Bacon Recipe
Author: 
Recipe type: meat
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ to 3 pounds pork belly
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon curing salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Rinse the belly and thoroughly pat it dry. Trim off any thin edges so that the piece is one long rectangle. (You can save these excess pieces of belly for making sausage or lard.)
  2. In a small bowl, mix the sugar with the molasses. Then mix in the 2 tablespoons of salt, curing salt, and pepper and rub it evenly into the meat (like a relaxing, porcine spa treatment). Place the meat inside an oversize sealable plastic bag and lay it flat in the refrigerator for 7 days, massaging the liquids that will amass through the bag and flipping it daily.
  3. After 7 days, inspect your bacon. It should be firm to the touch all over, like touching a cooked steak—a sign that it has been cured. If the flesh still feels spongy and soft in spots, massage the meat again with an additional 2 tablespoons salt and check it again after 1 or 2 days.
  4. Once the bacon is fully cured, discard the solids, rinse the meat well, and pat it dry. The next step to giving bacon that familiar flavor is the addition of smoke.
  5. Fastest: Roasting and Liquid Smoke Preheat the oven to 200°F. Place the belly, fat side up, on a rack over a roasting pan and roast for 2 to 21/2 hours, until the interior temperature of the meat reaches 150°F. Gently brush the liquid smoke over the entirety of the bacon, covering both sides evenly.
  6. Slowest: Smoking on the Grill Refer to “How to Smoke,” page 60. Smoke the meat, fat side up, using a 5-cup packet of hickory sawdust, for 3 to 5 hours, until it reaches an internal temperature of 150°F.
  7. Best of Both Worlds: Smoking and Roasting This is my preferred methodology, because I love the flavor of the smoke but often lack the patience for a full grill session.
  8. Start smoking your meat, and do so as long as you’re able—at least 2 hours is really ideal. Smoke it until you get sick of babysitting the grill and tending to the coals.
  9. Finish the meat on a rack over a roasting pan in a 200°F oven until it reaches 150°F inside at its thickest point. Fry a slice of the bacon and taste. If it needs more smoke flavor, brush a thin layer of liquid smoke on both sides of the slab.
  10. Whichever method you use, when your bacon is ready, slice it as thin (or as thick) as you like it and fry, over medium-high heat, until browned on both sides. Drain on paper towels and enjoy.
Recipe by Karen Solomon - Content Creator, Content Strategy at https://ksolomon.com/bacon-recipe/