Ground Turkey/Pork Bacon

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by tjohnson, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Lots of us have some health issues and I was inspired by Pops to make some bacon that's a little healthier for me and my family, but still is edible.  The turkey bacon from the store tastes like rubbery cold cuts!

    Salt and saturated fat contribute to high blood pressure and high cholesterol.  I recently mixed up some ground turkey and pork shoulder to see if I could make a decent tasting turkey bacon, that was lean and low in salt.  I figured I would take a take a chance on a couple 2 1/2 lb. batches before I ruined a large batch of meat. 

    I started with 3 lbs. ground pork shoulder(Trimmed) and 2 lbs. ground 93% lean ground turkey. 

    I made (2) different flavors using Country Brown Cure and Maple Sugar Cure.  Both batches were very low in salt.

    Country Brown

    1.5# Trimmed Pork Shoulder Coarse Ground and Well Trimmed

    1# Ground Turkey 93% Lean

    1/2 Cup Water

    .8 oz Maple Sugar Cure(Premix)


    1.5# Trimmed Pork Shoulder Coarse Ground and Well Trimmed

    1# Ground Turkey 93% Lean

    1/2 Cup Water

    .8 oz Country Brown Cure(Premix)

    Mix Turkey & Pork together well and divided into (2) 2 1/2# portions

    Pour cure and seasoning mix into water, mix well and dump into meat

    Thoroughly mix cure and seasonings into meat

    Form meat into loaf and wrap with stretch wrap.

    Into fridge for 24 hours.

    Preheat smoker for 45 minutes @ 200°

    Unwrap Meat Loaves and place in smoker

    Smoke to internal temp of 160°

    Apple sawdust was used in my AMNS

    I was very surprised at the results.  You could not tell there was ground turkey in it, and the texture was very much like the Beef Bacon I previously made.  The Maple Cure had a very nice hint of sweet maple, and the Country Brown tasted very similar to cured bacon.

    I will definitely make this again, but spice it up a little more.  I got lucky with a 60% pork and 40% ground turkey ratio.

    THANKS Pops for the inspiration!!!

    Thanks for looking!


                 2 lbs. Ground Turkey & 3Lbs. Ground Pork             Mixed in Cure, Wrapped Up and Into The Fridge For 24 Hours


                                  MES Preheated to 200°                                                 AMNS Filled with Apple Sawdust


                           Internal Temp @ 160°                                                       Finished and Ready For Slicing


             All Sliced Up and Ready For Tasters                                         Vac Packed and Into the Freezer

    Last edited: Dec 15, 2010
    meateater likes this.
  2. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Congrats on some great looking bacon that is on the healthy side of the plate. It's all good my friend.
  3. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Very nice Todd, you are a go get'er! You done very well.
  4. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    So what day is the UPS guy coming here- Oh I forgot that is Squirrel

    Is this the same cure you sent me?  If you can get me the ingredients I can give you the nutrition to hook up with your new diet
  5. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Todd , that's awesome, I actually like turkey bacon from the store as long as it's smothered in habanero sauce. I'm on my last bag of belly so this will be next. [​IMG]   [​IMG]
  6. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    pretty interesting..........have to try it.
  7. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thank you Todd for the kudos; more and more of us are finding new and delicious ways to enjoy our craft and still keep a healthier profile while doing it, you're leading in the forefront of a whole new revolution into a fresh perspective of re-engineering healthier products to smoke and enjoy!  Rumor has it I might get a part of a day off next week; if so, I'll try to take time to help you add to the arsenal of lo'n'lean things to enjoy!
  8. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    October 13th, I had a "Freak Heart Attack", and they put (2) stents in my arteries.  I go back in February to get (1) more.  This event really opened my eyes to some good food alternatives for me as-well-as my family.

    As part of my recovery, I met with a dietitian.  She basically told me that everything I eat is bad for me.  I can only have 4 oz. of red meat 3-times a week, cut back on dairy products and cut my salt intake.  I told her I just got 1/2 a beef, and we need to find a way to incorporate my love for meat into this diet.  She said I should eat things like lean pork, ground turkey and fish.  The light bulb went off!!!  I asked her if she ate meat, and she said "I'm a vegan".....Go Figure.....FUN SUCKER!!!

    Pops also had a health scare, and this all has inspired me to think "Outside The Box" for some of my recipes.  After you lower your salt intake for a little while, your taste buds adjust to lower salt and you begin to appreciate the other spices. My focus now will be on making healthier alternatives with less salt and fat.

    I think it would be really cool if other members posted their adjusted recipes.

  9. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Awesome Turkey Bacon Todd !!!!!

    Great tutorial too !!!

    I zoomed in, Great color, and it looks almost exactly like our other Beef/Pork, and Deer/Pork Bacons---Only better for ya!

    I think something in the back of my head keeps saying the deer might be better for us than the turkey though.---Not Sure!

    I think that question would be better answered by a non-vegan dietician.

  10. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hey Bear- not everything you find on the hood of you truck is good for ya LOL

    Sounds like a great idea. I know that Buffalo and Ostrich are supposed to be good too and they have both in markets around here
  11. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Next Smoke...."Roadkill bacon"

    Maybe Squirrel?

  12. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Watch it!

    Them squirrels might be cute, but they seem to be pretty tough!

  13. I rarely use salt in my food and if I do it's very little. My family never said anything about not enough salt. Other spices and herbs do just fine. Now if I could find something healthy that tastes just like pork fat and butter.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2010
  14. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The dietitian told me that "Beer Was Waste!" 


    She said it's full of carbs and high in salt.  Of course, I piped up "And Alcohol!"

    And these people get paid to say this stupid stuff!!

  15. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    She's almost right about beer being waste.

    Mine always used to start becoming waste after about the 5th bottle. Then it was after every bottle from then on!

  16. I grew up in low - salt household, mainly because I had a heart defect and with the surgeries to repair it I was always watching my salt.  Now that I am older and cooking for my family I really try to watch the salt at home. For any rub I've made that starts from any recipe I have found I immediately cut the salt in half and the funny thing is the first time I did that with the rub I currently use now the wife said it was too salty, now I cut it by 2/3 of the recipe.  When I grind sausage, I cut out the MSG required in most sausage recipes. 

    Here's my current rub recipe, in case anyone is curious.

    1/3 cup light brown sugar

    1/3 cup sugar

    1/4 cup paprika

    6 tablespoons kosher salt (I use about 2 - 2.5 tablespoons)

    2 tablespoons onion powder

    1 tablespoon garlic salt  (I use granulated garlic or garlic powder as a quarter teaspoon (.9 g) of garlic salt contains about 240 milligrams of sodium. where as powder has 2mg in 1 TBSP)

    1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

    1 tablespoon chili powder

    1 teaspoon mustard powder

    1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning

    1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

    1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  17. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey Bob,

    Looks like a great rub.  I'm gonna try this one next.  Once your taste buds go without salt for a little while, you get used to low salt recipes.

    Maybe we can get SMF to start a catagory for converted recipes. lower in salt and saturated fats.

  18. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Made me some Turkey Bacon & Egg Sammies This Morning.

    I fried up the Turkey Bacon I had made the other day.  It was too lean, and did not fry up like bacon.  The taste was good, but the texture was not like real bacon or BBB.

    This is a great alternative to higher fat and high sodium bacon.


  19. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Awesome Sammies!

    Looks Great Todd, but it would probably look better on my table, next to my fork!

    Hungry Bear
  20. My dietician said "if it tastes good, don't eat it" [​IMG]   Looks great Todd

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