Quite possibly the greatest thing that you can ever make! This bacon makes the store bought stuff seem like bologna.
In a bowl combine the cure ingredients. This includes pepper, sugar, paprika and salt and Prague Powder #1 (pink curing salt).
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!
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. Slice as needed.