Benton's: Smoky Mountain Bacon Sensation

Benton's is known for its famous ham, sausage, prosciutto, and yes, perfectly-cooked bacon. Find more diners and dives from Off the Eaten Path.


[MUSIC] I'm Morgan Murphy. I have travelled 10,000 miles this summer to find the very best food in the south. Come along with me as I show you the south's best restaurants off the Eaten Path. I'm Morgan Murphy. You're watching Off the Eaten Path. One of my favorite things on Earth is bacon, and not only bacon but the best bacon on Earth Benton's bacon. We're about to find out how this little slice of heaven is made. Hey, I'm Morgan Murrface. Morgan, how do you do? Nice to meet you. Alan, you make the best bacon in the world. I cannot wait to try this. Will you show me how it's made. I will be a widely to show you. Alright, lets take a, lets take a look. [MUSIC] These hogs were raised on pasture, with no antibiotics in the feed. They're mostly old breeds. [INAUDIBLE] red wattle. These hogs have the ability to have a little bit more fat and marble. Feedlot work. Chefs all over the country have learned if you can put that fat back in the hog, it tastes better. These hams were cured a little over a week ago. And we use a mixture of salt and brown sugar and blackened red pepper. Which is my original family recipe from an old log smoke house in Virginia behind the [INAUDIBLE] Chuck is in the process of reworking this [UNKNOWN] He's got the salt, brown sugar, and black pepper mixed up. So the salt is, is what cures the ham. The salt is the primary ingredient. And that's the old-fashioned preservative for ham. Yes, yes. Salt is a given. I mean, that's what they make prosciutto out of Over in Italy, and the salt is the first basic ingredient. Although sugar is a [COUGH] [INAUDIBLE] one, but doesn't do the, take the place of that salt. And you've got molasses in there? A little bit of molasses? Got a little bit of all of that going on. And we like the brown sugar. That's what my formula always used, we used it at home, and gives it kinda a little different kick The flavors [UNKNOWN] we think. But it works out nicely for us. [MUSIC] We're on the wood pile, which is the secret to great bacon. Well, we sell bacon either smoked or unsmoked Morgan, but 99% of what I sell is smoked. This hickory just smells, just sitting here, it just smells so rich and aromatic. And you do about 80% hickory and [CROSSTALK] Yes. It's a, it's a blend of hickory and applewood we use to smoke but it's about 80% hickory that we use to smoke this meat. So tell me, I wanna know. Cuz this is the bac, we, we're with the bacon guy in the U.S. I wanna know what's the secret to frying bacon? Well, I, I would defer to my wife. She once told Dan Phillips. He asked her the secret to frying good bacon, and she didn't flinch. She looked him in the eye, boy, and she said, when you fry bacon you have to play with it. You can't just put it on and walk away. You've got to be mashin on it, turnin it and fiddlin with it. So mash on it. You've gotta play with it. Mess with it. You've gotta mess with [MUSIC] and it needs to be in a black skillet, I think. Well, she uses a black iron skillet in my house, but you can use stainless steel. The main thing is to not overcook our bacon. We want it to be a little bit crisp, but still white, not so, not so. Have a little chew in it. A little chew, absolutely. And it will make a killer bacon lettuce tomato sandwich. A BLT is what I want right now. We'll, I'm gonna. So much. There's nothin' better than a BLT in the South and some good southern bacon on it. Thanks so much for havin' us. We're delighted that you came. Enjoyed it. [MUSIC] Man, the smell of wood smoke and hickory and well, pig, pervades Benton's Country Hams here in Madisonville, Tennessee. It is a A great way to make fantastic bacon. It's almost magical. Come check him out. I'm Morgan Murphy. You've been watching Off the Eaten Path.
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