Home Smoked Bacon

How often do you use bacon when cooking? We use it several times at week for all sort of food and therefore decided to try and make it ourselves. We have tried several different methods before deciding to recommend this one.

It is quite time consuming, so be sure to make enough, so you don’t run out within the first few days.

Before beginning on your on bacon project, it is important to have a few key notes in mind. First of all, you need time and patience. It takes about 8-10 days from start to finish.

Second, don’t smoke it on a hot summer day, as the temperature needs to be below 81 degrees fahrenheit throughout the whole smoking process. If it gets to warm it can begin to deprave and the last weeks work will be lost.

Other than that, you should just give it a try – it is delicious, and you will find that the quality is much better, that what you can buy in the super market 🙂

 

Ingredients (2 pounds)

2 pounds pork belly

1 cup coarse salt

1 tbsp. black pepper

1 tbs. nut meg

10 juniper berries

1 tbs. thyme, dried

 

If you get the pork belly with bone in, remove the bones and use for stock or something else. Also remove the skin, but not the fat.

Mix together all the dry ingredients and rub firmly into the pork belly. Make sure that all sides of the meat has a good layer of rub on it. Wrap it closely in tin foil and put in an airtight bag. Remove all air and seal the bag. Refrigerate for at least 5 days (preferably 7 days) and rotate every day, to make sure that the meat juice don’t stay in the bottom.
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When refrigerated for 5-7 days the pork belly is almost ready to be smoked. Clean the meat for rub by rinsing it thoroughly in cold water for a few minutes. Make sure that all rub is removed and dab it dry with some paper towel and let rest on the kitchen table while preparing the smoker.

To smoke the bacon you will need a smoker or kettle grill, some tin foil and 1/2 a pound sawdust, a tbs. household alcohol, a small grid and a lighter. We own both a smoker and a kettle grill and this time we decided to use the kettle grill, but it makes no difference whether you use one or the other when smoking bacon.

Cover the bottom gridiron of the grill with tin foil. Place the saw dust in an unclosed circle around the edge of the grill. Make sure that the circle does not close, as this will shorten the the smoking time (in a closed circle the smouldering will burn both ways from the starting point, and thereby burn faster). Pour the household alcohol over one end of the sawdust and light it.  Wait till there is a good smould, and then blow out the fire – this takes approximately 5 minutes. Make sure that the glow continues before adding on the pork belly.

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When you are sure that there is a good glow in the sawdust, add the pork belly on a grid. If you use the grid from the grill, make sure that it is clean, as the temperature is low and therefor not able to kill any bacterias. For that particular reason we use a small grid which we can clean completely before and after using it. Place the meat in the middle of the kettle grill/smoker and put the lid on.

The bottom valve should be full open while the top valve should be a little below half. This bring oxygen to the smoking process, while keeping the smoke inside. This method keeps the sawdust smoldering for approximately 12-15 hours.

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After 12-15 hour the sawdust has burned out and you are ready to take the next step in the  ‘home-made bacon’ process. If you prefer the bacon taste more smoky you can double the smoking time.

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Remove the smoked pork belly from the smoker, and lay it uncovered on a plate in the fridge for approximately 24 hours.

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The pork belly has now transformed into a delicious piece of bacon 🙂

Cut it into cubes or thin slices and prepare it for your favorite bacon meal. We use it among other things in the morning, making eggs and bacon, for lunch making bacon sandwiches and for dinner making cheese burgers, broccoli salad or bacon explosion.

If you have never tasted home smoked bacon, you are missing something out of our life! It cannot be compared to super market bacon, which is less tasteful.

Hope that you will consider trying the recipe as we believe it bring the most exceptional and delicious result.

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Bon Appétit!

Ingredients (900 g)

900 g pork belly

2.5 dl coarse salt

1 tbsp. black pepper

1 tbs. nut meg

10 juniper berries

1 tbs. thyme, dried

 

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