Trader Joe’s Uncured Beef Bacon Review – When I first saw this, I thought Trader Joe’s was joking. Beef Bacon! There is no such thing! I’m pretty sure that you are only supposed to call something “bacon” if it’s from a pig, not a turkey or cow. Like I say in my blog subtitle, I eat this stuff so you don’t have to!
So what is “Beef Bacon”? To me, it looks like a cut from a tri-tip or flank steak cut very, very thin. When I pulled it out of the package it almost looked like pastrami. Also, when I pulled it out of the package, it smelled very smoky almost too smoky but I know that beef can handle a lot of smoke and not lose the meat in it.
I heated up my non-stick skillet and laid down a few strips of “bacon” and watched them starting to dance and sizzle as the heat came up. BTW, I cook a lot of bacon in our house. My older son is not a breakfast eater. I could give him anything and he is simply not hungry in the morning most of the time. I’ll be lucky if I can get a Trader Joe’s Multigrain Waffle and some regular bacon in him in the morning. He won’t eat eggs or cheese (by themselves) and one of the only meats I can get him to eat in the morning is bacon. But, I digress…
One of the first things you notice is that there is almost no fat in the beef bacon compared to pork. In fact the directions tell you to put a little oil in the pan. I used Trader Joe’s spray Canola oil. After a few minutes, you start to see some browning around the edges and sides. It’s hard to tell when it’s done because the meat is already dark compared to pork. I finally decide to pull it off after several minutes of frying and give it a shot.
Looking at it as I took it off the stovetop, it looked a lot like beef jerky! I finally took a bit and it had this weird rubbery texture, somewhat chewy. Hmmm… To tell you the truth, it tasted like beef jerky too! As “bacon”, it was just weird. Smoky strips of beef for breakfast? Not crispy at all like bacon gets. I really didn’t like it as much as real “bacon” Hmmm… I’m thinking here… really thin slices of beef, smoky flavor…
So, I set the oven at 150 degrees and put the beef in on a cooling rack over a sheet pan, and baked it for a couple of hours until it was like dried leather. Guess what? It turned out to be some pretty decent beef jerky! I wish I had a real dehydrator to do it properly. Also, while the beef didn’t have very much fat compared to pork bacon, it had more than you find in beef jerky, which has almost no fat.
So, would I buy this again? No way, it’s just too weird for me. I’m not sure what Trader Joe’s is trying to accomplish here. If you don’t want pork bacon, most turn to turkey or meatless bacon for their needs. Just doesn’t cut it in my book.
As beef bacon, I will rate this 4 bells! As Beef Jerky, I’ll give it 6 bells!