Ever Cured and Smoked your own BACON? Get the easy step-by-step instructions and wow your family and friends! You're on your way to porky nirvana!
Keyword bacon, pork belly, smoking
Prep Time 3hours
Cook Time 4hours
Total Time 7hours
2teaspoonscuring saltPrague powder or Insta Cure
2gallonzip top storage or freezer bag
In a medium bowl combine the brown sugar, kosher salt, honey, cayenne, paprika, cumin, and curing salt, stirring until well mixed.
Rinse the pork belly with cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Place the belly in the plastic bag and add half of the curing mixture to the top of the belly. Use your hands to rub it into the flesh, evenly coating. Flip over and rub the remaining curing mix onto the other side of the pork belly. Seal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Place the pork into a shallow baking dish, to catch any leaks and refrigerate. Flip the belly once a day for the next 7-10 days.
Remove the pork belly from the cure and thoroughly rinse the pork. Use several paper towels to COMPLETELY dry the pork belly on all sides. Place a rack over a baking sheet and rest the pork belly on the rack. Refrigerate uncovered for a minimum of 6 hours or overnight.
Now at this point, the bacon has cured. It can be sliced and cooked and will be absolutely delicious, but it won't have that smoky flavor that we all associate with bacon. To achieve that flavor, you have to smoke your pork belly.
Add 3 cups of wood chips (apple, cherry, hickory) to a large bowl and fill with water. Submerge them in the water by placing a plate or some other weighted surface on top of the chips -- pressing them into the water. Soak for an hour.
Meanwhile prepare the smoker according to your manufacturer's instructions. Preheat the smoker to 170°. Add wood chips according to the manufacturer's directions.
Place the pork belly directly on the grate and smoke until the internal temperature reaches 155° - this will take 3-4 hours depending on how large of a pork belly you have. Steve Raichlen recommends using an instant read thermometer and inserting it into the side of the pork belly to take the temperature reading.
When the bacon is cooked, transfer to a wire rack and cool to room temperature. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
To cook, preheat the oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top of it. Set aside.
Use a long, thin, sharp knife to slice the bacon. Lay the slices on the wire rack next to each other, but not touching. Bake for 15-20 minutes (maybe longer depending on how thick your slices are) or until crisp.
Transfer to a platter lined with paper towels. Serve.