Make your own thick-cut bacon at home by curing and smoking pork belly!
Prep: 30 minutes
Curing: 4 days
Smoking: 2 hours
Image by @grillaxcom
- 3 pounds of pork belly
- 4 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 4 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 6 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 3/4 C water
- 1/2 teaspoon Prague Powder #1
- Gallon ziplock bag
- Mix all ingredients except pork belly in a ziplock bag and seal. Using your hands, mix and shake the bag until everything is well combined.
- Add pork belly to bag, squeezing the air as much as possible, then sealing. Massage the mixture into the meat until it’s well coated.
- Put the bag in a pan in case of leakage, then place in the fridge for 4 days. Once a day, flip the bag and gently massage the curing mix and released liquids into the meat so they’re well dispersed.
- After day 4, remove the belly from the bag and discard liquid. Rinse the pork belly under the sink to remove excess curing salt and spices.
- Prepare smoker or 2-zone cooking on grill and smoke over indirect heat 225°F until the internal temp reaches 150°F, about 2 hours. **We recommend using applewood or cherry for added flavor.
- Before slicing, let pork belly cool in the fridge so it’s easier to cut to your desired thickness. Be sure to slice across the grain using a long knife or slicing machine.
- Separate bacon into desired portion sizes and wrap with plastic wrap before freezing. **Do NOT wrap with foil alone — it could react with the salt. Section off Wrap it tightly with several layers of plastic wrap, and then a layer of foil, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.
- Cook as you would store-bought bacon (and save the bacon fat for frying veggies and potatoes later!)