After much trial and error over the last year I’ve settled on a standard cure for smoked bacon. I started with the smoked bacon recipe from Charcuterie and made my variations from there. I like a sweeter bacon but also want the bite of the pepper. I enjoy the dark syrup more than the brown sugar, but I’m Canadian and have easy access to excellent pure maple syrup. A nice fatty pork loin works just as well as a belly if you want an English cut bacon.
- 5 lb pork belly (or loin)
- 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup dark maple syrup
- 2 tbs cracked peppercorns
- 2 tsp pink salt
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
Mix everything together and rub all over the pork. Put the pork in a container (tub with a lid, plastic zip bag) and flip it every other day until firm, about seven days. Put the pork uncovered in the fridge for one day and then smoke until an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit is reached.
After this post was featured on Kitchen Stewardship I received a few comments and would like to give some tips.
If you’d like to make this bacon nitrite free then omit the pink salt: the finished product will not have the reddish colour you’re used to with bacon (as seen in the photo). I get my pink salt from Butcher & Packer.
Smoking meat at home is very simple and can be done effectively with any barbeque. I like smoking bacon with maple or apple wood, but any fruit wood is a good choice and should be available in your local hardware store. Soak two handfuls of wood chips in water and then put them in aluminum foil with a handful of dry chips. Fold the foil over like you’re making an envelope and then poke some holes so the smoke can get out. If you have a gas barbeque put one side on low and put your wood chip envelope on that side.; for a charcoal grill build a fire on one side only. Wait until smoke starts and then put the bacon on the other cool side: you want to maintain about 200 degrees Fahrenheit during the smoking process. You’ll need about one envelope of wood chips every hour; I find my bacon takes about four hours.