This past weekend I ran some tests. First, I used duck fat to pop some popcorn. It was a noble experiment, with the duck fat adding a barely noticeable flavor to the corn, but it wasn’t life-altering (which was disappointing, as I currently have 8 pounds of duck fat in my fridge).
So then I tried popping the corn in some bacon grease that I had rendered from that morning’s breakfast. Again, the grease added a very subtle bacon flavor to the popcorn, but it wasn’t enough for me.
And then the proverbial light bulb went off. I melted some more of the bacon grease. I then ground up a slice of crispy bacon into a powder (a spice mill or coffee grinder works well here). I put the popcorn in a paper bag, poured the bacon fat over it, and shook it vigorously in the bag. I then added the bacon powder, shook it again, and ended up with exactly what I was seeking: popcorn that wasn’t soggy or heavy, but with a fair amount of bacon flavor. You could taste corn and bacon, which was the balance I was seeking, and I’ve now found a new snack for the Varmint household.
I’m not going to give you a recipe for this, as anybody knows how to make popcorn. But here are some tips.
First, render the bacon fat over low heat, and then strain it through a paper towel to get rid of the sediment that can burn.
Then be sure to cook your bacon until it is very crisp. I’ve heard that freezing the bacon can facilitate turning it into powder form.
Pop about a half cup of popcorn in 3-4 Tbsp. of filtered bacon grease. Don’t use high heat, as bacon fat has a fairly low smoke point.
Put the popcorn in a large paper grocery bag. Drizzle about 2-3 Tbsp. of melted, filtered bacon grease over the popcorn and shake vigorously to distribute the grease. Add the bacon powder and shake some more.
Eat. With lots of beer.