Jan 8, 2022

Brining Bacon

  • 6 cups of cold water
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1 cup of table salt
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of Prague powder – instacure
  • 1 tablespoon of black peppercorn
  • 2 bay leaves

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and place the pork pieces into zip lock bags.

Avoid putting more than one slab into the same bag. Pour the brine over the pork and move it around to ensure it’s evenly distributed.

To avoid any leakage, place the zip lock bag into a container.

You should place the pork belly into the refrigerator for 7 days, flipping it over every 2 days to ensure it cures equally on both sides.

You can then take it out of the zip lock bag and rub it down with some black peppercorns, brown sugar, and maple syrup.

Smokin’ Bacon

  1. (Charcoal Grill) – Open all the vents on your grill and remove the grill grate. Place a disposable foil pan or wire rack on the grate.
  2. (Gas Grill) – Disconnect the propane line and put the foil pan at the back corner of the grill grate under indirect heat. Don’t worry about the burners; you won’t be lighting them when smoking.
  3. Place five lit charcoal briquettes inside the chimney starter. Transfer the briquettes with tongs when they glow red and become covered with gray ash. Place them into wood chips (I recommend maple wood), spacing them evenly around the pan.
  4. When the wood chips begin to smolder, arrange thick slices of pork fat side down on the grill grate. There should be at least 1 inch between the bacon to allow the smoke flavor to circulate. Use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the grill. It should read 80 – 120 degrees F°. If the temperature is above 120 degrees F°, remove one of the charcoal briquettes.
  5. Stir the wood pellets every couple of hours to ensure all of the pellets are burning. You can also add more pellets once they begin to turn to ash.
  6. 3 hours into smoking, you should rotate the pork to ensure an even smoke. If your wood pellets stop burning at any point, you can add more briquettes. However, if it is not too wet or humid outside, you will probably have no need to do so.
  7. The entire cold smoke should take around 5 – 6 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F°. Depending on the age and breed of the pork, it may turn a yellow-brown color. Pat the moisture off the smoked bacon with a paper towel. The bacon will still be raw since this process was only for curing.