Thursday, April 30, 2009

Test #148: Bacon and FROZEN WAFFLE

The subject
The frozen waffle falls second to the fresh-made version--particularly when it's made by someone else (cleaning a waffle iron being a giant asspain). This could explain the popularity of Waffle House. It's an especially favored locale for drunken brawls; rapper Kid Rock was cuffed post-scuffle there two years ago. We understand why the inebriated flock there--breakfast food is a great hangover block--but we'd think a plate full of waffles and bacon would soothe the savage, sloshed beasts. Happily, at least once, a Waffle House hosted a happy event, rather than a violent one--click the waffle-rings photo to view a Waffle House wedding album.

The results
Lazy bums we, we picked a blueberry Eggo Nutri-Grain waffle, rather than making our own (the purported health benefits of fiber partially compensating for our lack of cooking effort). You'd think the direct pairing of waffle and bacon would be a marriage made in heaven, considering the two foods make such good platemates. However, the taste was a letdown--especially considering the lackluster results of this test marks an end to our unprecedented streak of superawesome bacon matchups. We ended up picking apart the waffle (delicious) from the bacon (megatasty), but the two didn't meld well, and our staff is at a loss to explain why--it just tasted, in the words of our most eloquent BDJ lab tech, "off." Oh, well--they can't all have happy endings.

The conclusion: Bacon + frozen waffle = letdown

Friday: Bacon + brownie
Saturday: Bacon + Wheat Thin

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Test #147: Bacon and SOFT PRETZEL

The subject

Soft pretzels--or "hot pretzels" as they're often called--are a concession-stand staple. Being one of the cheapest (and, nutritionally, least offensive) items at your average ballpark, they're also one of the most popular--when your brats beg for a treat 10 minutes into the first inning, you won't go broke giving in to shut them up. The basic pretzel is bland dough sprinkled with kosher salt, but you can get them filled with pizza toppings, coated with cinnamon-sugar, or drizzled with chocolate. For the first time this year, Cubs fans visiting Wrigley can buy a giant 4-lb. pretzel, which comes in a pizza box with various dipping sauces. We like ours with regular yellow mustard--but would we enjoy a soft pretzel with bacon? We had to find out.

The results
We at BDJ Labs are having what we wish the Cubs would have more of: a winning streak. We had to use a frozen pretzel, and from past experience, whether we microwave or oven-bake them, they're never as delish as the steam-heated pretzels at the ballpark, movies or Target. Bacon-baking, however, proved to be just the trick in getting the home edition of the hot pretzel to meet and surpass the taste level of their concession-stand counterparts. The bacon flavor permeated the dough, but didn't make it too super greasy, which created a nice consistency. If Wrigley Field offered a giant bacon-wrapped pretzel in a pizza box, the Cubbies' all-too-frequent losses would be easier to endure.

The conclusion: Bacon + soft pretzel = home run

Wednesday: Bacon + frozen waffle
Thursday: Bacon + brownie

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Test #146: Bacon and CHURRO

The subject
The churro, one churro-maker puts it, is "the original Mexican doughnut." Except it's not shaped like a nut--it's more like a crowbar. Whatever, they're delicious--if you live in a city or town with a large enough Mexican population to have a large number of bakeries, grocery stores, and street carts selling fresh, hot churros, you're a very lucky person, indeed. Churros are super-fatty sticks of sugary dough, most of the time filled with custard, chocolate, fruit, or other filling. There's a higher filling:dough ratio than with your average American jelly or creme-filled doughnut, which adds to the delight. Our procurement department recently picked up two strawberry-filled churros: One to eat while still hot from the bakery oven, and the other to wrap in strips of salted pork. Okay, half a churro--we couldn't stop after just one. We had enough to wrap two strips around, so there.

The results
Ladies and gentlemen, we have another winner! It seems the odds of success at BDJ Labs are greatest with doughy, breaded, or otherwise starch-laden test subjects--the bacon soaks into the stuff and teleports it to a higher plane of deliciousness, as was the case with this churro. If you thought a churro couldn't get any fattier, you're wrong--bacon bakin' super-saturated the Mexican sugar stick with grease and bacon flavor, turning the churro into a fiesta for your mouth. This is definitely a treat we would repeat for friends, family, and maybe even people we don't like all that much. Ole, bitchez.

The conclusion: Bacon + churro = muy bueno

Wednesday: Bacon + soft pretzel
Thursday: Bacon + frozen waffle

Monday, April 27, 2009

Test #145: Bacon and CORN DOG

The subject

Arguably the king of foods on a stick is the corn dog. All the processed-meaty goodness of a wiener combined with the fatness of deep frying, with the convenience of a wooden skewer--we should be coming up with more foods that could be rendered so unhealthy and transportable. Santa's Village, the crappy amusement park many of us visited as kids during our Chicago childhood, offered pickle on a stick; however, since it was simply an impaled cucumber, we won't even consider it for our purposes here. If you can think of anything we could stick on a stick and deep fry with bacon wrapped 'round it, please let us know.

The results
We love it when we knock it out of the park two days in a row. The bacon wrapped around the dawg cooked crisp-chewy, seeped delicious grease into the cornmeal batter and made it a zillion times more delectable. The bacon/corn dog was so unbelievably delicious that we forgot for a few moments to wonder what exactly the "beef" wiener at the core of the thing was really made of. This is definitely a treat worthy of serving to bacon-party guests, and of entry into the BDJ Hall of Fame (soon as we start one).

The conclusion: Bacon + corn dog = a big wiener. Get it? "Wiener?" Ha ha ha!

Tuesday: Bacon + churro
Wednesday: Bacon +soft pretzel

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Bacon Bit #B08: Mo's Bacon Bar

Last week, BDJ Labs shared in Bacon Bit #B07 an easy, affordable homemade Mother's Day gift idea that paired bacon with chocolate. This week, we share another gift idea for those who don't feel like getting their hands dirty, have a few bucks lying around, and want to give mom the one-two love punch delivered by a bacon/chocolate treat.

Vosges--a "haut chocolat" outfit based in Chicago--offers Mo's Bacon Bar, a delicacy that combines deep milk chocolate with chewy bits of applewood-smoked bacon and alderwood-smoked salt. One of the high-end chocolatier's best sellers, the bar has its origins back when Vosges owner Katrina Markoff was six, digging into a plate of chocolate chip pancakes with a side of bacon. She discovered then what we know now: that while everything tastes better with bacon, chocolate and bacon are an especially inspired match. Vosges offers them in bar form, and in the shape of a flying pig. If mom loves bacon, chocolate, and booze, you can get her one of the gift packages that combines the bar, the pig, and a bottle of Rogue Shakespeare Stout.
You can buy the candy in any one of Vosges retail establishments--they're in Chicago, New York, and Las Vegas' Caesar's Palace shops--order them on the Vosges Chocolate site , or find them at local retailers like Whole Foods and liquor stores.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Test #144: Bacon and HOT POCKET

The subject

The career of comedian Jim Gaffigan owes much to two things: the unbearable whiteness of his being (he and fellow pigment-deprived funnyman Conan O'Brien poke fun of their negative tans in the Web series "Pale Force"), and Hot Pockets. Hard to argue with anything Gaffigan spouts in the above video clip about the convenient yet largely bland snack--they're not exactly at the apex of American cuisine, but they sure are convenient. And hot.
For today's test, we tossed aside the clever little crisping sleeve and instead cooked a chicken/broccoli/cheddar "Lean Pocket" (who do they think they're fooling? Hot Pockets as health food? PUH-LEEZE) in the BDJ Labs test kitchen, wrapped in three strips of Gusto's finest bacon.

The result
Well, shucky-darn if this wasn't just about the tastiest convenience food we ever did sink our teeth into. If EVERY Hot Pocket came wrapped in tasty, crispy bacon, we'd buy them all the time, and not just when we're broke and/or hung over. The first unit in the two-Pocket box, which one BDJ staffer ate sans bacon when suffering from desperate hunger pangs, was soggy and boring and bleh. Especially yawn-worthy was the crust, which wasn't a crust so much as a blob of flavorless goo around a similarly boring filling. The bacon-wrapped HP, however, came alive in our happy mouths--the bacon put a spark of life into the crust and complemented the ho-hum filling. This was a wonderful way to recover from the previous beef ravioli test; it totally restored our faith of bacon's power to revive crapalicious food and elevate it to a level of greatness.

The conclusion: Bacon + Hot Pocket = smokin'!

Sunday: This week's Bacon Bit
Monday: Bacon + corn dog

Friday, April 24, 2009

Test #143: Bacon and BEEF RAVIOLI

The subject
Sometimes there's not much difference between a food's fresh and canned versions. Canned black beans, for example, aren't much different than ones you soaked and cooked yourself, and not too terribly far off from the fart seeds you picked right from a garden. Ravioli, however--that's a different story. The similarities pretty much end at the shape; the canned one's filling has a bizarre texture, the alleged tomato sauce is orange, and the meat doesn't taste like any roast beast anyone could recognize. Canned ravioli and other Chef Boyardee treats have their fans, however. We're not really among them, but we respect the hankering of any red-blooded American for the sub-cuisine flavor of a dish that requires no more effort to prepare than a few turns of a can opener.

We decided to alter the canned ravioli's can-microwave-mouth path and wrap it in bacon. And away we go...

The result
Dear Lord Jesus, christ and savior, please save us from the awful taste that a single bite of this edible abomination has left in our mouths. From the tin-can tinge of the "tomato" sauce, to the rancid flavor of the meat ensconced in the limpid pasta, we cringe at the aftertaste that we cannot exorcise from our mouths--even after cups of coffee, gallons of mouthwash, and high-powered blowtorches. Tiny baby Jesus, please help us spread the word warning all Your other children of the dangers of bacon-wrapping canned ravioli, so that no others will suffer the same torture that we have. As humble thanks for Your infinite love and mercy, we offer You this video of kittens.


The conclusion: Bacon + beef ravioli = Chef Boyardon't

Saturday: Bacon + Hot Pocket
Sunday: This week's Bacon Bit

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Test #142: Bacon and NEWMAN-O

The subject
We love you, Oreo, but do you give millions of dollars to underprivileged kids every year when people buy and eat you? No, the ducats we spend on you go into the already overstuffed pockets of RJR Nabisco. So, while you're tasty, you don't have a heart, like Newman's Own does--in the 27 years since its founding, the sale of Paul Newman's salad dressings, salsas, spaghetti sauces, and insanely delicious organic cookies have put $265 million into the coffers of thousands of charities nationwide. Plus the product labels are fun to read: "You might, m'lady, tweak my nose/You could, m'lord, step on my toes/But Heaven help those poor bozos/Who try to filch my Newman-O's.

In honor of the late, great Paul Newman and the good works done by his products, we wrapped one of his cookies in bacon.

The result
Yum yum yum yum yum. We struggled to come up with superlatives and other words that would adequately describe the deliciousness of this morsel. The best that we could come up with was that it tastes like a bacon-wrapped and -infused flourless chocolate cake, which is just about our favorite dessert. Rich, cocoa-y, and moist, the cookie turned doughlike. The bacon cooked up crisp and perfect. The combo of the tastes and textures was a symphony of awesome. You should go repeat this test in your own home. Right now. NOW! GO DO IT!

The conclusion: Bacon + Newman-O=OMG!!!1!

Friday: Bacon + beef ravioli
Saturday: Bacon + Hot Pocket

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Test #141: Bacon and RED VINES

The subject
Screw you, Twizzlers--Red Vines are the king of red licorice. They're chewier, taste the way red twists are supposed to (seriously, strawberry??), and they're just plain cooler. I mean, Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell ain't never given an SNL shoutout to no punk-ass Twizzlers, my friend. Almost as good as the Red Vines taste is the smell. Mmm, baby. If they sold Red Vines air freshener, we'd totally be all over that shiznit, rollin' deep in the BDJmobile wit da aroma of tasty twists around our phat heads. [imagine these next two lines rapped] We love our Red Vines and ya know we ain't FAKIN'/So we wrapped a twist up with some muthaf*ckin BACON.

Peace out.

The result
Well, turns out, bacon + Red Vines = not so crazy delicious. I think the word we're looking for to describe the result here is "weird." The flavor wasn't bad--it was the texture that had us buggin. The Red Vine lost all its chewy goodness and turned into a puddle of gelatinous goo in the middle of the crispy bacon, and the combo was just...wrong. We might try cooked bacon with an unheated Red Vine sometime in the near future, but we won't be repeating the bacon-bakin treatment anytime soon.

The conclusion: Bacon + Red Vines = whack

Thursday: Bacon + Oreo
Friday: Bacon + beef ravioli

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Test #140: Bacon and FIG BAR

The subject
Fig bars (the generic of the infamous Fig Newton) get precious little respect as a cookie. Instead of an Oreo's pristine creme filling, they're loaded with a poo-brown goo. They're not cute and round, like most cookies--rather, they're flat and dumpy. However, if you can get past the underwhelming appearance and actually try one, they're pretty awesome. Fig bars are pretty much the Susan Boyle of the cookie world--which is why we chose them to receive the honor of being wrapped in glorious bacon.

The result
Well, color us disappointed, and kind of surprised. We'd anticipated that the sweetness of the fig would be amplified (as often has happened in the past with sweet, mushy things during the bacon-baking process), the cake part would fluff up with bacony goodness, and the whole thing would be seriously yumworthy. Not so much. The fig flavor fell flat, and the cakey part got kind of gritty, for some reason, with not much bacon goodness seeping into the fig bar's innards. The finished subject was neither good nor horrible, just kind of eh--definitely not something we'd repeat.

The conclusion: Bacon + fig bar = :/

Wednesday: Bacon + Red Vines
Thursday: Bacon + Oreo

Monday, April 20, 2009

Reality show brings home the bacon

This just in from Agence France-Presse:

Pig Brother reality show promotes Helfenberg bacon festival

Move over Miss Piggy, show business has found its new pink-snouted celebrities in Piggy, Lilly, Pauli and Fredi, the stars of Austria's latest reality show Pig Brother.

Starting on Monday and for the next six weeks, the four little piglets will be followed by live cameras and their private lives splashed across the Internet, all part of a marketing ploy by a local food fair.

The goal is to be named "Super Pig".

The town of Helfenberg in northern Austria is organising its third annual Speck (German for bacon) Spectacle in early June and Pig Brother is just the appetiser.

Each week, viewers will get to vote for the "Favourite pig of the week" and each Sunday, the little porkers will have to take part in Pig Olympics to gather the points needed to win.

True to reality-show format, the piglets - philosopher Pauli, diva Piggy, friendly Lilly and courageous Fredi - will be filmed non-stop for a month and a half as they eat, sleep and roll themselves in the mud.

And like true stars, they even have their own web-based diaries.

Curious viewers and pork enthusiasts can register at and - who knows - might even bring home some bacon, in the form of a basket of treats and tickets to the Speck Spectacle.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bacon Bit # B07: Mother's Day Bacon

Stuck with what to get your maternal parent for the upcoming Mother's Day celebration? Keep in mind, your moms loves three things:
1. Chocolate
2. Anything you make yourself, no matter the age you make it at
3. Bacon.
Why not combine the three in a handmade gift that's sure to bring a smile to her hugely underappreciated face? The love, effort, and bacon that goes into this gift will nearly make up for all the dumb kid stuff you put her through, especially those teenage years (trust me--you were an asshole). Another benefit: The price off all the stuff--bacon, chocolate, and mold--will only total ten bucks or so (nice if you're underemployed).

One note: While candy may be dandy, I highly recommend you get her another gift to go with the hearts. Possibly diamonds set in platinum.

Chocolate Bacon Hearts
You'll need:
* 1 lb. bacon, crisp cooked and crumbled into itty bits
* 14 oz bag Candy Melts in any flavor (available at your local crafts store)
* Candy mold (also at your friendly neighborhood crafts store)
What to do:
Melt the chocolate according to the package directions. Not the whole bag--maybe a half cup o' chips at a time. Stir in a few tablespoons of bacon bits into the melted chocolate, then carefully spoon the mixture into the mold. Fill each level and even (if you overfill, level off with a knife). Gently tap the mold on the counter a few times to kill any air bubbles. Pop the mold into the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes--just long enough for the candy to set--then invert the mold onto a flat, clean surface. Store the finished candy in a cool, dry place while you make the remaining candies. Put the completed batch in a nice bag, box, or other container so it looks all pretty.

By the way, you don't have to make hearts--the candy aisle contains tons of options, from lollipops shaped like roses, to bonbons that look like hot dogs. If you search "candy molds" online, the possibilities are even broader. No matter the shape, Mom'll love her gift, because it came from her bacon-loving kid.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Test #139: Bacon and GRANOLA BAR

The subject
Remember when we used to think granola was healthy? When the BDJ Labs staff were Garanimals-clad tykes growing up in the early 80s, our moms would pack Nature Valley's finest wares in our Donnie and Marie (or, in one case, Dukes of Hazzard) lunchboxes, confident that they were sending us the very best in mass-produced nutrition. As it turns out, there were probably more vitamins and minerals in the granola bar's wrapper than the actual food inside--plus, they were chock full of fat.

Today, there are more and better options in the granola bar field. Our personal faves are the Kashi crunchy bars--for this test, we took one of their Pumpkin Spice Flax bars and wrapped it in bacon.

The result
This is the second of our attempts--the first was a chewy granola bar. Yucksville--we wrapped the thing tight as a gay porn star's abs, but it still leaked sugary goo out the ends and middle, turning the whole thing into a blackened, smoke-tasting mess.

The second try, however--hoo boy, was it delicious. The crunch of the granola abated only slightly, and the spice, sweetness, and saltiness of the bacon and granola all tangled together in a web of deliciousness. If only Mom had packed these logs of awesome in our lunchboxes--second grade might have been more fun. If you have kids, why not slip one of these in their lunch treats? Surely they'll remember your kindness all the way up to the day it's time to choose what home they put you into.

The conclusion: Bacon + granola bar = crunchtastic

Sunday: This week's Bacon Bit
Monday: Bacon + Fig Newton

Friday, April 17, 2009

No bacon today

Head BDJ Labs tech Jenni has come down with the plague. We need to take a day off of testing to decontaminate the kitchen, our testing equipment and--of course--the bacon. Rest assured we will be back tomorrow with another fine test. Thank you for your support and patience.

Yours in bacon,

The BDJ Labs staff

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Test #138: Bacon and SAUSAGE

The subject
If the world were suddenly plagued by a global bacon shortage, we'd be devastated. However, until our beloved salted pork strips returned to plentifulness, we'd probably be able to comfort ourselves reasonably well with Jimmy Dean's hot-and-spicy patty sausage. We deeply dig the zing that the spices add to the pork--just enough to clear your sinuses while you're enjoying your hearty breakfast. The staff at BDJ Labs is so fond of these meaty discs of deliciousness, we thought they'd have the gumption to stand up to the bacon treatment.

The result
The savory sausage went toe-to-toe with the smoky bacon and fared admirably in the contest. The balance between the two was perfect. The one possible negative--and it's a small one--is that the grease of the sausage, normally drained after pan-frying, was sealed in and magnified by the bacon and its grease. The firm, slightly crunchy texture of the sausage suffered, an effect that abated when we did a second test (the first repeat in BDJ's storied history) in which we first cooked and drained the sausage before bacon-wrapping it. Sure enough, the texture of the sausage was restored to greatness, making this one of the most successful and tastiest BDJ tests yet.

The conclusion: Bacon + sausage = a big pile of meaty goodness

Friday: Bacon + granola bar
Saturday: Bacon + Fig Newton

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Test #137: Bacon and TRISCUIT

The subject
Triscuits are the butchest of snack crackers. You can drag them through heavy dips, smear them with thick spreads--they'll stand up to whatever tasty treatments you subject them to. They're not exactly good for you--although each cracker has about a half gram of fiber, which is pretty sweet--but they sure taste good, even plain--and now, the fine people at Nabisco have various flavors. Our personal fave is the Roasted Garlic kind, which actually tastes pretty darned garlicky. The variety we subjected to the bacon test, however, is (in what could be considered a brilliant stroke of irony) Reduced Fat. Here goes...

The result
The Triscuit underneath the bacon puffed up, looking more like a nugget of shredded mini-wheats than a cracker, and it took on a bit of bacony goodness. However, we were expecting a lot more flavor than we got, and because the Triscuit's extreme crunchiness was taken down several notches, the taste, texture, and overall baconsperience were a wee bit on the disappointing side. We could see adding some parmesan cheese and/or tomato before wrapping one of the Roasted Garlic Triscuits in bacon, but as for the plain one--eh, we'd pass on a repeat of this one.

The conclusion: Bacon + Triscuit = fair to middlin'

Wednesday: Bacon + sausage
Thursday: Bacon + granola bar

Monday, April 13, 2009

Test #136: Bacon and BLUEBERRY MUFFIN

The subject
Homemade blueberry muffins are among the most heavenly of baked goods--and prepackaged muffins among the most devlish. The homemade variety fill your abode with the aroma of sweet pastry goodness and your belly with a warm, fuzzy feeling. The plastic-wrapped kind, while still tasty, fill your cubicle with a fake blueberryish smell, and your gut with an insane amount of fat. To maintain an acceptable level of moistness, prepackaged muffins like the variety hawked by Otis Spunkmeyer, Hostess, Nemo's, and other companies pump their wares up with mind-boggling levels of fat. This mini-muffin, for example, contains 5g of fat, and 100 calories. By contrast, one strip of bacon offers up about 40 calories and 3.5g of fat.

We're not afraid of fat here at BDJ Labs--today's test marries one mini muffin with two strips of bacon.

The result
Not much bacon-muffin flavor exchange--we think the muffin is already so fat-full that the bacon grease couldn't infiltrate and permeate it--but still tasty. Homemade muffins might be better--in fact, we think we might try making homemade muffins linining the pan with BACON instead of those little paper things--if we do, we'll report on a Sunday in one of our Bacon Bit features. Until then, if we do venture out and procure prepackaged muffins, they will remain baconless.

The conclusion: Bacon + blueberry muffin = just pretty good

Tuesday: Bacon + Triscuit
Wednesday: Bacon + sausage

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Bacon Bit #B06: Bacon baskets!

The staff at BDJ Labs is taking the day off to go do Eastery things with family--hopefully, you're having a relaxing, stress-free day of family/friends/fun/etc. Whatever your day includes, you might enjoy making these adorable, yet functional, bacon baskets. OK, Megan over at NotMartha calls them "cups" but it's Easter--we're trying to be all festive 'n stuff.

Anyway, all you need to craft these edible receptacles is bacon, a mega-muffin tin, perhaps some aluminum foil, and an oven. What you put inside is up to you--we're thinking egg salad would be great (and a creative way to dispatch with all those eggs you went crazy dyeing), as would mixed greens, or--to simulate BLT in a cup--a mix of chopped tomato, bacon, onion, celery, and mayo. The possibilities are endless.

Happy Easter, all!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Test #135: Bacon and EASTER EGG

The subject
Bacon and eggs are a classic combo--one of our favorite meals, at breakfast or any other time. And, one of our favorite things about Easter is dyeing the eggs. Each egg in the carton presents its white-shell canvas as an opportunity to make something pretty with the colored water, the wax stick (labeled the "Magic Crayon" by the Paas people), and your imagination. The bacon-looking creation at left was crafted by BDJ Labs associate Rebecca--the photo doesn't do it justice, believe you us. We were almost reluctant to subject this particular masterpiece to the bacon test, until we accidentally dropped it on the floor. Gravity and the kitchen floor ruined the beautiful shell and made the decision for us.

The result
Yum--the bacon-wrapped egg was like portable breakfast. It tasted just like the one-two combo we like so much on our morning plates, with one exception: Most of us here at BDJ Labs like our yolk on the runny side, but that wasn't possible with more than 20 minutes of oven baking, after about as long hard-boiling the poor thing. Even so, the outer layer of bacon cooked up crisp-crunchy, the inner layer a little softer. The two coupled with the egg for something we think would make the perfect treat for your Easter breakast or brunch tomorrow--feel free to steal this idea and treat your guests to something special.

The conclusion: Bacon + Easter egg = delish

Sunday: This week's Bacon Bit
Monday: Bacon + blueberry muffin

Friday, April 10, 2009

Test #134: Bacon and MARSHMALLOW BUNNY

The subject
When we were youngsters, our favorite omnipresent Easter basket treat was marshmallow eggs. The candy was good, nothing special, but the marshmallow ovoid treats, coated with a thin veil of waxy chocolate, were packaged in a REAL egg carton. Well, we just thought that was boss. Feeling all nostalgic, we decided to give our beloved fave the bacon treatment--but we couldn't find them. Our procurement department searched high and low, to no avail. Disappointment, but not deterred, we settled for Brach's marshmallow bunnies. They're not exactly the same--the eggs, when put in the freezer, would get hard and brittle, like a Charleston Chew, while the bunnies just get insanely tough--but they're close enough for our quasi-scientific purposes.

The result
We wrapped this test subject tightly, but most of the sweet chemical goo squeezed out the end and turned into a charrific pool. The bacon remaining, however, was graced with a touch of sweetness, so it wasn't a total loss. One thing: We wish the chocolate were more than just a thin layer, so that there would have been more sweet, gushy chocolaty goodness. We suspect, however, that the sheer awesomeness of the Cadbury Creme Egg might have ruined us for all other chocolate-related bacon tests. In the case of this marshmallow bunny, we'd rather eat just plain bacon. Sorry, Mr. Bunny.

The conclusion: Bacon + marshmallow bunny = just okay

Saturday: Bacon + Easter egg
Sunday: This week's Bacon Bit

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Test #133: Bacon and MATZO

The subject
First of all, the shiksas and shaygitzes of BDJ Labs are deeply sorry for this test, and we would like to apologize to all the Jews of the world for using bacon to befoul the Official Snack Cracker of the Chosen People. We're probably hellbound for all sorts of other offenses that the G-d of the Torah frowns upon (eating bacon, for example), so we figured this wouldn't make much difference to Him in the grand scheme of things.

Secondly, we'd like to remind everyone else that you don't have to be Jewish to munch on matzo--they're an awesome blank canvas for all sorts of foods and appetizers. Cream cheese and lox, peanut butter and jelly, whatever--the Shingles of G-d are hearty enough to stand up to whatever condiments and toppings you choose to put on them--in that respect, they kick your gentile saltine's tukis. We were certain that a matzo would stand up to the bacon treatment...

The result
...and we were right. We only used two strips on half a matzo, because we were on the last strips of the package and didn't feel like opening up another (we're lazy--sue us), so a little matzo poked out of the bacon on each end. That lazyass move turned out to pay off--not only did the bacon pinching in the middle create a cute matzo bow tie (see pic), the ends of the matzo were exposed to just enough bacon grease and oven heat to make 'em super-crunchy and flavorful. The bacon-touched matzo was even better--unlike other snack products we've tried that wilted pathetically when touched by bacon (we're lookin' at YOU, Doritos), the matzo under the bacon stayed crispy-crunchy while taking on a healthy dose of bacon flavor and grease. We're hoping this snack is served in the section of Hell we're sent to post-death--although we hear that Jews don't believe in Hell, so guess we'll just eat these now.

The conclusion: Bacon + matzo = geschmeck (delicious)

Friday: Bacon + marshmallow bunny
Saturday: Bacon + Easter egg

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Test #132: Bacon and CADBURY CREME EGG

The subject
Love them or hate them, Cadbury Creme Eggs are one of the most beloved Easter confections. BDJ Labs associate Rebecca would subsist on these alone, were calories and cholesterol not an object. They're also among the more adorable holiday candies--the white fondant filling, which is sweet enough to turn your face inside out, is colored yellow at the center to make it look like real yolk. Awww. The Cadbury factory in the U.K. pumps out 1.5 million of these babies a day. We took one, wrapped it and bacon...and now, our findings.

The result
We learned from our failed Peeps experiment and decided to wrap the creme egg tightly, with three layers of bacon keeping the chocolate and fondant from leaking. The diligence paid off--only the tiniest bit of chocolate oozed out one corner, leaving the bacon-ensconced creme egg almost entirely entact. It's a good thing, too--this baconspiriment is one of the tastiest yet. Baking seemed to toned down the sugar factor just a touch, and the fondant was slightly caramelized from the baking process (see cross-section photo), and the melted, creamy chocolate hugged the bacon in a loving embrace. During consumption, many borderline-orgasmic "Mmmmm" noises emanated from the test kitchen--an audible sign that the test was a rousing success.

The conclusion: Bacon + Cadbury Creme Egg = an Easter miracle

Thursday: Bacon + matzoh
Friday: Bacon + marshmallow egg

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Oh, noes!

We've been getting reports that BDJ is looking weird when viewed through Firefox. It looks like the new ad service we're using has an issue with the banners--until we can get that annoying issue resolved, we'll just take the ads off. In the meantime, if you're having problems viewing the site through Firefox or any other browser, we'd greatly appreciate it if you could let us know. Please leave a comment after this post, or e-mail us at

Thanks for your support. You're awesome.

Peace, love, and bacon,


Bacon music

As a special Easter treat, we at BDJ Labs would like to drop this bacon-themed tune into your basket. By the way, DJilikecoffee is the alter ego of head BDJ Labs head tech Jenni.

Test #131: Bacon and JELLY BEANS

The subject
Jelly beans have their origin in centuries-old Turkish Delight, the jelly-like candy that the White Witch entices Edmund with in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. While we find the "Delight" part of that name to be a total misnomer, we find jelly beans very delightful. I mean, they're sugar-coated sugar--how could you not love that? The little morsels have had tons of fans over the years, from Union soldiers in the Civil War, to President Ronald Reagan, to the kids at Hogwarts. The fine people at Jelly Belly actually make a Muggletized version of Bertie Botts' Every Flavor Beans--just watch out for the Vomit and Rotten Egg beans.

Jelly beans are one of the most Easter of candies, sure to be in your Easter basket this coming Sunday. We opened a bag a few days early to put our favorite colors to the bacon test (side note: we were totally freaked out when we opened the bag of Brach's beans and saw not a single yellow bean). Here we go...

The result
Much like yesterday's Peepxperiment, much of the test subject squeezed out the ends and got all black and icky. However, while the Peep residue served to candy the bacon left behind, the sweetness and the flavor of the jelly beans completely vacated the premises, leaving behind three tasteless lumps of transluscent gelatin from the jelly-bean centers. The taste wasn't horrible, but the consistency was just plain weird...snotlike, in fact. The result might go over well with nosepicking gradeschoolers, but not with the BDJ Labs staffers--our booger-snackin' days are far behind us.

The conclusion: Bacon + jelly beans = boogeriffic

Wednesday: Bacon + Cadbury Creme Egg
Thursday: Bacon + matzoh

Monday, April 6, 2009

Test #130: Bacon and PEEPS

The subject
Look at this poor, unsuspecting Peep--it has no idea what's about to happen to it. On the one hand, we kind of feel sorry for the about-to-be-bacon-baked adorable confection, but on the other hand, it's not like we're new to Peep torture. Head BDJ Lab tech Jenni, for example, has by her own count put hundreds of marshmallow Peeps (both the bunny and the chick kind) to their doom through microwave torture. You could head over to and search "microwave Peep," but it's much more fun to do it yourself--just put a Peep on a 'wave-safe, Pam-sprayed plate, cook for about 0:45, and watch--it's awesome.

Since Peeps are our favorite Easter treat, and they perform so well in the microwave, we wondered how they'd fare if shrouded in bacon. We took one chocolate mousse-flavored Peep and put it to the test.

The result
You may look at the "after" pic at right here and ask, "Where'd the Peep go?" The answer--it melted, pooped out the gaps in what we thought was impeccably wrapped-around bacon, and turned into a blackened, noxious mess on the baking sheet. What was left was a shriveled little husk of bacon--slightly tasty (the lingering sweetness candied the meat), but mostly disappointing. Maybe if we'd pre-baked the bacon in the microwave? We decided this test isn't worth repeating--don't want to waste bacon.

The conclusion: Bacon + Peep = disappointing disappearing act

Tuesday: Bacon + jelly beans
Wednesday: Bacon + Cadbury creme egg

Sunday, April 5, 2009

It's Easter Week!

In honor of the impending anniversary of Jesus' resurrection, BDJ is celebrating the next seven days by wrapping special treats associated with the BACON! We're not sure if J.C. and his posse noshed on bacon at the Last Supper, but if it had been on the menu, maybe Judas wouldn't have been such a douchebag and narc'ed on Our Lord and Savior for a few measly pieces of silver. Then again, if THAT had been the case, Jeezy Creezy wouldn't have died for our it's kind of a draw.

Anyway, in the days leading up to Jesus' rebirthday, we'll be doing some special stuff--keep your peepers peeled, yo.

Bacon Bit #B05: Bacon is GOOD for you!

We're not kidding--the foodstuff often maligned with the reputation of being the worst possible edible you could put in your mouth actually has health benefits. Seriously! The numbers vary by brand, company, strip thickness, curing method, etc., but basically here's the good news:

A two-strip serving of delicious cured pork has about 5g of protein (roughly equivalent to that yucky cup of yogurt you were thinking about having for breakfast).

Bacon is rich in a number of vitamins; for example, a serving delivers about 10% of your daily recommended dose of B6 (necessary for protein metabolism and immune-system functions), and about 12% of the B12 (important for maintaining normal brain function) you need in a day.

Bacon also contains a bunch of minerals--12% of your daily zinc (needed for metabolism and immunity functions), 30% of the phosphorus (cellular function), and 30% of the niacin (which can actually lower cholesterol, and the risk of heart attack).

To sum up: While it's probably not a good idea to subsist on bacon alone (as great as that may sound), it's not as horrible for you as the bacon haters have led you to believe. The next time you cook up a package of bacon for you and your loved ones, know that you're helping them live healthy, happy lives.

BTW, we're not just pulling this information out of our collective tukises. Our Web sources include the National Institutes of Health, the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University (go, Beavers!), and Also, the adorable Boston Terrier pic above comes from there and you can see all sorts of other awesome art.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Test #129: Bacon and BACONATOR

The subject
Wendy, you big tease. You boast that the so-called Baconator is "piled high" with six strips of bacon. We fall for your come-on, only to lift your bun and count only five strips--each half the length of your average bacon strip, one half the width, and all as pathetically thin as tissue paper. How could our beloved bacon help but be overpowered by the two 1/4-lb. beef patties, two shingles of cheese, and the too-large bun? You might as well call this sandwich the Baconhater, because that's the kind of treatment you're showing salted meat with this disappointing display.

Oh, well, we know how to make things right--we wrapped one of these babies with six long, thick strips of REAL bacon (not that crap you're using) and popped it in the oven.

The result
The bacon-wrapped Baconator might be one of the most beautiful things we've ever set our eyes on--look at the oven-browned strips of loveliness gracing the bun. During the consumption phase, we were delighted to find out the new-and-improved Baconator tasted as wonderful as it looked--the only problem, the intensity proved to be too much even for our bacon-tempered constitutions, and we could only consume a fraction of the sandwich (which weighed nearly a full pound). In the first time in the history of BDJ--leftovers! We're greatly looking forward to our lunch break later today to dispatch of the remains.

The conclusion: Bacon + Wendy's Baconator = F*CK, YEAH!

Sunday: A Very Special Bacon Bit
Monday: Bacon + Marshmallow Peeps

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Test #128: Bacon and Slyder

The subject
Founded way back in 1921 in Wichita, White Castle is America's oldest national burger chain. Fun fact: Restaurant No. 8 in Minneapolis was modeled after Chicago's very castle-ish Water Tower, and the motif continued through to the logo the company uses today. The guy that started White Castle, Walter Anderson, is credited with creating the fast-food assembly line still used in restaurants today--although Mr. Anderson's insistence on using fresh ground beef has been supplanted by frozen little wafers of meat. The cooking process is called "steam grilling," which sounds kind of healthy, doesn't it? Yeah--no.

While the Castle's wee little sammiches have a reputation for being heavy on the grease (not helped by the company calling them by their trademarked name Slyder), they're not that evil--only 140 calories apiece, roughly the same per ounce as a McDonald's or BK burger. When you wrap a Slyder in bacon, however, the cal count goes up just a tad bit.

The result
Dear Lord in Heaven, why couldn't you have made vegetables taste this good? If only we didn't have to worry about our arteries, cholesterol, or waistlines--we'd sit around munching on bacon-wrapped Slyders all damned day long. Sadly, because the bacon-bakin' caused the already fat-slicked bun to soak up every delicious drop of grease from the strips, existing on a diet of nothing but bacon Slyders would not be possible--rather, it would be near suicidal.

The conclusion: Bacon + White Castle Slyder = fatgasm

Saturday: Bacon + Wendy's Baconator
Sunday: A Very Special Bacon Bit

Test #127: Bacon and MUNCHKIN

The subject
A Munchkin is a fabulous invention--a concentrated tidbit of doughnutty goodness contained within a package that's small enough to fit in your mouth in one bite. When head BDJ Labs staffer Jenni lived in Schaumburg, she'd stop at the Dunkin Donuts at Plum Grove and Schaumburg Rds. Not only would the nice Indian ladies behind the counter have her "the usual" order ready when she walked in the door, they'd also frequently give her a few plain Munchkins, to disperse between her dogs (barking loudly in the car outside), and the ducks that frequented the strip-mall bushes.

Well, ducks and dogs love Munchkins, and so do humans--but would we love them more, or less, if they were wrapped in bacon?

The result
As it turns out, we loved them not more, or less--just differently. The bacon did the sweet glazed/raised Munchkin we selected for the test justice, imparting just a touch of bacony goodness into the pastry. The doughnut hole got just a tad too greasy, however, so while unadorned Munchkins are easily consumed en masse (the way God intended), not even the heartiest baconeater among us could down more than one of these, as awesome as they were.

The conclusion: Bacon + munchkin = sweet little treat

Friday: White Castle "slider"
Saturday: Wendy's Baconater

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Test #126: Bacon and 7-LAYER BURRITO

The subject
Taco Bell's 7-Layer Burrito is ungodly huge. I mean look at that thing--it could feed an African village for two weeks. No wonder Americans are fat (BTW, you should go look at This Is Why You're Fat--those guys RULE)--we eat stuff like this on a regular basis. This overstuffed wonder packs rice, beans, three cheeses (cheddar, pepperjack and mozzarella), shredded lettuce, tomatoes, reduced fat (why bother?) sour cream, and guacamole in a flour tortilla. Calories: nearly 500. Fat: 17g. Not good, but positively fabulous when you consider the taco "salad" has 45g of fat--and when the fat content of a salad has the staff of a friggin' bacon blog saying "Day-amn!" you got problems.

Anyway, we decided to wrap the 7-Layer Burrito in four strips of bacon. No, we don't know what we were thinking, either.

The result
The photo at right is seriously cleaned up, so as to protect our more delicate readers. That thing came out of the oven looking like a horror show--the filling pooped out of both ends of the burrito during baking, then turned into a brown/black mess. It was hurl-inducing, and you deserve better than that--hence, the photo edit.

Thankfully, the flavor result was a stark contrast to the test subject's sheer buttugliness. Because the filling had skedaddled, the ratio of bacon:tortilla:filling was fairly even and pleasant--the bacon was perfectly crisp-cooked, the tortilla crunchified, and the filling didn't overwhelm. Still, there's no way on God's blue marble that a human being should eat one of these by herself--between the heavy, already-fat-laden filling and the added heft of the bacon, no arteries could stand the pressure. Feel free to share with a fellow bacon-lover, though, at your own risk.

The conclusion: Bacon + 7-Layer Burrito = good, but too damned much

Thursday: Bacon + Dunkin Donuts Munchkin
Friday: Bacon + White Castle "slider"