Homemade Smoked Bacon
 
Ingredients
Instructions
CURING THE MEAT
  1. Rinse your pork belly and pat it really dry.
  2. Mix all the spices together in a small bowl and sprinkle over both sides of the pork belly. Rub it in really well, then place your slab of meat in a large re-sealable bag (if you can find one that’s large enough to accommodate it) or in some kind of non-reactive container. A clean storage container with fitting lid works beautifully. You could also cut your pork belly into several smaller pieces to make it fit into smaller bags or containers.
  3. Place your meat in the fridge and leave it to cure for 7 to 10 days.
SMOKING YOUR BACON
  1. Soak 4 cups of wood chips in water for at least one hour prior to smoking your bacon.
  2. Preheat your outdoor grill to 200F. Turning on a single burner to low should do the trick.
  3. Make 4 wood chip pouches. For each pouch, cut out a 12” x 24” piece of heavy duty aluminum foil (double that up if using lighter foil) and place about a cup of wet wood chips on one end of the foil. Add a handful of dry chips to that, then fold the foil over the wood chips. Fold all four edges toward the center at least twice, then poke holes on the top of the pouch with a fork.
  4. Lift the grill that’s above the lit element and place a pouch directly on the heat source. Close the lid and wait until smoke starts to come out of the pouch.
  5. Rinse your pork belly thoroughly under cold running water, pat it real dry and place it skin side down (if skin is present) on the unlit side of the grill and close the lid.
  6. Smoke the pork belly for about 4 hours, replacing the pouch with a fresh one every hour or so. If necessary, crank up the heat under the new pouch until smoke starts to come out then bring the heat back down to low.
  7. Try and keep the heat inside your grill as stable as possible, at around 200F. Note that it’s not necessary to get huge amounts of smoke in order to get good flavor from it. However, if you feel you are not getting enough, feel free to add more dry chips to your foil pouches, or place an aluminum container with a handful of dry chips next to your smoldering foil pouch.
  8. When the pork belly registers 150F, take it off the grill and remove the skin if present. You should be able to remove it by gently yet firmly pulling on it, but if some spots refuse to cooperate, simply use the tip of a sharp knife to help cut it loose. Make sure you keep your blade as close to the skin as you possibly can so you don’t remove too much of the fatty layer.
  9. Place your bacon in the fridge to chill for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight, then slice it to the desired thickness.
  10. To make the slicing easier, you can place your bacon in the freezer for a couple of hours. You don’t want your meat to be frozen solid, you just want it to start to form ice crystals. It should be really firm but you should still be able to pierce it with the point of a sharp knife.
  11. Store the sliced bacon in the refrigerator for up to 1 week of in the freezer for up to a year.
Notes
*If you don’t have access to an outdoor grill or don’t really care for smoking your bacon, you could also do this in the oven. Simply place your pork belly on a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet and bake it in a 200F oven for about 4 hours, or until the internal temperature registers 150F.
Recipe by The Healthy Foodie at https://thehealthyfoodie.com/homemade-smoked-bacon/