Makin’ Bacon

Bacon…meat candy from God. We all love it and I decided to make some. I was surprised at how easy it is to make and the taste is like nothing you can get from the grocer.

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To stat down the road to porky goodness you need a pork belly. A good friend was at the farmer’s market and picked me up a nice ~6 pound slab. Now it’s time to cure.

I created a simple cure to add sweetness to the meat to counter the pepper coating I planned for later. The recipe is:

    1 gallon of water
    1/3 – 1 cup sea salt (depending if you’re on a lo-salt diet)
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1 cup sugar in the raw
    1 heaping tbsp of cinnamon
    1 tbsp cure no. 1 pink salt

Yeah, this is sweet bacon. Now in the ziplock bag and to the back of the fridge for a week. After a week, pull it out the cure, rinse well, pat dry and coat the meat side with lots of fresh cracked black pepper.

With the bacon out of the cure, rinsed and dried, I start the WSM. Going for a unique flavor profile, I opt for maple and pecan wood. This should produce a much different taste from the standard hickory or apple that I am accustomed to. Once up to temp, a steady 195

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Now it’s time for the smoke. Fired up the WSM with apple and maple chucks, got the temp to 200 and place the meat on skin side down.

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At the one hour mark it was looking good. I wanted to take the belly to 155 them I would stop the “cooking”. Notice the sugars are coming to the top and mixing with the pepper.

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She reached the desired temp in a little over 90 minutes. At that point I pulled and placed in the fridge to cool. After it cooled, I started to cut chunks from freezing and a few slices for a sammich.

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Fired up and put on a sandwich. All I can say is wow. I may never buy store bacon again. This is a really simple technique, much better flavor profile and gives me another reason to use the WSM.

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