A Spin on the Cold-Weather Classics for The Holidays

Submitted by Alyssa Selle

November in Wisconsin is the commencement of the chilly season, here in Wisconsin.  The leaves have made their final departure and winter coats, warm alpaca socks, wood piles, snow shovels, and our favorite comfort foods make their appearance.

As the temperature continues to drop, warm and savory dishes find their way to the dinner table.  Whether it is one of our Applewood Smoked Spiral-Sliced Honey Glazed Hams at the center of your holiday dinner party or a unique appetizer that sparks questions and conversation, Nueske’s has something to suit your needs.

Check out some of our recipes that put a spin on classic favorites and infuses them with the perfect amount of sweet, smokiness.  We’ve picked two knock-out dishes that are sure to have your guests begging you for the recipe!

Best bacon caramel corn

Sweet and savory caramel corn with bits of smoky Nueske’s bacon and hints of vanilla and cinnamon.












Nueske’s Maple Bacon Pecan Caramel Corn

Makes approximately 12 servings


1 lb. Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Sliced Bacon, diced ¼”
5 quarts air-popped popcorn, popped in bacon grease
1 C. pecans, chopped and toasted
1 C. butter (salted)
2 C. dark brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ C. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. molasses
1 tsp. Madagascar Bourbon vanilla
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. Vietnamese cinnamon or other strong cinnamon

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End-of-Summer Smoky BLT Blast

Submitted by Megan

Once the temperatures start dropping in The Northwoods, the garden tomato season comes to halt. Mornings are chilly and fall colors start appearing in the hardwoods. Summer is short lived in Wisconsin, but we do everything we can to prolong the season and to savor every last bit of summer.

BLTs are especially satisfying this time of year, as fresh tomatoes will soon be spent, and we’ll be gathering pumpkins and apples instead. Whether you’re looking forward to fall or holding on to the last threads of summer, there’s no better duo than the tanginess of tomato and sweet smokiness of Nueske’s Bacon to showcase all that summer provided.

Try Nueske’s Smoked Bacon Super Sampler to pair with your remaining ripe, juicy tomatoes. The combinations are endless with this variety pack… and we recommend trying avocados on your next BLT, too – they lend a creamy layer of flavor that’s a perfect match for our bacons!

A BLT made with Nueske's Smoked Bacon.

A BLT made with Nueske’s Smoked Bacon.

Here are our favorite recipes, each one including Nueske’s smoky bacon and the bright tang of fresh, ripe tomato. We even have an excellent green tomato BLT recipe for you to try, in case you’ve got some garden goodness that hasn’t had time to turn red!

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The summer sun brings an abundance of outdoor activities and some of the best outdoor activities include charcoal and tongs.  We’ve got a wide selection of natural casing Old World sausages for you to toss on the grill.

A customer favorite, this time of year, are Nueske’s hefty Big Dogs.  These hot dogs are nearly 8” long, warranting them the impressive name.  They’re not only generous in size, but also in flavor.  Nueske’s Big Dogs are smoked over glowing embers of Applewood and blended with special seasonings, passed down from generation to generation of Nueske family members.  Just like all our smoked brats and wieners, Big Dogs also have a natural casing and are made from the highest quality pork and beef (no “variety meats”, here!).  Try Nueske’s Big Dogs on the grill or skillet; they’re fully cooked, so all you need to do it warm and serve.  Or try something new: Nueske’s Mexican “Corn” Dog recipe… it has everything that represents summer in Wisconsin… Big Dogs, fresh corn, cheese, and a touch of Serrano pepper heat, if you desire!   Check out the recipe, below:

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Over 3 billion pounds of cheese are produced each year in America’s Dairy Land.  Wisconsin Cheese has earned more national and international awards for excellence than any other state or country, according to the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.  Approximately 126 cheese makers produce hundreds of different varieties of cheese that are shipped all over the world.  Wisconsinites know their cheese, and we want to share a favorite with you, Widmer’s Traditional Trio.  Widmer’s cheese has exceptional flavor and exhibits Old World texture and taste.  Unless you reside in Wisconsin, you will not find a cheese like this at your local grocery store.  Widmer’s melted Mild Cheddar in a grilled cheese sandwich paired with Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Pepper Bacon makes an indulgent lunch or simple dinner.  Widmer’s Trio makes the perfect cheese plate or charcuterie side.  Check out these recipes; Widmer’s cheeses will make the perfect addition.

Widmer's Cheese Trio | Wisconsin Cheese

Traditional Wisconsin cheeses from Widmer’s.

Nueske’s Crescent & Bacon Roll

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Wisconsin Summer Grilling

Submitted by Megan

There are some things that Wisconsinites are particularly well-known for: amazing cheese (and sausage!), our passion for the Green-&-Gold, and our abiding love for the great outdoors.  When summer hits, everything comes alive in The Northwoods.  You can feel the excitement of the locals in the air; our rush to plant the crops for our short growing season, preparations to make our summer tourists from the south feel welcome, boating-floating-waterskiing-fishing on our 15,000 lakes, hiking in endless miles of wild, unruly forest…  As our Midwestern days become longer, life moves at a different pace when June begins.  We try to cram every bit of outdoor activity we can into each warm day, savoring every pleasant second before the next long, frigid winter creeps in.  …And we want to take advantage of being outside so much that we grill every chance we get.

It’s not uncommon to see grilling occurring year-round in Wisconsin (yes, some of us can’t kick the craving of a nice grilled bratwurst even when it is -40°F out) but the prime time for grilling falls in the undeniably hot and humid summer months.  Summer is Wisconsin’s sweet spot for standing outside with tongs in hand, listening to plump sausages sizzling on hot grill grates.

Nueske's Applewood Smoked Bone-In Pork Chops

Grilling Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Bone-In Pork Chops

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When it comes to choosing the perfect ham for your family’s special occasion there are a few basic questions everyone asks, Bone-In or Boneless? Traditional or Spiral-Sliced & Honey-Glazed?  There are no wrong answers; it depends on your personal preference.  There are always a few questions surrounding the topic of preparation. How do I store it? How do I cook it?  How do I serve it?

When you order any of our Applewood Smoked Hams, we enclose a helpful brochure with your shipment, providing directions to give you the best-tasting ham possible.   We also have the same instructions posted on every product page at Nueskes.com …just in case you accidentally toss out your brochure. Look below the product image, on each product page, for this section:

Screen Shot of Nueske's Storage & Preparation Information Section

Screen Shot of Nueske’s Storage & Preparation Information Section

Of course, when things are chaotic in the holiday meal-prep kitchen, it’s easy to have a slip-up.  Here are a few tips to keep your ham preparation going smoothly:

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There are certainly more than just two factors that contribute to the simple perfection that a crisp BLT offers on a summer evening, but the bacon and the tomato would definitely be in our Top 3 Critical BLT Ingredients.

BLT made with Nueske's Smoked Bacon.

BLT made with Nueske’s Smoked Bacon.

When tomato season rolls around in Wisconsin, all the tomato lovers blissfully gather what they can before the frost comes back, tossing anything left green on the vine into paper bags with the ends folded up to allow the firm, green orbs to continue to ripen.  Our season is short, up here in The Northwoods, and we treasure our brief burst of fresh tomatoes… plus, we happen to have the best, most sweetly smoky bacon around to enjoy with our ruby bounty!

We browsed our recipe files and found six Nueske’s recipes that perfectly showcase this fine summer pair.  Acid and crunch, tangy and mellow, sweetness and smoke… grab a few tomatoes from the farmers’ market and your favorite Nueske’s bacon: Applewood Smoked, Wild Cherrywood Smoked Uncured, or Pepper- Coated Bacon.

Give these dishes a try at home and tell us what you think!
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Served in soft flour or corn tortillas with a tangy lime crema, our braised Wild Cherrywood Smoked Bacon Tacos are a simple, fresh meal with layers of sweet, smoky, and slightly spicy flavors.  Featured on WLUK’S “Living With Amy”, you can watch how these tacos are made here.

Braised Nueske’s Bacon Tacos with Lime Crema

Makes 4 tacos


~ 3 oz. Braised Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Slab Bacon, 1/4 – 1/2 inch diced
(braised in apple cider – note on how to braise bacon is below)

~ 1 large cob fresh sweet corn

~ 1/4 tsp. cumin

~ 1/4 tsp. chili powder

~ 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

~ 4 corn or flour tortillas

~ Handful arugula, rinsed

~ Small bunch cilantro, rinsed and bottoms trimmed

~ 3 oz. Quesadilla cheese

~ 1 medium tomato
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Kent Olson’s Campfire Baked Beans

Submitted by Megan

Many of you who are familiar with the summer afternoon cookouts at the Nueske’s Company Store in Wittenberg, Wisconsin have asked us for the recipe for our famously smoky, loaded-with-bacon baked beans that we serve out of “Bob’s Fancy Camper”. For those of you who haven’t had the chance to enjoy our smoked brats and baked beans right at the source, you can create our Campfire Baked Beans at home, using this recipe.

The recipe comes from our long-time Company Store Manager, Kent Olson. Kent uses plenty of both our Applewood Smoked Bacon and our Applewood Smoked Pepper-Coated Bacon, plus dark molasses, brown sugar, and a variety of beans. When he’s making his Campfire Baked Beans for serving at the Company Store, he makes a big Nesco roaster oven full, so we have enough for everyone. If you only want enough to fill a Crock Pot, reduce the amounts shown below to ¼ of what the recipe calls for.

These beans are the perfect side dish for a backyard BBQ, graduation party, or any summer potluck gathering. This is true Midwestern summer potluck food.
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Methods for Cooking Nueske’s Bacon

Submitted by Megan

Here are three of our favorite ways to cook bacon: pan frying, baking, and grilling.

How to Pan Fry Bacon

Pan-frying is the most common and traditional way to cook bacon and also one of the very best ways to fry up a few strips for breakfast or a couple of summer-tomato BLTs. For best results, we start by placing the bacon in an unheated skillet. Then, we cook the bacon strips over Medium Low heat, turning frequently until the bacon is golden brown.

You’ll notice less shrinkage than with other brands because our bacon gets a nice, long smoke in our smokehouse, which means you get more bacon after cooking than you would with non-premium bacon.

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