Homemade Hickory Smoked Bacon

Homemade Hickory Smoked Bacon

There is nothing in this world that is tastier than Bacon!  I used to think that all bacon was pretty much the same.  Oh, how wrong I was.  After making my own bacon, I can no longer eat that stuff that passes for bacon in the big box grocery stores.  Homemade bacon is the best thing that I have ever made.  No joke!  It is like the angels opened the heavens and delivered it to me.  It is so fantastic.  It is a must try.

Fully Cooked Bacon

Homemade Hickory Smoked Bacon

In a bowl combine the cure ingredients.  This includes pepper, sugar, paprika and salt and Prague Powder #1 (pink curing salt).

The Cure

You can purchase pink curing salt at most sporting goods stores and of course, Amazon!

Prague Powder #1

Next you need a pork belly.  These can be hard to come by, but I have found them at both Sam’s Club and Costco.  If you are not a member of a warehouse club, you can order them from your butcher.

Pork Belly

I picked up a whole belly and cut it into thirds (roughly 3lbs each).

Sliced Belly

I made two types of bacon (you may see it peeking into some of the pics) and some Pork Belly Burnt Ends.  I will post the other bacon recipe later this week.  I will make sure to come back and include the link too.  I found my pork belly at Costco.  They had a ton of them.

Coat the Belly

Coat the belly with half of the cure, rub it in.  Then flip and coat the other side.

Place in a zip top bag

Place the belly into a zip top bag, making sure to pour the remaining cure into the bag.  Refrigerate for 1 week.  Making sure to flip the bag every day.  Make sure to massage the meat each time you flip.

After a week

After a week remove the belly from the bag and rinse. Pat dry and then place on a rack and refrigerate for another 12 to 24 hours.  This will allow the meat to get tacky and allow for more smoke absorption.

Place on a rack to get tacky

The next day, Start your smoker and set it to 190-225 degrees.  Add hickory wood for flavor.  FYI – you can use whatever flavor wood that you want!  Try to keep it within that temperature.  I have a nice Traeger Smoker that allows for easy temperature control.  If you are looking for a nice smoker that is super easy to use, I recommend a Traeger!

Place on your smoker and cook to 150

Insert a probe thermometer and cook the belly till 150 degrees internal temperature.

The down pour

I used my Thermoworks Smoke to monitor the temperature remotely.  It is a solid thermometer that allows for remote monitoring.  This was crucial as it started pouring rain during this cook.  I was able to monitor the temperature of the pork belly from the comfort of my couch!  Thanks Thermoworks!

Fully Cooked Bacon

Once the Pork Belly is fully cooked, it is magically transformed to BACON!!!!!

Cool and store in a sealed container for up to one week in the Refrigerator, or freeze for up to three months.  I sliced mine and then vacuum sealed it for easy thawing and cooking later.  However, I feel as if I wasted my vacuum seal bags as we ate it all within a week.  What can I say, it is delicious!

Homemade Hickory Smoked Bacon
Prep Time
7 d
Cook Time
3 hrs
Total Time
7 d 3 hrs
 

Quite possibly the greatest thing that you can ever make!  This bacon makes the store bought stuff seem like bologna.

Cuisine: American
Keyword: Bacon, hickory, pork belly
Servings: 3 pounds
Author: Rex
Ingredients
  • 3 lb Pork Belly Skin Off
  • 1/3 cup sugar basic white sugar
  • 3 tbs kosher salt
  • 2 tbs black pepper table grind
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp Prague Powder #1 pink curing salt
  • Hickory Wood/Chips/Pellets
Instructions
  1. In a bowl combine the cure ingredients.  This includes pepper, sugar, paprika and salt and Prague Powder #1 (pink curing salt).  

  2. Next you need a pork belly.  These can be hard to come by, but I have found them at both Sam's Club and Costco.  If you are not a member of a warehouse club, you can order them from your butcher.

  3. Coat the belly with half of the cure, rub it in. Then flip and coat the other side. Place the belly into a zip top bag, making sure to pour the remaining cure into the bag. 

  4. Refrigerate for 1 week. Making sure to flip the bag every day. Make sure to massage the meat each time you flip. 

  5. After a week remove the belly from the bag and rinse. Pat dry and then place on a rack and refrigerate for another 12 to 24 hours. This will allow the meat to get tacky and allow for more smoke absorption.

  6. The next day, Start your smoker and set it to 190-225 degrees. Add hickory wood for flavor.  If you want you can use any flavor wood that you want.  I just love hickory! Try to keep it within that temperature. 

  7. Insert a probe thermometer and cook the belly till 150 degrees internal temperature. I used my Thermoworks Smoke to monitor the temperature remotely. It is a solid thermometer that allows for remote monitoring. This was crucial as it started pouring rain during this cook. I was able to monitor the temperature of the pork belly from the comfort of my couch! Thanks Thermoworks! 

  8. Once the Pork Belly is fully cooked, it is magically transformed to BACON!!!!! 

  9. Cool and store in a sealed container for up to one week in the Refrigerator, or freeze for up to three months.  Slice as needed. 

 

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