Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bacon Bit: Bacon turkey review coming

BDJ Labs' tech department seems to have misplaced (again!) the cord that connects the BDJ Labs' BaconCam to the BaconPuter's USB port so, unfortunately, we haven't been able to upload photos of the results yet. Hopefully tomorrow we'll be able to send our Head of Procurement out to a local computer store to replace it. Until then, please enjoy this video, quite possibly the cutest 17 seconds ever.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Bacon Bit: Not turkey bacon--BACON TURKEY

We won't go into our feelings about the culinary lie that is "turkey bacon"--we'll let this pic tell that tale for us. We will, however, share with you our love for bacon turkey. You hopefully already know how fabulous a turkey club is, with its marriage of moist bird slices and salty pig strips. Cook the two together, though, and the union becomes a holy one.

The process is insanely simple: use your fingers to loosen the skin over the breast, so that there's a nice gap. This is where you slide strips of delicious smoked bacon. We prefer Nueske's for the purpose--the intense smokiness and sweetness of the applewood permeates the turkey and makes the bird itself take on a smoked flavor. Anyway, so you slide the strips so that there's a single layer across the turkey's whole top area, and cook like you usually would. If you need help figuring that out, I highly recommend the hugely helpful and informative Butterball site--our favorite feature is the turkey-time calculator; you just type the poundage in, and it tells you the time.

We can't tell you how delicious the gravy from a bacon turkey is. It's not a secret or anything--we just don't want to drool on the keyboard and short out the BDJ Labs laptop.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

On loss and love of BACON

NOTE: Today's post is written by BDJ Labs' head technician, Jenni S. The views expressed herein are her own and not necessarily shared by the rest of the BDJ Labs staff, its management or owners. Okay, they totally ARE, but we had to say that stuff. Lawyers. Anyway...

I'm a loser. At least, I am according to the results of Wendy's hunt to find the country's biggest bacon fan. The Twitter-based contest consisted of 12 days of gunning for points by tweeting with the #bacon hashtag, writing bacon haiku, taking pics of bacon, making bacon crafts, blogging about bacon, answering bacon questions, creating bacon videos, yada yada yada. Despite the fact that I love bacon more than anyone else I've ever met, I came in fourth. I guess I should be happy, considering I didn't learn about the contest until it'd already begun, and I didn't figure out the trick to racking up the points until almost the very end. Yet, when the bacony smoke cleared and I found myself without a single prize, I was devastated. Ah, well--what would any sporting contest be without bad calls and/or heartbreaking losses?

Friday night, when the curtain went down on the Wendy's contest and I learned I'd lost, I was as heartbroken as a 8-year-old girl finding out Santa had forgotten to leave a Barbie Dream House underneath the Christmas tree and, instead, discovered boxes of Carter's undershirts. I'd worked my bacon-loving BUTT off the last day of the contest to secure the $200 daily prize. I made a bacon mobile:

...I made a rocking, blingy bacon bracelet:

Isn't it pretty? By the way, in case you were wondering about what happened to the strip entwined around my wrist, and whether or not it got tossed, you needn't be concerned. I didn't waste the bacon--this sucker, raw in the picture, went right from around my wrist to a preheated oven, where it was baked to crispy perfection. Yum, lunch. In fact, not a single strip of delicious, savory bacon was wasted in the entire course of the contest--not by ME, anyway.

...with the help of Seth at BaconFest Chicago, I tracked down bacon-lover Kelly, who graciously sent me pics of her Japanese-character tattoo of the word "bacon" with my Twitter ID stuck next to it:

I tweeted about bacon all day long--exceeding the maximum of three times an hour. I came up with countless things that bacon would say #ifbaconcouldtalk. I posted a heartwarming bacon story to the Wendy's site (with photographic evidence submitted to the contest's cruise director, UrBaconMeCrazy). I did every single thing I was supposed to do, and as of 5pm, by my calculations I was so far ahead of the pack that I could have STOPPED tweeting about #bacon and #ifbaconcouldtalk at that point and still came out on top. Yet, when I checked the leader board at the end of the evening, there I was, behind several others. I was heartbroken.

Two days later, however, my pain has abated greatly. In fact, it's been replaced by the realization that I don't give a pork butt about points and tweets and leader boards. No offense, IsCoolerThanYou or SimplyDab--you might have racked up the gift cards and prizes, but I came away from the contest with something better: the rock-hard conviction that I AM THE GREATEST BACON LOVER EVER. It's not that I eat more bacon than anyone--I have no idea or desire to quantify the amount--or that I talk about bacon more than anyone. It's that my passion for all things bacon runs so deep that I cannot imagine it running any deeper, in anyone else, anywhere. Bacon is in my SOUL. So there.

I'm very thankful to the wonderful people at Wendy's for putting their bacon love out there so strongly, and for having the cajones to put together such a powerful, creative social media experiment. I hope this is only the beginning of the company's push to achieve total bacon global domination. I'll back that 100%.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Test #189: Bacon and POMEGRANATE

Pomegranate's soared in popularity in the past few years because it's crazy fulla antioxidants. We don't really care if it's a capital-S "Superfood"--we just know that it tastes, well, super. And, in addition to offering up a wonderful tart-sweet flavor combo, the edible seeds of the fruit deliver a fun texture; the crunchy seed is enveloped in a thick coating of gooey goodness. Your first encounter with pomegranate can be confusing, but as our hero Alton Brown explains in this episode of Good Eats (yes, that's two days of Alton worship in a row), it's not that hard to break into a pomegranate at all.

We decided to take a few of the sensational seeds and wrap them in bacon.

The result

While the slippery seeds were a bear to wrap up--we gave up trying to wrangle them and just kind of sandwiched them between two bacon layers--the trouble paid off. We half expected the seeds to explode during the baking process, but no special effects occured, other than the magic the two elements worked on each other. The pomegranate seeds took on a wee bit of the bacon's salty-savory flavor, and the bacon around them became sweet and sour. Nibbled together, the combination of flavors and textures made eating the tidbit delightful. Definitely worth repeating.

The conclusion: Bacon + pomegranate = a super food combination

Monday, November 16, 2009

Bacon Bit: Cooking genius recommends waffle iron for bakin' bacon

Normally we wouldn't question the genius of Good Eats host Alton Brown. He's taught us about roasting our own coffee, how to make pickles, aging our own steaks, and the best way to bust open a pomegranate--all fantastic advice we use on a regular basis. However, when we saw the video our friends at Lifehacker picked up on, showing Mr. Brown touting the benefits of cooking bacon in a waffle iron, we balked. What about the mess? The grease drainage? Waffle-patterned bacon? Granted, the waffle iron in BDJ Labs was procured at Target for $8, so it's not very big and doesn't have removable, dishwasherable plates in it, but still--sounds weird to us. We stand by our recommendation that bacon be cooked in the oven--on a nonstick-sprayed cookie sheet or jelly-roll pan, at 350, for 12 to 15 minutes. Below is the video, or you can click here to go watch on Lifehacker.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Test #188: Bacon and CAULIFLOWER

The subject
Cauliflower is among the prettiest vegetables. It's also one of the more--how can we put this delicately?--gas-inducing. Seriously, if a person were to eat a whole head of cauliflower at once, about 45 minutes afterward, he could be considered a biological weapon. Happily, the flavor and texture more than make up for the embarrassing side effects (in the opinion of most BDJ Labs staffers, anyway). Eat it with friends, and you're all in the same, potentially poot-filled boat. Just be sure to keep a window open, and stay away from open flames. And if you're having a cauliflower party, you might feel inclined to wrap a bit in bacon--which is just what we did.

The results
Pretty darned good--the cauliflower gave up hardly any of its slightly earthy taste, but took on plenty of bacony flavor throughout. The only downside: in order to crisp-cook the bacon, the whole shebang had to stay in the oven a bit longer than the cauliflower could take, so rather than the crunchy texture that lightly steamed cauli takes on, the veggie was pretty darned wilted. Also, as cooked cauliflower usually does, the nugget coming out of the oven smelled. Kind of like a fart wrapped in bacon. It tasted much better, thank goodness.

The conclusion: Bacon + cauliflower = smells like a winner

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bacon Bit: A Visit from the Bacon Fairy

Good morning, my bacon-loving children! I'm Porcina, the Bacon Fairy, guest-blogging on BDJ today. I just wanted to let you know that while the staff of BDJ Labs is sleeping off their bacontini and bacon Mary hangovers this morning, I'm leaving them a fridge full of delicious, magical bacon, so that they can perform their crazy bacon experiments every day for the next week, at the very least. Isn't that wonderful? La la la. I'm a fairy! La la la.

Happy baconing!


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Aside of Bacon: Gay-larious Comedy Show!

Like our beloved pork strips, Gayco is salty and delicious. Also like bacon, once you've had a taste of Gayco's unique flavor of comedy, you'll want to nom on it again and again. AAAAH, RUNAWAY METAPHOR!! Anyway, here's a clip that doesn't begin to describe how funny they are. Click here for more info about the show, and to get yourself some damned tickets.


So you saw that we blogged about Wendy's and global bacon domination earlier today, right? Well, the burger-slinging, bacon-loving broad with the red pigtails saw we sent her some bacon love and sent us some love right back--namely, the fast-food giant used that posting as a tidbit in the Wendy's Twitter-based bacon contest. Which is pretty danged awesome. Almost as awesome as winning the big bacon-lovers prizes Wendy's is doling out (almost). Anyway, here's photographic proof:

Yeah. We know when it's real.

Bacon Bit: Wendy's Bacon Deluxe

After the minor disappointment that was the Third Pound Angus Bacon Burger from a certain fast-food establishment (no names, but it rhymes with Schmick Schmonald's), we decided to try the new Bacon Deluxe from Wendy's. In a word: it's awesome. While we fully acknowledge no sandwich could ever have enough bacon on it to satisfy our appetite for salty pork strips, we do have to admit that this sandwich does better than most in delivering the bacon boom.

Also, we applaud Wendy's for doing better than any other national fast-food chain in furthering the cause of worldwide bacon domination; however, it can't stop at just a couple of sandwiches. We at BDJ Labs humbly submit the following suggestions to help Wendy's in its quest to baconate the universe:
  1. Bacon Frosty: We already know that one of the most delicious combos available through a Wendy's dining experience is dipping one's fries into a Frosty. Take the salty/sweet sensation to the next level by adding crispy bacon bits to the mix.
  2. Bacon-wrapped fries: Before you dunk the potato spears into the fryer, take a few moments to wrap a bacon life preserver around each one.
  3. Bacon bits for the baked potatoes: Total no-brainer
  4. Bacon Tenders: Wendy's has the tastiest chicken nuggets, but imagine how much better they'd be if they were wrapped in bacon before being battered and friend.
  5. Bacon Supermegawesomedeluxe: Just like the current fabulous sandwich, only fabulouser. Chop bits of bacon and add it to the beef before forming the patty. Wrap the patty in bacon before frying. Top the patty with 42 strips of bacon. Melt bacon-cheddar cheese over that. Add french-fried onions that have been cooked in bacon grease. Douse with bacon-ranch dressing. Top with genetically engineered tomatoes that have been cross-bred with the nation's finest Yorkshire hogs to impart them with bacony goodness (see the "tomacco" episode of "The Simpsons" to get an idea of how this would work). Then, instead of a top bun: more bacon.
We were going to tell you about Wendy's Twitter contest to find the nation's biggest bacon lover, but since we want to keep the prize money and not share, we're not telling after all, and instead we cordially invite you to go F yourselves.

Have a bacony day,

BDJ Labs