Variety is the key to crafting the absolute best Chex Mix. Compare any recipe and you'll find that it's teeming with different flavors and textures. At its most classic, it will boast a range of cereals (corn, rice, and wheat Chex), in addition to pretzels, bagel chips, bread sticks, and mixed nuts, all of which are usually tossed in a tangy, buttery, savory seasoning. Of course, the snack is open to further interpretation. Since bacon is never a bad idea, salt-kissed crumbles might just be the missing element to a truly tasty Chex Mix.
Adding bacon to Chex Mix is a game-changer. The salty meat is capable of elevating basic and boring recipes, and it's a budget-friendly way to upgrade flavor — that is, in comparison to luxe add-ins like duck fat, truffle salt, or toasted Marcona almonds. But, that isn't to say that bits of bacon won't still produce an impressively decadent result. Despite the snack being riddled with complexity at its core, working bacon into Chex Mix only makes it increasingly interesting. Providing another component of crunchiness, pieces of salty yet smoky bacon deepen the degree of umami. Likewise, the fattiness of the bacon plays a hand in amplifying the snack's overall richness, making every handful of Chex Mix more appealing than the last.
What To Remember When Adding Bacon To Chex Mix
Depending on the size of the batch and personal preference, the amount of bacon needed will vary. That said, for every 10 cups of snack mix, about half a package of bacon (roughly six strips) is a good starting point. Although you could add more, taking a modest approach allows the bacon to contribute just enough salty and savory goodness, without taking over the Chex Mix.
Additionally, while you could simply use slices of regular or thick-cut bacon, there's an opportunity to maximize flavor. To emphasize the bacon's savory edge, coat strips with onion or garlic powder, prior to cooking. Likewise, you could impart sweetness with a sprinkle of brown sugar or drizzle of honey, whereas a pinch of freshly cracked black pepper or chipotle powder would add a kick of heat. Feel free to experiment with flavor however you please, adding anything from a splash of balsamic to a dusting of cocoa powder.
Once the bacon has been seasoned to your liking, simply cook strips until golden and crispy. Then crumble and toss the bits into a batch of ready-made mix. If you're making the snack from scratch, you can also boost umami by reserving some bacon grease and using it to season the Chex Mix alongside other spices. Of course, no matter how you incorporate bacon, the ingredient is sure to give any Chex Mix medley a welcomed layer of salty and savory flavor!
Read the original article on Tasting Table.