No porkies, just Tassie’s best bacon

Butcher Peter Johnston, with his award-winning bacon, asks locals to stop in and buy during ‘Bacon Week’ and the Chronicle’s Smithton Spot Sale. Picture: Jelena Potpara.

Award. He is our very own Sausage King, and now Smithton butcher Peter Johnston can add ‘Tassie’s best bacon’ to his shopfront window.

The Johnston Gourmet Meats team won Tasmanian best short-cut bacon and placed second in the full-rasher category at the Australian Bacon Awards.

The award winners were announced in time for Bacon Week’ (June 22 to 28) which celebrates Australia’s best produce and encourages consumers to buy local pork.

Mr Johnston is doing his bit by reducing the price of his prized meat for Circular Head Chronicle’s ‘Smithton Spot Sale’ on June 26 and 27.

He said last year’s sale helped draw more customers to the shop. But, he is confident he will never sell out and will stock up in preparation.

“It’s something different,” he said of the sale. “I like to help the other businesses.”

Starting out as a butcher in 1970, Mr Johnston opened the Smith Street shop 22 years ago.

“Bacon is a big seller,” he said, estimating he sells up to 50 kilograms each week.

The secret that keeps customers coming back for more? “Just a good process of cooking and smoking.”

The process takes about eight hours, with brining, drying and smoking all done on premises.

This is the first time Mr Johnston entered his bacon for judging. He was asked to send the meat off via overnight courier to Sydney, New South Wales, where judges decided on the best from 125 entries.

Mr Johnston does not deny his work is his passion. “It’s just the best! I love making smallgoods.”

He said the win was a team effort and thanked his staff of six.

Mr Johnston will reduce his prized meat for Circular Head Chronicle’s ‘Smithton Spot Sale’ on June 26 and 27.

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