I finally decided to try out my new q-matz with pig candy.
First, I got together the ingredients:
Dark Brown Sugar
Turbinado Sugar(Sugar in the Raw)
Strawberry Jam with guajillo pepper powder mixed in
Bacon that I cut into bite sized pieces
I did one batch of Strawberry, one Jalapeno, and one just Maple. First I drenched the bacon pieces into the respective bowls filled with the wet ingredients. For the jalapeno, I mixed maple syrup, a few minced peppers, and some of the canning syrup.
Then I hit them with brown sugar.
Then I hit them with some rub.
Into the smoker at 225. I increased the temp to 250 after half an hour. At 1.5 hours, I turned it up all the way to 275. At this point, I put some Turbinado sugar on them.
At 2 hours 15 minutes, they were done.
I thought they felt a little rubbery at this point by touch. There also was some sugar that hadn't melted on them. In retrospect, I should have called it a day at this point. However, I put them into the oven at 350 to crisp them up a bit. After 5-10 minutes or so, I pulled them from the oven.
They turned out to have the hardness more of a peanut brittle than I was expecting. When I had them in the past(from a local smokehouse), they were a little chewier. I think it would have been much closer to that when I pulled it from the smoker. I didn't take into account the fact that the melted sugar would harden as it cooled. Oh well. It still turned out pretty well if you are into crispy/borderline burnt bacon. My favorite was the jalapeno one. I'm definitely going to try this again. I think I'll use thick cut bacon next time.
The q-matz worked out really well! I still had to pry the pieces off a bit, but I can't imagine doing this without them as the melted sugar carmelizes and hardens so much. Still, they were not stuck to the matz. I just tossed them onto the top rack of the dishwasher and am curious to see how well they clean off. I will update with photos.
I made these for a bbq(well, what passes for one in MI anyways) I'm attending tomorrow. I hope they are well received.
Thanks for reading!