How to Make Homemade Bacon with Electric Smoker
Long ago long before the silly “bacon in everything” fad got started people actually made bacon at home. It’s not that hard to do and it can produce some superior quality bacon. Making bacon at home is not going to save you a lot of money and it’s probably not going make anything healthier than what you get in the store.
But it will be delicious, we are going to show you how to cure a pork belly, and then how the smoke it so that you have slab bacon.
There are two special ingredients that you’ll need. The first is pork belly. We are using a three-pound slab that still has the skin attached. If you have trouble finding this try asking a butcher, or maybe a pork producer at a farmers market, or go to an oriental grocery store that has a good meat department as with anything the better the quality the better your bacon will be.
The second special ingredient is curing salt which is often referred to as pink salt. It is sold under a few different names. You should be able to find pouches of it at the bass pro shop but it can be ordered online too. No matter which brand you have it is going to be the same makeup ninety three point seven five percent salt and six point two five percent sodium nitrite. There are some pros and cons of sodium nitrite, but the reason why it’s put in this is because it controls the bacteria that can cause botulism. And it also preserves that nice pink color that gives a flavor and texture which you just cannot get without using some sort of curing agent.
Although the amount that actually goes into this recipe is not much to be concerned about there are some things you should know about. The ingredient, first of all that
sodium nitrite part is toxic and too much at once can be fatal it’s a powerful antioxidant.
Frequent consumption of cured meats can lead the long-term health problems and
it should be stored out of reach of children. This sounds like something you probably
do not want to eat or even have in the house. But if we think about the facts that this product they are eerily similar to another product that you might be familiar with if you are not convinced that is fine. But please do not try this recipe without the pink salt you would have to cold smoke it, and we have no advice on how to do that stick to something you could get in a store. If you’re interested in learning how to make
sausages or a variety of other old-world meet preservation techniques to cure this three-pound slab of pork belly, we are using forty grams of kosher salt, we use diamond crystal kosher salt. So forty grams is about five tablespoons, if you use Morton’s Kosher salt you’ll want to make it three tablespoons. Next is one and a half teaspoons of pink salt and then forty grams of maple sugar.
If you cannot find maple sugar brown sugar is fine, forty grams would be about three tablespoons beyond the salts and the sugar is where you add some extra flavor to the bacon.
For this recipe, we are using five cloves of garlic and four whole jalapenos. It takes quite a bit to give any extra flavor to the bacon. The recipe calls for we think a quarter cup of maple syrup which is pretty good for breakfast bacon you could also use black pepper, or any herbs you like basically it’s up to you.
The pork belly goes in a gallon sized zipper bag the cure mixture will be added to that and it is good to really rub the mixture into both sides of the pork belly. The air needs to be squeezed out of the bag and this will go into the refrigerator skin side down the bag will need to get flipped.
Every other day starting on a Saturday so it will need to be flipped on after seven days the belly should’ve firmed up quite a bit and it’s ready to come out of the cure.
The seasoning should be rinsed off the surface and it’s also takes care of a lot of saltiness. It needs to be patted dry and then put on a rack above a pan that’s going to
go into the refrigerator for twelve to twenty-four hours.
This gives the meat enough time to develop a pellicle which is when the surface gets a little dried out and a little tacky that helps the smoke flavor to stick to the meat, and when it comes to smoke you would want to go for something relatively mild
fruit woods are best things like hickory are way too strong for bacon.
The reason why you see so many apple wood smoked bacons is because apple wood
is perfect for smoking bacon. We prefer to use the chips.
It needs to be two hundred degrees Fahrenheit, the pork belly will go in there skin side down until it reaches an internal temperature of one hundred fifty degrees.
It should take about two-and-a-half hours.
If you do not have a smoker but you do have a grill we would encourage you to look up ways to use it as a smoker. At the very least, you could put the pork belly in there and hit it with a lot of smoke for about thirty minutes or so at a low temperature. Then you can finish the pork belly in a two hundred degree oven until it hits one hundred fifty degrees. Once the slab has hit the magic temperature it needs to cool off on the counter for a couple of hours.
But after ten minutes while still warm you should removes the skin it should come off pretty easily in one piece and don’t throw this away would be really good if it’s put into a pot of soup for flavoring if it weren’t so salty.
Or, give it to your dog after it is cooled completely. You can peel some other things
off here’s some silver skin and we also like to trim off the reddish-brown bits. You can leave it on but it makes the slices a little more rustic than what we want.
Also we like to trim the ends off just so it will be nice and neat on the edges is when you start slicing before it gets sliced it should be thoroughly refrigerated or maybe even put into the freezer for a little while to really firm it up.
That is going to make the slicing a lot easier and if you don’t have a very good slicing knife you can just use the chef’s knife and do the best you can. If you own a meat slicer this is the perfect time to bust it out. It is kind of hard to make really even thin
slices if you are doing it by hand but actually it is kind of nice to have it a little bit thick, and since this is slab bacon there is some things you can do with this you cannot do with grocery store bacon.
If you cut a nice thick piece like this about a quarter of an inch thick, then you can cut it into what is called Lardons which are perfect to use on salad which might just be the best way to prepare strips of bacon is in the oven. But it is not quite as satisfying doing it in a frying pan with this homemade bacon. You would like to do it at a really low temperature because we have found that it is a little bit more prone to burning, if it is cooked at too high of a temperature.