There are few single ingredients that are so universally adored as bacon. And the only thing better than bacon is homemade bacon.
Curing your own bacon, at least once, is a great experience for any meat enthusiast. Although it’s a fairly lengthy process (at least, compared to running to the store and just buying some), it is a wholly satisfying one, and in addition to the sense of achievement it also yields some tasty rewards. It also gives you control of what exactly is going into the bacon, the degree of quality of the pork itself and of course, the flavoring and level of smoke. And not only that, but it gives you complete control over the thickness of the slices – get as thick or thin as your heart desires!
There are a few things you’ll need to make your own bacon. Firstly, curing salt (aka Prague powder) which can be bought at better grocery and specialty food stores or ordered online. Second, you’ll need a smoker of some kind (because obviously that’s how you get the smoke flavor!). A pellet grill is perfect for this task because it’s fabulously easy to use, and will only take a couple of hours. I prefer fruit woods like Apple or Cherry to pair with pork, but of course you can go for something stronger like Hickory. Finally, you may want to consider investing in a great quality thermometer. I use and recommend the Thermapen, and also used a Dot to monitor the temp of the smoker.
This recipe serves as the core foundation for a bunch of different types and flavors you can try. All you need to do is adjust some of the ingredients and experiment with additions. Brown sugar, molasses, garlic, bourbon, different wood species and a host of other options can be used to create your own signature bacon, and let’s be honest, it’s going to be one helluva tasty process of trial and error.
And of course, once you have all that bacon, you can turn it use it to create completely magical meals like this: