Clam chowder base
I am going to pressure can clam chowder base. The recipe (XTNS svc website) indicates using salt pork in the base, but if bacon is used it should be added before serving. I would prefer to use bacon in my recipe (no salt pork), but would like to sear it and include it in the canning process. Is there any reason I shouldn't proceed this way?
Smoked pork products (salt pork or bacon) are added to clam chowder base as a flavor enhancer. During processing, the salt pork will become very tender. If seared before being added, the bacon could resist full heat penetration and create a slight risk of not being fully processed and then be a safety risk.
In addition, the bacon itself would become softened during processing and storage, a texture that you may not prefer. That's why it is suggested to cook bacon to crisp and then add before serving, so it has it's characteristic and identifiable texture and flavor in the chowder.