Seven days, three hours and worth the wait! (is what the recipe says). Brock added a PK Grill to his collection over the holidays and this recipe, by Jess Pryles, was included in the owners manual. Brock has attempted bacon several times over the years but this recipe has the process nailed down – the only adaptation was to cure the bacon for 4 days instead of the recommended 7 because our belly was in pieces and not a slab to start – enjoy!
2 to 4 lbs. skinless, boneless pork belly – the slab is recommended, but we can’t always find it so the pieces you see are what was used this time
3 T. kosher salt AND 1/3 c. white sugar
2 T. freshly ground pepper AND 2 t. paprika
1 t. pink curing salt (works great without it if you can’t find it)
Curing – in a small bowl, combine the salt, sugar, pepper, paprika and curing salt (if you have it). Place the pork belly on a foil lined tray and pat dry with paper towels. Rub half of the cure mix onto the belly, then turn it over and rub in the rest. Put the entire belly (or pieces) into a large Ziploc and place in the fridge for 4 days (or up to 7 if you’re working with a slab) – set your alarm to flip it over once or twice a day and massage the contents (which will become more liquid) into the belly each time.
Waiting – after 4 days, remove the belly from the bag and rinse well with water. Pat dry with paper towels and place on a rack over a baking sheet, uncovered for 24 hours in the fridge.
Grilling – set up your smoker as you would – or – prepare your charcoal grill for indirect cooking with a shallow pan of water below the cooking area. Once the temperature has stabilized at 200, add one chunk of apple wood and place the belly on the grate and smoke for 30 minutes before adding a second chunk of apple wood to the coals. Continue to smoke at 200 degrees for approximately 3 hours until the internal temperature of the pork belly reaches 150. You’ve made bacon!
Storing or cooking – store the bacon in an airtight container in the fridge (or freezer) until you decide how you’d like to slice it up and cook it. Bite-sized pieces cooked in a cast iron pan (outside!) and served with Rhubarb Mustard Chutney or Mango Chutney makes a brilliant appetizer if you’re looking for something beyond amazing breakfast bacon.