Earlier I wrote a post about the first time I used a smoker for an amazing smoked chicken 4th of July meal. It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of bacon. Who isn’t right? But over the last year or so, I’ve started to make as much as I could at home. That way I would have complete control of everything I eat. I know there are many varieties of uncured bacon out there. US Wellness has a particularly tasty bacon that I ate exclusively for almost a year and it is even ‘Whole30 Approved’. But sometimes I would run out of my bulk purchases of said bacon and I would have to settle for an uncured variety from Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. While that’s not inherently a bad thing, both brands still use cane sugar in their cures. While there is some sugar in the cure I now use on my own, it’s strictly coconut sugar which has many more vitamins and minerals as well as it’s a low glycemic load at under 50 (actually at 35) which is a bonus for Low Glycemic Index Therapy that Dr Elizabeth Thiele an epileptologist at Harvard, uses for her treatment plans.
To start out, I just did a basic salt cure but they beauty of curing your own bacon is, you can use any spice combination that you come up with. I know next time I’m going to try my Smoked Paprika Rub on there to see how it comes out. Although, since it would already have a smoky element from the paprika, I would use the ‘Oven Method’ below for that specific spice cure. So really, there’s no excuse not to try making your own bacon, all you need is time and an oven.
- Rinse pork belly thoroughly with cold water and pat dry
- In a baking dish, combine coconut sugar, salt, and black pepper
- Liberally coat pork belly on all sides with the cure mixture
- Wrap pork belly tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge on a flat surface to cure for approximately 7-10 days turning over every day. Bacon is fully cured when it is firm to the touch everywhere
- After curing is completed, remove pork belly from plastic wrap and rinse thoroughly
- If you plan to smoke your bacon, heat smoker and add wood chunks. Applewood is a great starting point
- Smoke bacon for 60-90 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 150°F
- Remove from smoker and allow to cool uncovered
- Bacon can be stored in the fridge for up to a week but I don't think it will last that long!
- Preheat oven to 200°F
- Rinse bacon thoroughly from the cure and pat dry with paper towels
- Lightly baste all sides of bacon with liquid smoke
- Place bacon on a sheet pan with a rack insert and roast in the oven for 2-2½ hours or until internal temperature reads 150°F. Cooking times will vary so it's most accurate to use a leave-in oven thermometer so as not to under or overcook the bacon
- Remove from oven and allow to cool about 20 minutes
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