After I put the bacon packet back into the "box" it came in, I was closing the end of the "box" and had a thought when I noticed and read the "Ready to Eat" words on the box. I've seen those words dozens of times and they did not register. But today when I saw them, I thought, "if this bacon is ready to eat, then there wouldn't really be a need to cook it before eating it, would there?". Then, I realized that it could just be heated up, or even eaten right out of the box! I became even more curious, so I set about reading everything on the bacon box when I came across the words, "Refrigerate After Opening". And, realized that this microwave bacon does not need to be refrigerated until AFTER opening!!! Fireworks were practically going off in my head as I looked for the expiration date on the bacon box. Imagine my delight when I read that the "prepare or freeze by" date was almost a year out!! Are you thinking what I was thinking???!! Yes! That's right!!
While the potatoes continued to cook (how can one potato turn into potatoes?) I put the bacon back into the refrigerator. Then I sat down for a bit and pondered this information that I had just discovered. I've read many posts in Facebook groups where people are trying to "can" bacon or asking if bacon can be dehydrated. They're wanting to figure out a way to store up bacon in their long term food storage. Hmmm.
I checked the potatoes and they were starting to crisp up underneath so I took my stainless steel spatula and turned the potatoes over in the skillet. Then, I pondered this newfound information some more.
A few minutes later it was time to check on the potatoes. They were done and ready for me to add the eggs to. So, I stirred the eggs that were in the bowl and then poured them into the skillet over top of the potatoes. I didn't stir the eggs. I just left them sitting there. And then, I took about one half to two thirds of a cup of shredded mild cheddar cheese and sprinkled it over the eggs. I put the lid back on the skillet and stepped away for about five minutes while I continued to ponder the bacon discovery. Then, I checked the eggs and they looked like they were ready to turn over. So, I took my spatula and split the egg and potatoes mixture down the middle and proceeded to turn over each side. I put the lid back on, turned off the heat, and let the skillet sit there for another few minutes while I put the bacon in the microwave and "cooked" it.
All the time (45 seconds for three slices of bacon) that bacon was cooking, I was thinking about what this new discovery meant for me and my family. It meant we could store bacon in our long term food storage! Well, we wouldn't be able to store it for like five or ten years, but we could store it for about a year at a time. And, when it gets close to that first year we could start using that bacon and replacing it. Also, with this pandemic stuff and the problems we have had as a result...you know food and supply (and about everything else) shortages...we would even have bacon on hand if the supply of such ran out in the stores. Seemed like a win-win situation to me!!
I took the bacon out of the microwave and patted it with a folded paper towel to get rid of the excess fat/grease that cooking it had produced. Then, I sat it aside and thought about how this new revelation could change the prepping world. I felt like it was something I should share with all of you, my prepper friends! I'm not a selfish person and if I know something that could possibly help others I am willing to freely share that information. Then, it was time to take my food out of the skillet. So, I placed the potatoes, eggs, and cheese concoction on a small plate. I took the bacon, broke each piece in half and placed it on the plate beside the egg dish. I have sometimes added bacon bits to this breakfast skillet dish when I cook "real" bacon in the skillet before putting in the potatoes and eggs. I usuallly just take some of the bacon I cooked and break it up into bits (I like my bacon crispy) and add it into the skillet with the potatoes, onions, and peppers.
Oh my goodness! Did I seriously just give you the recipe and instructions for making my infamous breakfast skillet???? I did, didn't I??? I suppose we will call that your bonus recipe that was mentioned above!! Happy bonus!! While I'm at it, I might as well give you the link to the recipe for my Meals in a bag: Breakfast Bowl (Scrambled eggs, potatoes, bacon bits & cheese - just add water!) that is based on this breakfast skillet recipe. But, WAIT..before you click on that link let's recap what I/we learned today.
We learned that fully cooked microwave bacon does not really need to be refrigerated for storage. It clearly states on the box, "refrigerate after opening". Therefore, it could sit on a shelf in your cupboard or pantry up until it gets close to that "prepare or freeze by" date and then can be rotated out.
In other words, if we want to store bacon in our food preps, WE CAN!!! Of course, it won't be the exact same consistency and taste as what I refer to as "real" bacon, but it is really, really close. It would be enough to satisfy almost every bacon lover!!
So, we can stop trying to figure out how to "can" bacon, or how to dehydrate it. Just please do me a favor and don't buy up every box of this bacon that you can find in the stores. Save some for others and don't cause a shortage of microwave bacon 🙂. Thank you!
Thank you for taking the time out of your day (or night) and reading this. I appreciate your continued support!
Until next time...happy prepping, and God bless!! 🧡