I like to use every bit of an animal when I can. Bones for stock, bits of extra fat for sausage, and, when it comes to extra pig skin, chicharrones.
At the end of Part 1 we made sure we had our salt levels where we want them and our belly had dried uncovered in the fridge over night. Now it’s time to add one more layer of flavor. Infusing the belly with smoke is the pièce de résistance. In my opinion bacon just isn’t bacon without a nice kiss of smoke.
Right before the belly is placed in the smoker I like to add an optional coating of black pepper. While the pepper in the cure helps get some flavor into the meat, I’ve found that a nice coat of black pepper right before it goes on really punches it up. There really is no specific amount here. Use as much or as little as you like. Continue reading…
If bacon had it’s own Twitter account it would have more followers than Katy Perry, Justin Bieber, and Barack Obama combined. Everyone loves those slabs of salty goodness. Even those forbidden to eat it have been known to long for it. I cured more than 20 pounds to get the photos below, and all of it was consumed before I finished my first draft a week later (With the help of family and friends of course – I’m not that big of a glutton).
I hold bacon’s many virtues on such a high pedestal that I struggled to write about it because the words always felt unworthy. Then I remembered: Bacon is awesome, and you aren’t here to read my attempts at witty prose, you are here because you love it too, so let’s get on with it!