Bacon is one of the best food items to have at home, especially when you have kids. Bacon is easy to mix with other food items and work well in various recipes. You can serve bacon for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and still have the kids really excited about meals.
Even better, you can now make your own bacon at home, especially with electric smokers and the ingredients you need all very easy to find. We’re going to take a look at how you can make your own bacon in this article.
The only thing you need to make your own bacon is a good smoker. There are a lot of options on the market, from the more traditional charcoal smokers to electric smokers with advanced features. If you’re looking for a good one for home use and you are relatively new to smoking meat, read Brinkmann electric smoker reviews and pick one that suits your specific needs best.
You also need a few ingredients. Pork belly – with the skin removed – and some ingredients for the cure. The main ingredients are salt and sugar, but you can add pepper and curing salt too if you like. You can then add maple sugar, ground black pepper flakes, and even berries to add different flavors to your bacon.
Step 1: Curing
Mix the curing ingredients and apply the cure to your sliced pork belly. Use a rimmed baking sheet to make it easier. You want to cure the pork belly for five days to get the best flavor, but make sure you turn each slice once a day to get a more even flavor with every slice.
After five days, rinse and clean the pork belly. It now contains all the right flavors you want from a slice of bacon, so be extra careful when rinsing. You only want to remove excess cure or salt, not do a deep rinse.
Step 2: Smoking
Smoking cured pork belly is easier than you think. First, you need to choose the right type of wood chips to compliment the flavors of your bacon. I personally love apple or cherry wood chips for their sweet, smoky flavor.
Set the smoker to 175 degrees and smoke the pork belly slices for around 2 to 3 hours. Once you’re done, you have your homemade bacon ready for use.
Step 3: Cooking
Make sure you let the smoked pork belly rest for a while, and then refrigerate it for 4 hours before you cook the bacon. Slice thinner slices and fry the homemade bacon to a crisp. You will be surprised by the softness of it and how it is filled with flavors.
Homemade bacon also tastes fresher than frozen bacon. Since you can cure a set of pork belly slices for a whole week – bacon can be stored for five days without freezing it, and even longer when frozen – you can also make larger batches and have more than enough for different meals throughout the week. Once you make your own bacon, you’ll never want to buy frozen again.