Being me I need to push the envelope a bit and this time I'm trying to make my own bacon. After lurking around on the Bradley Smoker Forum I found enough evangelistic posts to realise that this is something that could turn out very nice indeed.
The only thing that might stop normal people is the part where you smoke it for a couple of hours during the cooking. However, as I've been told far too many times - I'm not normal. Since a little while back I'm the proud owner of a six-rack digital Bradley smoker ( UK / US ).
Making my own bacon seems to be a good way of getting some mileage into the smoker.
For my first try I've decided to follow this recipe, found on another Bradley smoker forum.
This morning I picked up my 5lb/2.3kg pork belly that my local butcher, R G Park Butchers, kindly had ready and waiting for me.
Pork belly, before anything happened to it.
Once home I prepared the cure as follows:
The ingredients for the cure.
- 2 oz. Kosher salt (about 1/4 cup)
- 2 tsp. Cure #1 (aka pink salt, InstaCure #1, Prague Powder #1)
- 1/4 C. Maple sugar or packed brown sugar
- 1/4 C. Maple syrup
The finished cure.
When the cure was properly mixed it was massaged into the pork belly and then it was all transferred into a very large ziploc bag and it is now doing its magic in our fridge.
The pork belly again, now with cure massaged into it.
The curing should take 5 - 7 days and it will be flipped over once a day. I will post updates as I (and the pork belly) progress....
In the bag, just before going into the fridge.