How to Cure & Smoke Beef Bacon

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Love bacon and want to try something new?

Beef bacon is manufactured in the same manner as pig bacon and may be used in the same ways, but it has a distinct taste character that many people prefer.

Because the curing process takes seven days, this recipe will need some forethought, but it is well worth the wait!

Pork bacon vs. beef bacon 

How to Cure & Smoke Beef Bacon

If you’re a bacon connoisseur, you’ll already know that bacon is typically prepared by curing and smoking pig belly.

Pigs arent the only animals with bellies, though!

Beef bacon, like conventional bacon, is produced by curing, smoking, and slicing.

The smoky flavor profile is comparable to that of pig bacon, but beef bacon has a great deep meaty flavour that results in considerably more flavor!

Reasons to try beef bacon:

  • If you don’t eat pig, beef bacon is an excellent substitute.
  • Beef bacon is lower in fat and higher in protein per slice, making it a healthier option.
  • Its fun to make!

Where can I find beef belly? 

Beef belly is unlikely to be widely accessible at your local grocery shop. You might try asking your local butcher if they have it in stock or if they can order it for you.

Porter Road provided the beef belly for this dish. Their meat is of excellent quality; give it a try and you will never go back!

If you don’t want to bother with this recipe, Porter Road also sells ready-made beef bacon if you want to test it.

You are also not need to utilize beef belly. Bacon, like pork, may be made from a number of cuts, including brisket and round.

How to make beef bacon

1. The cure

The cure is intended to eliminate water from the meat in order to preserve it.

You must incorporate pink curing salt, and your spices must have a taste profile that you desire.

The pink curing salt was purchased from my local butcher, although it is available online from a variety of sources.

I kept the flavoring simple for this dish, using brown sugar, salt, and black pepper.

2. The curing process

Curing typically takes seven days for every inch of thickness.

I know it sounds like a long time, but you are pouring flavor into your meat and need to enable it to permeate while also ensuring that the cure does its work.

When applying the cure to your beef belly, be sure to cover both sides evenly.

Place it in the fridge in a vacuum seal bag or a Ziploc bag.

You will notice a lot of liquid from the beef belly throughout the 7-day cure. Every day, make sure you turn the beef belly and carefully massage it. This allows the fluids and tastes to flow throughout the cut rather of being on one side of the meat the whole time.

Furthermore, rubbing your steak is really pleasurable.

You’ll know your meat is cured when you can probe it and detect some resistance and it begins to firm up.

3. Drying

After a week of turning and massaging, take the beef from the bag and rinse it well with water to remove as much cure as possible.

Place the washed beef belly on a wire rack with a tray below to collect any leaking liquid, and refrigerate it overnight, uncovered, to allow it to dry out for the pellicle to develop.

A pellicle is a thin layer that develops on the surface of your beef belly that helps smoke attach to the meat, enabling it to acquire a stronger smoky taste.

If you are pressed for time, a few hours can do, but 24 hours is the preferred time limit.

4. The smoking process

You may use a variety of different types of wood to smoke your bacon. For this recipe, I utilized one of my favorite beef smoke flavors, pecan wood. Pecan wood has a sweet, nutty taste that complements steak.

The quantity of smoke flavor you want in your meat is totally up to you and the purpose for which it will be used.

When you purchase bacon at the supermarket, it usually has a very little smoke taste.

Add wood to your cook for a deep-smoke flavor.

The trick to smoking your bacon is to keep your temperature low and gradual.

I smoked this beef belly on my Traeger Grills Ranger today. This is a smaller, more compact grill that is ideal for cooking on the road.

This grill’s hidden secret is that it is an absolute beast when it comes to smoking your meat. When cooking low and slow, the smaller cooking surface allows for more smoke than a standard pellet grill.

Set your smoker to 200 degrees Fahrenheit while smoking the beef belly. Once your smoker has reached temperature, place your beef belly directly on the grates.

You’ll smoke this for around 3 hours, or until the internal temperature of your bacon reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit. This might take more or less time depending on the amount of your beef belly.

An quick read thermometer is the best method to check this.

5. The final steps

Remove the beef belly from the smoker and let it rest for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.

I like to let it sit overnight since it allows for more accurate slicing after the flesh has stiffened somewhat.

When slicing, consider how thick or thin you want your bacon to be depending on your preferences and intended use.

A brisket slicer is ideal for this task, but if you don’t have one, you may use a meat slicing machine.

Cooking your bacon

The key to making great bacon is to cook it slowly over low heat.

I always start my bacon in a cold pan and then cook it out on a low heat to remove the moisture. Another excellent option is to bake it on a cookie sheet.

This will keep in the refrigerator for about a week. Another fantastic alternative is to freeze it immediately in vacuum seal bags, which will keep it fresh for 6 months.

Keen to try making more things from scratch?

  • How to make homemade smoked bacon
  • How to make pastrami
  • How to make pastrami from corned beef
  • How to make smoked hot dogs



What cut of meat do you use for beef bacon?

Steer belly meat is very delicious and converts into wonderful bacon. The beef belly is also known as the navel in the business. The brisket links into the navel cut a bit farther down the body.

What’s the difference between beef bacon and pork bacon?

Simply simply, beef bacon is a kind of bacon that is prepared from beef rather than pig. hog bacon is typically produced from thinly sliced hog belly. cattle bacon, like ordinary bacon, may be manufactured from the cattle belly. It may, however, be cooked using brisket or round for leaner choices.

What part of the cow is beef bacon made from?

Beef Bacon Cutting Techniques

You want a marbled cut of beef that has both intramuscular and intermuscular fat. Shortrib, brisket, and beef belly (navel) are examples of cow cuts that may be used.

How do you know when beef bacon is cooked?

When the flesh layers of bacon become brown, it is thoroughly cooked. The grilling procedure may be repeated until the bacon pieces are crisp to your liking. A rich reddish brown tint indicates that your bacon is cooked as well as crispy.

Why is beef bacon so expensive?

Experts such as the USDA attribute high meat costs to a combination of causes that began with labor shortages and supply chain concerns early in the epidemic, disrupting the supply-demand balance.

Does beef bacon taste like regular bacon?

Depending on your age and what you ate as a youngster, a piece of beef bacon may transport you back in time. McDonald’s cooked their French fries with a mixture of beef tallow and cottonseed oil until 1990. Beef bacon has a salty, meaty flavor and is a little heavier than pig bacon.

Why isn t beef bacon more popular?

The issue is that cows lack a cow counterpart of pork belly, which is the piece of pig used to produce bacon. In the United States, cow belly is utilized to create brisket, plate (the basis of beef short ribs), and flank.

Is Mcdonald’s bacon beef or pork?

We have two pork-containing ingredients: bacon rashers and sausage patties. These components may be found in a variety of our menu items, including Big Flavour Wraps and breakfast dishes.

Is beef bacon the same as pastrami?

🥩 Beef bacon is typically made from the same cut used for pastrami and is treated basically the same as pork. The resulting product tastes smoky-sweet and full of flavour – think an easy-to-eat beef jerky.

Is beef bacon healthier than pork bacon?

Because of its reduced fat level, beef bacon is generally healthier. One strip of beef bacon has around 30 calories. It will include around 2.3 grams of fat and 109 milligrams of sodium. One strip of pork bacon has around 53 calories.


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