Making bacon has been on my to-do list for a while now. I was able to find some nice pork belly in the butcher case, so I grabbed a few pounds and set off on making this homemade applewood-smoked maple bacon.
The end result was absolutely great. This is easily the best bacon I’ve ever had. There’s a hint of maple, a hint of smoke, and great texture and flavor. Outstandingly good and so easy that I will always make bacon from here on any time that I have my smoker going.
Price-wise, this bacon is also cheaper than store bought, and you can slice it any way that you like, from super thick to wafer thin. I think I paid about $1.99/pound for the pork. I did have to remove the skin (which I saved for making cracklins at a later time). That took a little effort. If you get your pork belly from a butcher you might want to ask to have the skin removed for you.
Homemade Applewood-Smoked Maple Bacon
- 2 pound pork belly skin removed (save for making cracklins). Choose a belly that is consistent in thickness so that it cooks evenly.
- 3 teaspoons kosher sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Curing Salt #1 see link below if you can't find it locally. DO NOT substitute any other kind of salt
- 3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 6 tablespoons real maple syrup Grade B if you can find it, otherwise Grade A will work do
- 1/2 cup cold water
- Put the belly into a large resealable bag.
- Whisk together the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Add to the baggie.
- Seal the bag, trying to remove as much air as possible. Place in to a deep flat pan (in case the bag leaks) in the fridge for 7 days, flipping over twice a day.
- The day you are ready to smoke, fire up your smoker for 225 F cooking over a light wood such as apple.
- Remove belly from the bag and rinse well with cold water.
- Place belly onto smoker and smoke for 1 1/2-2 hours or until the meat reaches 150 F.
- 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!
- Store smoked bacon in a plastic bag or container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.