Slightly sweet, slightly salty, 100% delicious!
In a bowl, combine the cure ingredients. This includes kosher salt, maple syrup, dark brown sugar 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 until it hits 150 degrees internal temperature.
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.