How to Bake Delicious Venison Bacon at Home

Venison bacon has become an extremely popular alternative to traditional pork bacon among hunters and foodies alike While you can certainly smoke venison bacon for full flavor, baking it at home is a great option if you don’t have a smoker With just a few simple ingredients and steps, you can make tasty venison bacon in your oven.

What is Venison Bacon?

Venison bacon is essentially ground venison mixed with ground pork and bacon seasonings Since venison is so lean, pork fat is added to give it that classic fatty, rich bacon taste and texture we all love. The pork also helps replicate the streaks of fat you see in regular bacon Then curing salts and spices like brown sugar, garlic, mustard, and liquid smoke infuse it with smoky, savory bacon flavor.

While it’s referred to as “bacon”, venison bacon is not made from whole muscle meat like pork belly. Instead, it’s made from ground or finely chopped venison and pork. This allows you to make delicious bacon out of the venison trimmings from your deer. The end result is venison-flavored bacon that provides a unique, gamey twist on a breakfast classic.

Benefits of Baking vs. Smoking Venison Bacon

There are a few advantages to baking venison bacon rather than traditional cold smoking:

  • No special equipment needed – All you need is a standard oven No need to buy a smoker or other accessories.

  • Shorter cook time – Smoking can take 8+ hours while baking usually takes 1-3 hours.

  • More convenient – You can bake it any time without constant monitoring and wood chip refills.

  • Consistent results – Oven heat is easier to regulate than a smoker’s temperature.

  • Works for small batches – It’s ideal for making smaller 5 lb batches rather than huge 15+ lb batches.

So if you’re new to making venison bacon or just want a quicker, simpler method, baking is a great option.

Ingredients Needed

Here are the basic ingredients you’ll need for a 5 lb batch of baked venison bacon:

  • 2 lbs ground venison
  • 3 lbs ground pork
  • 1 tsp curing salt (Instacure #1)
  • 2.5 Tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 cup nonfat dry milk powder
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp liquid smoke
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp mustard powder
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup cold water

The venison, pork, and fat ratios can be adjusted based on personal preference. Some people use a 50/50 venison to pork ratio or even all venison. The curing salt and seasonings are key for getting the right bacon flavor.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Follow these simple steps for delicious home-baked venison bacon:

1. Mix the Meats

Place the ground venison and pork in a large mixing bowl. Use your hands to lightly mix together until uniformly combined.

2. Make the Cure

In a separate bowl, mix together the curing salt, kosher salt, powdered milk, brown sugar, liquid smoke, and all the spices.

Slowly pour the cure over the venison and pork mixture. Then use your hands to continue mixing until fully incorporated and the meat becomes tacky.

3. Shape the Bacon

Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with plastic wrap. Transfer the venison bacon mixture into the pan.

Use your hands to firmly press and shape the meat into an even layer about 2 inches thick. Make sure there are no air pockets.

Cover with more plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6-48 hours. This allows the cure to penetrate deep into the meat.

4. Bake the Venison Bacon

Once cured, preheat your oven to 225°F. Remove the top layer of plastic wrap from the pan.

Gently turn the pan over onto a baking sheet to release the venison bacon loaf. Peel off the remaining plastic wrap.

Bake for approximately 2 hours, until the internal temperature reaches at least 150°F on a meat thermometer.

5. Cool, Slice, and Cook

After baking, transfer the venison bacon to a wire rack and allow it to cool completely. Then cover and refrigerate overnight to firm up.

The next day, remove the chilled bacon from the fridge. Carefully slice into your desired thickness using a sharp knife or meat slicer.

Finally, cook the venison bacon slices in a skillet over medium heat until browned and crispy, about 3-5 minutes per side.

Now you can enjoy your venison bacon on its own or incorporate it into all sorts of dishes from breakfast tacos to sandwiches, salads, dinners and more. It freezes well for long term storage too.

Tips for Perfect Results

Follow these tips to get ideal homemade venison bacon every time:

  • Use fresh, high-quality meat – Avoid venison that is too old, dried out or freezer burned.

  • Cut the meat into small chunks before grinding for the best consistency.

  • Mix in 10-20% pork fat for great texture.

  • Refrigerate in the cure for at least 24-48 hours for full flavor.

  • Cook low and slow until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 150°F.

  • Chill it thoroughly before slicing – this makes it easier to cut nice even slices.

  • Pan fry the slices over medium heat until crispy on both sides.

  • Cook in batches to avoid crowding the pan and steaming the bacon.

  • Store leftover bacon in the fridge for 5-7 days or freeze for longer storage.

Get Creative with Venison Bacon

Once you’ve mastered the basics, get creative with baking venison bacon at home. Here are some delicious ways to enjoy it:

  • Breakfast sandwiches – Layer venison bacon with eggs, cheese, and hashbrowns between toasted bread or biscuits.

  • Bacon burgers – Top your favorite burger recipe with crispy venison bacon strips.

  • Salads – Crumble it over lettuce, spinach, kale or wedge salads for a smoky, savory crunch.

  • Soups and stews – Add baked or fried venison bacon pieces to dishes like chili, potato soup, bean stew, etc.

  • Pizza – Sprinkle crumbled venison bacon over pizza or use strips in place of pepperoni.

  • Pasta – Toss crispy bacon bits into baked ziti, mac and cheese, spaghetti, or gnocchi.

  • Brussels sprouts – Roast halved Brussels sprouts with venison bacon pieces for a tasty side dish.

  • Baked potatoes – Top stuffed baked potatoes with shredded venison bacon, cheddar, and chives.

  • Quesadillas – Stuff venison bacon and cheese between tortillas for an easy lunch or snack.

With a little creativity, you can enjoy tasty venison bacon in all types of recipes beyond just breakfast. It adds a unique depth of flavor to anything it touches.

As you can see, baking venison bacon at home is totally doable even without a smoker. With minimal time and ingredients, you can whip up delicious venison-based bacon with incredible flavor. While purists may prefer smoking their venison bacon for hours on end, baking provides a quick and easy alternative for the time-crunched hunter. So give this simple venison bacon recipe a try and see how it can take your wild game cooking to the next level. Just beware – once you taste home-made venison bacon, you may never go back to the store-bought pork stuff again!

VENISON BACON – How to Make Deer Bacon


Is it better to bake bacon at 350 or 400?

Bake at 400 Degrees F. Some recipes recommend baking bacon at other temperatures or starting the bacon in a cold oven, but I found that a preheated 400 degrees F is the best temperature for baking bacon.

How to tell when venison bacon is done?

Once you reach 180 degrees do not increase the temperature anymore and allow the bacon to cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees.

How long does it take to cook bacon in the oven?

Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Arrange the bacon in a single layer on 2 aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheets, or, for extracrispy bacon, arrange on 2 wire racks set over 2 foil-lined rimmed baking sheets. Bake until the bacon is browned and starts to ripple, or to desired doneness, 10 to 20 minutes.

How long should bacon be in the oven at 400 degrees?

Once you place the bacon in the oven, heat it to 400 degrees F and bake the bacon to your desired crispness. It should be done in about 20 minutes (note that this time is slightly longer than other recipes, because the bacon will be in the oven while the oven pre-heats.

How do you make venison Bacon?

HOW TO MAKE VENISON BACON 1. Combine curing salt, salt, powdered milk, brown sugar, liquid smoke, and seasonings in a large bowl with the cold water. Mix well. 2. Line a 9 X 13 pan with plastic wrap and press meat mixture evenly into pan to eliminate air pockets so it’s about 2-inches thick.

Can one eat bacon with diverticulosis?

You can eat bacon with diverticulosis, but it is not the most recommended. In a person with diverticulosis, it is recommended to consume foods with soluble fiber such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes.

How long does venison Bacon take to cook?

Venison bacon is not as greasy as regular bacon. The pieces are much larger so they are easier to turn over and best of all, venison bacon only requires cooking for 6 to 8 minutes per side. It is best to fry venison bacon in a cast iron skillet using a medium heat setting. Don’t worry about adding extra fat when cooking up venison bacon.

Can you make venison Bacon in a 9 x 13 Pan?

It makes a small and simple 5-pound batch of ground and formed deer bacon (or venison bacon) you can easily make in a 9 X 13 pan using some of your deer from this season. There are other Venison Bacon recipes out there, but almost all of them are for bigger batches of 10 pounds, 15 pounds, and even 25 pounds.

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