How To Make Homemade Smoked Bacon

Rate this post

To say that bacon improves everything is an understatement.

Homemade bacon isn’t the fastest thing to cook, but it’s undoubtedly one of the most delicious and fulfilling.

To mention a few, there are various flavor variations to sample, including conventional hardwood smoked bacon, black pepper bacon, and maple bacon. Whatever flavor you pick, after you’ve cured and smoked your own bacon, it’ll be difficult to go back to store-bought bacon.

In this recipe, I’ll teach you how to transform a whole pig belly into wonderful bacon, as well as how to slice and preserve it using a vacuum sealer.

Why should I make my own bacon? 

How To Make Homemade Smoked Bacon

To be absolutely honest, going to the local grocery and purchasing some bacon is MUCH simpler.

It takes time to make your own bacon, and pig belly isn’t as inexpensive as it once was. However, there are several advantages:

  • You have complete control over what goes into your bacon, so if you are worried about nitrates, you can make it nitrate-free.
  • Similarly, you choose the specific kind of pig to use to guarantee that your bacon is created from a high-quality, ethically grown product.
  • Control over the tastes and the degree of smoke.
  • Cut the bacon as thick or thin as you want, depending on your needs.

It’s also an enjoyable procedure that everyone should do at least once in their lives.

What cut of pork do I use?

How To Make Homemade Smoked Bacon

Bacon is typically made from pig belly or loin, which is subsequently cured and occasionally smoked, as we will be doing.

Look for a pork belly with a muscle-to-fat ratio of roughly 50:50, creamy white fat, and pink meat.

Whole pig belly used to be difficult to get by, but it is now widely available at decent butcher shops and even Costco.

If your budget permits, choose a heritage breed like as a Berkshire, Duroc, or Kurobuta. We used an uncured pork belly from Porter Road for this dish.

What equipment do I need to make smoked bacon? 

To produce your own excellent bacon, you’ll need a smoker that can smoke low and slow.

I’m using my Kamado Joe Classic II to indirectly smoke the bacon for this dish.

This smoker helps us to keep a steady temperature, which results in a good clean smoke with a richer smoke taste.

Another fantastic alternative is to use a pellet grill, which is highly consistent.

You’ll also need some big Ziploc bags, a huge chunk of pork belly, and a refrigerator to cure it in.

You’ll also need an instant read thermometer to monitor the temperature of your pork belly during the cooking process, as well as a store-bought cure or the components to make your own cure.

If you have a vacuum sealer, it will also come in useful.

How to make homemade smoked bacon

1. The cure

A cure’s objective is to eliminate water from meat in order to preserve it.

The key to the cure is to incorporate the pink curing salt while also ensuring that your spices have a beautiful balanced taste.

You may keep simple, as we have, or you can go for some wild profiles, as we will show you in future recipes.

We used light brown sugar, Kosher salt, coarse black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and curing salt in this recipe. Combine everything in a mixing dish.

Just a brief tip: too much sugar can soon destroy your bacon when you fried it in the pan because the sugars will burn and your bacon will seem scorched.

2. The curing process

Curing typically takes 7 full days for every inch of thickness.

Why? You are pouring taste into your meat, and you must allow it to enter while also ensuring that the cure accomplishes its work.

Apply the cure to the pork belly.

Put it in a vacuum seal bag or a Ziploc bag and close it tightly since the cure will take out a lot of liquid from the pork belly.

Place it in the fridge for 7 days. You should turn the pork belly every day so that the fluids and tastes circulate throughout the cut rather than being on one side of the meat the whole time.

When you can poke your meat and it has some resistance and begins to firm up, you’ll know it’s cured.

3. Drying

After a week of flipping and massaging, take it out of the bag and thoroughly rinse it, eliminating as much cure as possible.

Then, set it on a wire rack with a tray below to collect any leaking liquid and store it in the fridge, uncovered, overnight to dry out and create the pellicle.

What exactly is a pellicle? A pellicle is a thin layer that develops on your pork belly and helps smoke adhere to the meat, giving for a deeper smoky taste.

4. Smoking

There are several types of wood that may be used to impart smoky flavor to your bacon. I selected cherry wood, which has a deep fruity, rich taste and is by far one of my favorite flavors for smoking pig. Other popular bacon smoke flavors include hickory and apple wood.

It is entirely up to you how much smoke flavor you want to inject into your meat. When you purchase bacon at the supermarket, it usually has a pretty weak taste.

If you want a fuller smoke taste, use extra wood, which will also add flavor when you cook your bacon at the end.

The trick to smoking pork belly is to keep the temperature low and slow. The lower the temperature, the more smoke flavor you can incorporate into the meat.

You want to set your smoker to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Add your pork belly after your smoker has reached temperature and you can see just thin blue smoke.

Smoke for 3 hours, or until the internal temperature of your bacon reaches 160°F. This might take more or less time depending on the size of your pork belly.

Using an instant read thermometer, such as the Thermapen, is the easiest method to check this.

5. Thick or thin?

Remove the meat from the smoker and let it to rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

At that time, you must make a significant choice. Do you want thin or thick sliced bacon?

Personally, if I’m cooking this to serve as breakfast meat, I like thick-cut bacon. If you want to make sure it’s crispy and add it to a meal, a thinner cut is typically best.

You may cut this into appropriate rashers using a Slicer knife or a long knife like a brisket knife.

How to cook your bacon 

The key to making great bacon is to cook it slowly enough so that the sugars incorporated into the bacon do not burn.

I usually fried this on medium-low heat, although I know a lot of people who believe the tastiest bacon is made in the oven. In any case, going hot and quick is NOT the way to go.

Storing you bacon

This will keep in the refrigerator for about a week. Otherwise, you may make it last much longer by freezing it immediately in a vacuum seal bag, and it will taste fresh for 6 months.

Here are more ways to eat that bacon

  • Smoked bacon wrapped carrots
  • Smoked baked beans with bacon
  • Loaded smoked potato skins
  • Bacon wrapped jalapeo poppers
  • Bacon roses


How do they make smoked bacon?

After being cured, the bacon is often cleaned, dried, and then placed in a smoker for further preservation and flavour. The smoking procedure is typically done at a low heat, just enough to flavor the bacon without frying it.

How to smoke fresh bacon?

Preheat your smoker to 160-170°F using your preferred hardwood. Apple, maple, and hickory are all popular smoking woods. Place the pork belly directly on the grill grates, shut the lid, and smoke for 6 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees F.

How long does it take to smoke bacon?

How long does it take for bacon to cook on a smoker? It takes around 30 minutes, depending on the heat. You should still keep a watch on it, however, since the temperature might rise as the smoker warms up.

Does bacon need to be cured before smoking?

Bacon must be dry rubbed and cured for 7-10 days before cooking. While American-style bacon may be sliced and fried immediately after curing, it is frequently smoked to add flavor. I provide three methods for smoking the baco here: full-on grill smoking, oven roasting with liquid smoke, or a mix of the two.

What is the best wood for smoking bacon?

Hickory – This is a popular wood for smoking red meats such as hog and beef. It’s also perfect for smoking cured foods like bacon because of its robust, earthy, and pungent taste. This sort of wood also gives the meat a deeper hue.

What is naturally smoked bacon?

If your bacon is branded “hardwood smoked” or “naturally smoked,” it was smoked in a smoker. If you buy bacon that has a smokey taste but doesn’t have these labels, it was probably injected with liquid smoke to speed up the preservation process.

Do you use water when smoking bacon?

To maintain a moist atmosphere throughout the cooking process, place a small pan of water on the warming grate. Allow the grill to reach 225°F and the wood pieces to start smoking.

Is it better to cold smoke or hot smoke bacon?

Bacon is always smoked by definition. This may be accomplished in one of two ways: hot or cold smoking. It’s entirely up to you how you want to smoke your bacon. Many experts believe that cold smoked bacon crisps up better when fried than hot smoked bacon.

Do you need curing salt to make bacon?

To create your own bacon, you’ll need a few ingredients. To begin, curing salt (also known as Prague powder) may be purchased in better supermarket and specialized food shops or ordered online. Second, you’ll need some form of smoker (since that’s how you acquire the smoke taste!).

How do you know when smoked bacon is done?

The meaty areas are pale pink, while the fat areas are white. When heated, bacon turns from bright pink to light brown, then darkens and takes on a reddish colour. When the flesh layers of bacon become brown, it is thoroughly cooked.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *