Sept. 5 is the second annual International Bacon Day. Or at least it’s been declared so by the Bacon Boys, the duo behind Bacon Explosion. The stunning display of pork is a practically unimaginable bacon sausage meatloaf-ish concoction that causes hearts everywhere to skip a beat when merely described (in anticipation of a cardiac episode, of course). Bacon Explosion is old news in pork-obsessed foodie circles, but I’ve been surprised at how few people here seem to know about it when I describe it. I was surprised when I found it on the menu at Woody's on the Water. It's more of a backyard barbecue challenge than a restaurant dish. Click more for the recipe and a description of Woody's Bacon Explosion Burger.
Jason Day and Aaron Chronister are the Bacon Boys and the creators of Bacon Explosion. Get your pork-lovin’ mind around this: Bacon Explosion starts with a weave pattern layer of raw bacon on a cookie sheet – sort of like a lattice pie top, but made of thick-cut bacon. Barbecue spices are sprinkled on top of that. The next layer is ground sausage. Another layer of crumbled, cooked bacon is placed on top along and finished with barbecue sauce. The sausage and crumbled bacon are rolled up jelly-roll cake style, then the lattice layer goes around that (like I said, it’s meatloaf-ish looking). Then, the loaf is smoked over slow and low indirect heat for a few hours. For the morbidly curious, find the recipe here.
So imagine my surprise when I was happy houring at Woody’s on the Water to find a Bacon Explosion Burger on the menu. Said Bacon Explosion Burger ($7.95) comes with a side of fries. And Woody’s version appears to stay true to the recipe.
Woody’s Bacon Explosion Burger looks like it's a hefty slice off a Bacon Explosion loaf. And a porky burger, it is. The outer layer has the signature basket-weave pork construction of bacon. I felt like a geologist taking a core sample when I sliced into the middle and unearthed ground sausage, spices, barbecue sauce and an epicenter of crispy bacon. The burger came dressed with mayo (because there just wasn't enough fat in it already, I guess), green leaf lettuce, thick-sliced tomatoes and grilled onions on a sesame seed bun. Crisp fries added the final smack of calorie-laden gluttony to my lunch. I don’t know if I’ll ever recover from eating the Bacon Explosion burger, but it made for a curious culinary experience. It was surprisingly light for a patty made from such a large amount of pork products. Also, I was expecting grease to drip down my arm or at least on the plate. Nope, none of that. I suppose a good portion of the fat dripped away during the cooking process. I probably shouldn't eat for the rest of the week having consumed a good portion of it.
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I know people who have had neighborhood Bacon Explosion cook-offs. I’m thinking this could be exactly the kind of activity for a lazy Labor Day weekend -- and it is International Bacon Day this weekend. If you cook up a Bacon Explosion, or have cooked one before, please comment here or e-mail me pics, brags or porky comments at firstname.lastname@example.org
Woody's on the WaterWhere: 1715 Dock Street, TacomaInfo: 253-272-1433Website: http://www.woodystacoma.com/