How To Make Honey Glazed Bacon Biltong – A Sweet and Savory Snack

Bacon biltong has become a popular snack in recent years, combining the delicious smoky flavor of bacon with the chewy texture of traditional biltong While plain bacon biltong is tasty on its own, adding a sweet honey glaze takes it to the next level! The contrast of sweet and savory makes honey glazed bacon biltong an irresistible treat.

In this article, we will walk through the simple process of making your own honey glazed bacon biltong at home. It only requires a few ingredients and some patience as the biltong air dries. The end result is a snack that will delight bacon lovers and biltong enthusiasts alike. Let’s get started!

Overview of Making Honey Glazed Bacon Biltong

The basic process of making honey glazed bacon biltong involves just 5 key steps:

  1. Choosing and preparing the bacon
  2. Creating a biltong cure mixture
  3. Coating the bacon in the biltong cure
  4. Infusing flavor with a honey glaze
  5. Drying and curing the biltong

While traditional biltong uses beef or game meat, bacon works perfectly to create a tasty smoked pork version. Preparing the bacon is as simple as slicing it into manageable strips.

The biltong cure draws moisture out of the meat while infusing flavor and preserving it. This cure mixture combines salt, spices, vinegar and sometimes sugar or honey. For bacon biltong, the cure helps balance out the smoky pork flavors.

After curing and drying, a sweet honey glaze adds contrast and texture. The glaze caramelizes slightly while drying, creating irresistible sticky-sweetness on the salty, savory bacon biltong strips.

Step-By-Step Instructions

Now let’s go through each step of making honey glazed bacon biltong:

Ingredients Needed

  • 1 kg bacon, thinly sliced
  • 1⁄4 cup brown sugar
  • 1⁄4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1⁄2 tsp curing salt
  • 1⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • Honey glaze:
  • 1⁄4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1⁄2 tsp chili powder or cayenne pepper (optional)

Step 1 – Prepare the Bacon

  • Take 1 kilogram of thinly sliced bacon. Look for leaner smoked bacon rather than thick-cut for easier drying.
  • Trim excess fat from the bacon slices to help the biltong cure evenly.
  • Cut each slice in half lengthwise so you have manageable strips for drying.

Step 2 – Make the Biltong Cure

  • In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, honey, salt, black pepper and curing salt until well combined.
  • Set aside about 1⁄4 cup of the mixture to use as a glaze later on.
  • Add the apple cider vinegar to the remaining cure mixture and stir to incorporate. This cure will impart great flavor and help preserve the meat.

Step 3 – Cure the Bacon

  • Place your sliced bacon in a shallow glass or ceramic baking dish.
  • Use your hands or a cooking brush to coat each strip of bacon thoroughly with the cure mixture.
  • Make sure to coat both sides of the bacon so the cure penetrates evenly.
  • Cover the dish and refrigerate for 12-24 hours, flipping the bacon halfway through. This long cure time ensures the bacon biltong will be well preserved.

Step 4 – Add the Honey Glaze

  • After curing, transfer the bacon from the dish to a paper towel lined baking sheet. Pat dry with additional paper towels.
  • In a small bowl, combine the reserved cure mixture with honey, brown sugar, cider vinegar and chili powder to make your glaze.
  • Brush the glaze evenly on all sides of the cured bacon strips. Apply a thick layer to add plenty of sticky sweetness.

Step 5 – Dry and Cure

  • Set up a biltong drying box or use a basic wire rack over a baking sheet. Wooden dowel rods or skewers can help hang strips.
  • Place the glazed bacon strips directly onto the drying racks. Make sure air can easily circulate around each strip.
  • Allow the bacon biltong to cure for 2-5 days. Drying time depends on humidity, thickness, and your texture preference.
  • Check regularly until the biltong is dried throughout. The outside should feel firm while the inside remains chewy.
  • Once your honey glazed bacon biltong reaches the desired texture, remove it from the racks. At this point, it is ready to enjoy!

The end result is flavorful bacon biltong with a crave-worthy sweetness. Feel free to customize the glaze ingredients to suit your tastes. Chile powder adds a touch of heat while more honey means greater stickiness.

Tips for Making Perfect Honey Glazed Bacon Biltong

Follow these tips to help ensure your homemade honey glazed bacon biltong comes out great:

  • Choose leaner smoked bacon with minimal fat to prevent sogginess. Thicker slices take longer to cure.

  • Apply an even, moderately thick layer of glaze on all sides of the cured bacon before drying.

  • Make sure air circulates freely around the strips for proper drying. Turn over halfway through.

  • Check regularly and remove strips as they reach the texture you prefer. Don’t over-dry until brittle.

  • Store in an airtight container or bag. For longer storage, refrigerate or freeze the finished biltong.

  • Customize flavors by experimenting with different glaze ingredients like brown sugar, spices, citrus juice, etc.

  • Enjoy honey glazed bacon biltong on its own as a snack, chopped up in salads or tacos, or paired with cheese and crackers.

With the right techniques and a bit of patience, you can easily make restaurant-quality honey glazed bacon biltong in your own kitchen. The combination of sweet honey glaze and savory smoked bacon is hard to beat. Impress family and friends with this unique taste of South Africa!

Frequently Asked Questions About Honey Glazed Bacon Biltong

If you’re new to the world of biltong, you probably have some questions about making and enjoying this specialty cured meat. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about honey glazed bacon biltong:

Is bacon biltong safe to eat?

Yes, bacon biltong is completely safe to eat! The salt, spices, vinegar and drying process preserve and “cook” the meat. The finished biltong can be stored for several weeks without refrigeration. It is shelf-stable just like regular jerky.

How long does bacon biltong last?

Properly dried and stored, bacon biltong can last 2-4 weeks at room temperature. For extended shelf life, keep it refrigerated or frozen. The high salt content helps prevent spoilage.

What’s the best way to slice bacon for biltong?

Look for thin sliced bacon, about 2-3mm thick. If using regular thickness bacon, slice lengthwise into 1/2 inch wide strips for even drying and curing. Remove excess fat before curing.

Can you use turkey bacon for biltong?

While less traditional, you can substitute turkey bacon in this honey glazed bacon biltong recipe. The curing process will add plenty of flavor.

Is biltong chewy?

When properly dried, the inside of biltong strips should be chewy while the outside is quite firm. The texture is similar to jerky but often thicker and more tender. Over-drying makes it too crispy.

How do you eat biltong?

Biltong is great for snacking! Most people eat it straight as a protein-packed snack. It also pairs well with cheese, crackers, nuts or dried fruit. For a heartier meal, add crumbled biltong to salads, pasta, eggs or tacos.

Can you make biltong without a box?

While a biltong drying box with a light bulb and fan optimizes conditions, you can rig up a basic setup at home. Use a wire cooling rack above a baking sheet with a fan circulating air.

The Perfect Snack Food

With its addictive sweet and salty flavor, honey glazed bacon biltong is the ultimate snack food. Making your own allows you to control ingredients while customizing flavors to your taste. The curing and drying process concentrates the pork and bacon flavors for an intense meaty bite.

Better yet, biltong offers great nutrition in a convenient snack package. It provides protein, vitamins and minerals without unhealthy extras like sugar, fillers and preservatives. The fat content concentrates during drying but remains fairly low.

Honey glazed bacon biltong satisfies cravings for something salty and sweet. Keep a batch on hand for snacks, lunches, road trips, parties or any time you need a burst of meaty flavor. Made with quality ingredients, this gourmet snack food beats store-bought jerky hands down.

Now that you know how to make your own honey glazed bacon biltong at home, give it a try! Follow the step-by-step instructions and soon you’ll be hooked on this addictive South African specialty.

How To Make Bacon Biltong At Home | Experiment by Xman & Co

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