As Potentate Maximus and Supreme Despot-for-Life, here in the People’s Republic of my Office/Garage, I hereby use my ultimate authority to declare this:
“NATIONAL BACON WEEK!”
All bacon, all week, all day. Recipes to follow…2 a day, unless I forget, or the chest pains get me. You may return to your hovels.
(…and no more “Maximus” jokes…you jerks!) 😜
Oh, and this one’s for Duane…
Like any recipe, the better the quality basic ingredients that you start out with, the better your result are going to be. Buy the best pork belly you can find!
- 3lb skinless, boneless pork belly
- 3 Tbsp. kosher salt
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 2 Tbsp. black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tsp. pink curing salt
- apple wood chunks/chips
Combine the pepper, sugar, paprika, salt & curing salt in a small bowl. Place belly on a foil lined tray and pat dry with paper towels.
Sprinkle half of the cure mixture evenly over the surface of the belly, and rub it in. Flip the belly and repeat with the rest of the mix. Be sure to cover the entire exterior, including the sides.
Drop the rubbed belly into a big zip-bag, and refrigerate for one week, flipping the belly and massaging (in the bag) once a day.
After a week, remove the belly from the bag and rinse in cold water, to remove excess cure. Pat dry with paper towels, and refrigerate uncovered another 24 hours. Use a rack over a pan to catch drippings. (This extra drying helps the shoulder take the smoke.)
Place a probe (I push mine through a halved potato, for a “base) at the back of the grill grate., to measure your smoker’s internal temp.
Place the second probe into the thickest part of the center of the belly (from the side) to track the temp of the meat.
Smoke the belly, using the apple wood, at 150-190°F for 3-4 hours, to an internal temp of 150F.
Home Chef Note: This step does not COOK your bacon, it’s just adding smoke. Bacon will still be “raw” when done (ie: you’ll still need to fry it, before eating).
Refrigerate your bacon in an airtight zip-bag for up to a week, slicing and cooking as needed.
Now that you have a baseline for comparison, experiment with different woods, sugars, and spices until you have your perfect custom-made bacon!
Each Home Chef Guidebook delves more deeply into the professional quality recipes and techniques of specific cooking styles and cuisines.
This one is all about BACON!
Bacon is the candy-apple red hot-rod of the food world. We want it, but we also fear it a little, which makes us want it even more…
Each year in the U.S. more than 1.7 billion lbs. of bacon are consumed – equivalent to the weight of 8 1/2 Nimitz class aircraft carriers.
65% of Americans would support bacon as their “national food” and more than half of us claim that we would rather have bacon than sex.
Bacon is kinda a big deal.
Let’s learn about bacon, the types of bacon out there, the best chef techniques for cooking it, and the most delicious recipes available for God’s most perfect meat!