This is the process used to turn a pork belly into a bacon. Seriously, this is hickory and cherry smoke layered with classic herbs and spices. A mouth watering bacon treat!
Process and Preparation
Start with the purchase of a high quality whole de-skinned pork belly. Unpackage then wash and dry the pork belly. It may make handling easier to cut the pork belly into smaller portions. This recipe the belly was cut into 2 halves.
Next, apply cure to the pork belly and place in a sealed plastic bag or vacuum seal. The belly should next be refrigerated for 7-10 days flipping daily. After curing rinse the meat. For better smoke adherence let dry in the fridge on a rack uncovered for at least 24 hrs.
A cure will keep the pork belly food safe to avoid potential bacteria and contamination while the meat is cold smoked in otherwise dangerous temperatures. Curing the meat will also increase shelf life. For this recipe cure #1 is used.
Use an accurate digital scale to weigh the meat, cure, salt, and sugar. Convert to grams. The cure should be 2-2.5% of the meat weight in salt, .25% cure#1, 1.5% sugar.
For extra flavor, pickling spice or other herbs can be added to the cure and or rub.
For this recipe the following following aromatics were added. For every pound of meat:
- 1/4 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1/4 teaspoon pickling spice (coriander, mustard seed, allspice berry, red pepper, ginger, whole clove, bay leave, cinnamon stick)
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme
- 4 juniper berries
|LBS||Converted to Grams|
|Pork Belly Weight in Pounds:||9.39||4259.232||Grams|
|Cure #1 .25%||10.64808||Grams|
|Seasoning per lb|
|Peppercorn 1/4 teaspoon||2.3475||TSP|
|Pickling spice 1/4 teaspoon||2.3475||TSP|
|Thyme 1/4 teaspoon||2.3475||TSP|
|Juniper Berries, 4||37.56||Berries|
Cold smoke the meat low and slow. It is recommended to smoke at 150° f for 4 hrs, then bring it up to 175° until internal temperature hits 160°.
For this recipe however, the meat was smoked at 175° for 4 hours, then an additional 3 hours at 225° until inter temperature of the meat was 160°.
- Rinse pork belly
- Apply cure and rub
- Refrigerate 7-10 days, flipping daily
- Rinse and dry overnight
- Cold smoke for 6+ hours until internal Temp of 160°
- Slice, fry, and enjoy!