Let’s be honest with each other. Homemade food is always better than what you can buy at the store. Think about homemade smoked bacon. Do you like the stuff from the shops? Well let me tell you, if you try this recipe, you’ll never be satisfied with the store bought bacon again!
My recipe for home cured smoked bacon is sure to amaze you. And I really don’t care where you buy your bacon, I could bet a million dollars that it will never have the same depth of flavor as this recipe. The sweet taste of maple syrup or honey with the backdrop of subtle bitterness and just a touch of fennel for that fresh taste is sure to tickle your tastebuds. So forget store bought bacon and try this amazing recipe!
Ingredients for Homemade Smoked Bacon
There’s just too many recipes out there that require complex and unusual ingredients. You’re sure to be happy that most of the things needed to cure bacon at home are probably already there! Depending on what’s available or on the exact flavour wanted, there is also some room for playing with different ingredients!
For this recipe you’ll need:
Pink salt, optional
For subtle sweetness we can use maple syrup, or honey, brown sugar, white sugar or molasses
To add savoury flavour we need cold strong black coffee, bourbon or apple cider
Crushed black peppercorns
Toasted fennel seed
How To Make It
To start off with our recipe, we need to prepare our meat first. The process is very simple. If the bacon you have still has the rind on it, you need to cut it off. Once that is done, you need to square it off. That’s it, the meat is ready to be marinated!
To start the marination process, put the bacon into a Ziplock bag and add the salt. Rub it evenly into the meat. You can use Kosher salt, or use a mix of kosher and pink Himalayan. This will not only season the meat, but also open it, readying it to soak in all the flavour from the rest of the ingredients.
Add all the other ingredients into the bag, partially close it and start rubbing the cure into the meat. Do it by pushing the liquid into the meat, then turning the bag and repeating all the way around. The more time you spend on this step, the better the bacon will turn out to be!
When you’re done, squeeze all air out of the bag and close it. Make sure that all that’s left in the bag is just the bacon and the curing liquid.
Place the bag into the refrigerator and keep there for seven days. Make sure to turn the bag once a day, to stop the curing liquid from pooling at the bottom, allowing all of the meat to marinate evenly. You may find that the bag fills with more and more liquid each day. That is completely normal and nothing to worry about.
After the seven days are up, take the bacon out of the bag and wash it thoroughly under the tap. Pat it dry with paper towels and leave on a rack standing on baking paper. Place in the fridge and air-dry for anything from 6 to 24 hours.
Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees and place the bacon inside. Smoke it until the bacon reaches 150 degrees of internal temperature for around 90 minutes. When done, take the bacon out and allow it too cool. The bacon can then be sliced thin or thick, depending on preference. Any parts of bacon that don’t slice well can also be cut to chunks, as a starter for a pot of beans or soup. Enjoy!
How To Store Leftover
To store, wrap the bacon in parchment, wrap in foil or plastic wrap and place into a Ziploc bag, to protect the delicate flavor. The bacon will keep up to three weeks in the fridge and even up to three months in the freezer. Amazing!
Homemade Smoked Bacon
Delicious home cured smoked bacon
- 2 lbs pork belly
- 1/4 cup brown sugar (you can substitue honey, maple syrup, molasses, or white sugar)
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 2 tbsp black coffee or apple cider
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns (crushed)
- 1 tsp fennel seed
- 1/2 tsp pink salt (optional)
- 2 pieces garlic cloves (smashed)
Prepare the pork belly by cutting of the rind and squaring it off.
Place the pork belly in a Ziploc bag, add kosher salt, pink salt optional. Rub the salt evenly into the meat to open it up.
Add the rest of the ingredients into the bag, and coat the meat evenly with the marinade by turning the bag and pushing the cure into the meat.
When done, squeeze all air out of the Ziploc bag and close it. Place into the fridge for seven days.
Make sure to turn the bag each day to recoat the meat with the cure. Don’t worry if you notice liquid beginning to gather in the bag. It’s normal.
After seven days, take the bacon out of the bag and wash it. Pat dry with paper towels and leave to dry on a rack in the fridge for anything from 6 to 24 hours. Make sure to place the rack on baking paper, it’s sure to drip.
Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees and smoke it until the bacon reaches 150 degrees of internal temperature for around 90 minutes.
Take the bacon out and let it cool. Slice thick, thin or into chunks if preferred.