Hickory Smoked Bacon by Len Winkler

Smoked Bacon

"Everyone likes bacon. It’s fun to tell people you smoke and cure your own bacon. They like the fact that it contains curing salt, brown sugar and pork.  Nothing else.
I prefer fresh pork and ask my butcher to let me know when he is butchering. Slabs are usually 7-10lbs each. I comfortably do 2 slabs cut in half in my SmokinTex 1400.

Roughly 2 Tbs. of brown sugar and 1 Tablespoon of Morton’s Tender Quick curing salt per lb.

Stab the meat about every inch or so on both sides with forks. It seems to me the cure flavor gets deeper when I do this.

Rub the slabs on both sides with the mixture, pushing it into the meat and put in them in large plastic bags sealed tight with twisties and rubber bands to help prevent leaks. I get the bags from my butcher.

Place in the fridge and flip once daily. The rub quickly turns into more of a marinade so flipping is helpful.

After 2 weeks I drain the bags and give the slabs a very brief rinse. Very brief. If I rinse too much it seems like I lose a lot of the salt taste on the finished product.

Lightly pat dry with paper towels and let dry on racks to a dull haze.

Pork Bellies in SmokinTex Smoker

Into the cold smoker with usually hickory wood. I use more than I normally would for ribs etc. as I like a lot of smoke flavor on my bacon. The house smells great when frying!

Smoke at 200F until internal temps are 145F-147F.

Remove and let rest until cool.

Wrap tightly in plastic wrap (keeps smoke smell in fridge to a minimum) and place them in the fridge for another 2-3 days. I feel like this helps the smoke mellow a bit and permeate the meat a little more, similar to cold smoked cheese. The cold also make slicing about 100x easier.

Smoked Sliced Bacon

Slice, vacuum pack, give to friends and relatives.  Receive smiles and hugs."

Sealed Smoked Bacon

Smoked Bacon

Looks fantastic!

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