Bacon is often referred to as “The Duct Tape of any Kitchen” and that rings true in our household! Want to kick up that store-bought canned soup? Add some bacon! We use bacon grease in our cast iron to sear Sous Vide Chicken Breast, even in place of oil when we use the Instant Pot to make popcorn! With store-bought Bacon always fluctuating in prices and quality, it’s often our most homemade prepped item we make!
1 Whole Skin Off Pork Belly
6 Tablespoons Kosher Salt
⅔ Cup White Sugar
¼ Cup Fine Ground Pepper
¼ Cup Paprika
2 Teaspoons Pink Curing salt or Cabela’s Maple Cure & Brine Mix.
2 Teaspoons Jalapeno Powder (optional)
- Empty seasoning shaker to mix & spread curing mixture
- LARGE foil hotel pan with cling wrap or Giant Zip Lock Bag
- Bakers Cooling Rack
- Smoker with Apple Wood
- Meat Probe
- Mix all seasonings together & put them into an empty shaker.
- Evenly distribute over one side of the belly, gently patting seasoning onto the entire surface area including sides. Wait 5 minutes, then flip and repeat on the opposite side. Place in a pan and cover tightly with cling wrap or place in a large zip lock bag and store in the refrigerator.
- If using a pan, gently flip belly over in the pan and return to the fridge. If using a bag, gently flip over in the fridge (keep the bag sealed). Repeat for 5 days total.
- Day 6: Pull belly from brine and rinse off all excess seasoning.
- Pat dry with a paper towel.
- Using a baking rack (i like to put tin foil on the fridge shelf first) to place the belly on and return to the fridge to allow airflow to flow both over AND under the belly. Allow to “chill & dry” in the fridge for 24 hours
- Preheat smoker to 200F.
- Place Belly in smoker & cook until internal temperature reaches 150F
- Return to the fridge in a pan to cool.
- Slice as needed. Bacon will last 7 to 10 days refrigerated (if it lasts that long), 6 months in a zip lock bag in the freezer, 2 years vac packed in freezer
Bacon is best when done in the oven, on a baking sheet using parchment paper. It cooks more evenly and won’t shrink or curl as much compared to a pan.
#joetip – When your bacon is 75% done in the oven, lightly glaze it with Sticky Fixx to create an out of this world Candied Bacon!