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Homemade Bacon

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Homemade bacon can be made to be healthier (or not) and more delicious than anything that comes from a plastic package in your local supermarket, and easy to customize exactly to your taste. You simple won’t believe how much better the flavour and texture of homemade bacon is until you try it…. and it is nowhere near as hard to make as you may have thought. Give it a try and experiment with different woods for smoking and curing mixes to make your very own creation just like a professional chef. #Bacon

Homemade Bacon
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ kgs of pork belly
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 ½ Tbs. salt,
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 4 cups wood chips. I used apple
Method
  1. Start by rinsing the pork belly, then pat it dry and set it aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix your sugar, honey, and maple syrup. Once that’s blended, mix in your salt and pepper.
  3. Place the pork in large baking tray and start rubbing in your mixture on the top, bottom, and sides of the belly. Once you’ve adequately rubbed the mix in, cover the tray with cling wrap, and place it in the fridge.
  4. The belly will need to cure for at least seven days. Check it after a few days and take it out, rub it around, and flip it to keep the meat evenly coated.
  5. After the seven days the skin should be firm. If it’s still too spongy, add a little more salt and return it to fridge for a day or two.
  6. Once it’s fully cured, rinse the meat well and pat it completely dry.
  7. Soak 2 cups of wood chips in water for at least one hour prior to smoking your bacon.
  8. Preheat your outdoor BBQ to 90°C (coal BBQ’s are perfect for this). Turning on a single burner to low should do the trick.
  9. Make 2 wood chip pouches. For each pouch, cut out a 30cm x 60cm piece of aluminium foil and place 1 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 centre at least twice, then poke holes on the top of the pouch with a fork.
  10. 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.
  11. Place the pork belly skin side down on the unlit side of the grill and close the lid.
  12. Smoke the pork belly for about 2 hours, replacing the pouch with a fresh one after an 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.
  13. Try and keep the heat inside your grill as stable as possible, at around 90°C – 95°C.
  14. When the pork belly has internal temperature of 65°C, take it off the grill.
  15. Place your bacon in the fridge to chill for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight, then slice it to the desired thickness.

 

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