After my first time making homemade bacon (a very successful first time, I must say), I decided I’d up my game and try different flavors beyond maple. The maple bacon was a little sweet, as you’d expect, so this time I went a more savory route by making this black pepper bacon. The end result was absolutely fantastic. My goodness, what great bacon. A great pepper flavor, but not overwhelming. Not only great for breakfast, but this bacon easily made for the best BLT sandwich I’ve ever had.
Some of the credit for the success of this black pepper bacon goes to my butcher, Moody’s Butcher shop. The folks at Moody’s got me the most fantastic pork sides ever. They were absolutely perfect for making bacon. I mean, look at that slab. That’s just gorgeous bacon!
Making bacon at home is really easy, much easier than I ever expected. I love making it and eating it. And don’t worry about slicing it, just get your knife really sharp (I sharpened my Wusthof knives with the sharpener below) and you can cut bacon thick or thin, like it’s butter!
Black Pepper Bacon
- 3-4 pounds fresh pork belly
- 1/4 cup Kosher salt
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper plus more if desired
- 1/2 teaspoon ground dried bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon granulated onion
- 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon ground dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoons Pink Curing Salt
- Rinse the pork belly and pat dry. Place into a large resealable container or baggie.
- Combine the remaining ingredients and rub over all sides of the pork.
- Seal container and place in fridge for 7-10 days.
- Rinse the belly well to remove any remaining cure. If you want you can sprinkle it with additional freshly ground black pepper.
- To smoke, fire up your smoker for cooking at 225 F. Use whatever wood your prefer. I used apple.
- Smoke the bacon for 1 1/2 - 2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 150 F.
- Store smoked bacon in a plastic bag or container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- Remove belly from smoker and let cool slightly before placing in the fridge for an hour.
- Slice bacon as desired. Bake, pan fry, or use however you wish!