Bacon- What more needs to be said?

With a trip up to Northern New Jersey to visit my parents last weekend, it gave me the opportunity to buy some products I do not normally see or can obtain easily where I currently reside- one of them being Pork Belly. So since I had the opportunity, I decided to give it a go.

With this particular piece, I decided “hey, why not try making my own bacon.” and so I did.

First things first- curing the meat. I’ve read different literatur on curing and salts and there are those specificaly designed for such an instance as to keep the meat a particular color (in this case it would be a pinkish color). Personally I like the all-natural look nor do I have curing salts so I used my mortar and pestle and ground up some of my Moroccan sea salt. I mixed this in with some brown sugar and then poured in some aged whiskey. I took this mixture and brushed it all over both sides of the belly (sort of formed a glaze) and then placed the piece in a 1 gallon ziploc and put in the refrigerator.

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Every other day for 1 week I flipped over the bacon. On day 7, I took it out and washed it off in cool water. I then put it on a rack over a tray back in the fridge (fat side up) to dry over night.

On to the good part. I lined a roasting pan with aluminum foil and tossed in a few handfuls of Western Pecan wood chips and some water. I then layed the rack over the pan as to give space between the chips and the meat. I then formed a triangle of foil over the meat (as to not come in contact). I set the oven to 200 degrees and before placing this in the oven, I put the covered pan on the stove top for a quick 2 minutes on high heat to garner some smoke in/around the pork belly.

The belly was then cooked for about 6 hours at which it got up to temperature (150 degrees). I then let it cool down and then wrapped with plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil.

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Enjoy.

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13 thoughts on “Bacon- What more needs to be said?

  1. One thing I did notice when I went to the US. They don’t sell pork belly, which I found weird. But here in the Philippines, people live on pork belly. 🙂 I did try to make my own bacon once before but it never did it come out like yours, or how I want it. So I am back to buying it from the store… 🙂

    • Yes, it is quite weird here with it as it is widely popular in a lot of restaurants and cooking shows but it’s not sold in most regular grocery and food stores- really have to live in areas near city’s or the countryside with butcher shops and specialty markets. Well worth the effort when you find it 🙂

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    • The initial point of tenting the pan and heating it on the stovetop really creates a quick blast of smoke and then just toss in the oven. Since it’s tented with the foil, the smoke stays inside for the most part. It is well worth the overall effort 🙂

  3. Thanks so much for sharing this. You are tempting me to try and make my own bacon too. I think it must have tasted really nice, soft and smoky. The bacon does look very nice and tasty. Have a wonderful weekend!

    • You are very welcome. It did come out really good and it was not all that hard to do- more of a lot of waiting time for it to cure and then a nice long slow cook to get the smoke into the bacon. Well worth the effort 🙂

    • Thank you. If you love bacon…this is the way to go. Highly reccomend. Taste is amazing (and you can use other types of woodchips to infuse as well). And it has more of that natural pork flavor versus the saltiness of what you buy in the store.

      • The pecan wood chips I used I think would fit the bill for you…as it seems you like a little sweetness in your foods and it does have that a little bit along with the natural flavors of the pork.

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