Bacon dust sounds like a fantastical component of a pork-lover’s daydream, but it’s an all-too-real condiment used to anoint everything from ice cream to French fries with its bacony blessing. Bacon dust is exactly what its name describes: rendered and dried bacon pulverized and powdered to a dust ranging in texture from coarse to fine. You won’t find it in many markets, but you don’t need to because it’s easy to make at home where you can control its texture. Making bacon-dusted French fries is a straight-forward procedure. Simply season with bacon dust as you would any other powdered spice.
Things You'll Need
Coat a heavy-bottomed pan with a sheen of oil. You only need enough to help get the bacon rendering in the beginning. Wipe the oil over the bottom of the pan with a paper towel.
Place the pan on the stove and set the heat to low. Cut the bacon strips into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces and place them in the pan.
Cook the bacon until it crisps, about 12 to 15 minutes. Pour off the fat in a heat-safe container, such as a glass jar, and return the pan to the stove. Continue cooking the bacon until it starts popping frequently and turn the heat off.
Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and place it on a plate lined with paper towels. Blot the bacon with paper towels to lift as much fat as possible.
Set the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the bacon on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the bacon in the oven with the door slightly ajar.
Dry the bacon in the oven for about an hour, or until it crumbles readily when you pick it up. You only want to dry the bacon, not cook it to well done.
Remove the bacon and transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels. Degrease the bacon again to lift the fat. Place the bacon in a spice grinder until half full.
Pulse the bacon until it reaches the texture you like. A few pulses and you’ll have coarse bacon dust that has a pleasant crunch. If you grind it for 30 seconds you’ll have a powder about as fine as powdered sugar.
Transfer the bacon dust to a bowl or food storage container.
Fry the French fries. Fill a heavy-bottomed skillet with about 1/2 inch of high-heat oil, such as peanut, and place it on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the fries in a single layer in the oil and cook until golden brown. Remove the fries with a slotted spoon and place them on a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Packaged frozen fries take about five to eight minutes to cook, and homemade fries take about 15 minutes to cook.
Place the fries in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle the fries with kosher salt and bacon dust to taste and toss to coat. Taste the fries and add more bacon or salt as needed.
Store bacon dust in a covered food-storage container in the refrigerator and use it within a few days.
Clean the spice grinder by filling it with dry white rice and grinding it for about 30 seconds. Empty the ground rice and you have a clean spice grinder.
Store rendered bacon fat in a covered food-storage container in the refrigerator up to 30 days.