Homemade Bacon

Homemade Bacon

There is nothing better than curing and smoking your own bacon. This one is so simple to make, is nitrate free and will defiantly win hearts. Feel free to mix it up with some of your favourite herbs.

  • serves: -
  • yields: 2.3 kg
  • prep time: 1 ½ hours
  • cook time: 45 minutes
  • contains: -
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What you'll need

  • 2.3 kg free-range pork belly (remove the skin or keep on if you like)
  • 220 g sea salt natural
  • 330 g honey
  • 50 mls maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons raw apple cider vinegar
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 kg apple wood chips soaked in water for at least 1-2 hours, water drained off

Method

1
Pour 3½ litres of cold water into a non-reactive deep dish. Add the sea salt, honey, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar, mix to combine.
2
Place the pork in the brine, add the thyme, peppercorns, bay leaves and garlic. Make sure the pork belly is completely submerged; add a plate to weigh it down if necessary. Cover and refrigerate for 5 days.
3
Remove the pork belly from the brine and discard the brine. Rinse well with cold water, then pat dry with a paper towel.
4
Divide the soaked wood chips between two aluminium barbecue trays or oven trays. Place one tray under the grill grates, directly on the heat source, in a corner or far from where the pork belly will be. Reserve the other tray with the wood chips for a later stage when smoking.
5
Preheat the barbecue grill. Cover with lid, turn all the burners to high and allow to reach 180 - 200 °C. At this stage the wood chips will begin to smoke. Turn off the middle burners, allow the BBQ to drop temperature to 100°C then quickly place your pork belly flesh-side up, on the middle grate, away from the heat, then close the lid. Reduce the other burners to low and maintain the heat to no higher than 100°C. Smoke the pork belly for 3 hours.
6
Switch the barbecue trays with the soaked wood chips once the smoke is starts down (half way through the smoking process). You may notice that all the wood chips will completely turn to ash – this is the indicator to change trays.
7
When the pork belly has been smoking for 3 hours, remove it from BBQ and slice while it’s still warm, to your preferred thickness.

Notes

The bacon will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 3 months.

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