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ApplewoodSmoked Bacon

Difficulty 3/5
|
Prep time 10 mins

Cook time 2 hrs
|
Serves 8-12

Hardwood Apple

Ready to increase your knowledge of bacon? Well good, because Bacon Class 101 is in session at University of Traeger this week. Start with 2 pounds of pork belly. From there, create a cure from equal parts salt and brown sugar, with a dash of black pepper as well. Cover the pork belly and cure for 8 days, turning the belly over every two days, before taking it to the grill.

Ingredients

2 lbs pork belly (skin removed)

1/2 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp crushed black pepper

Preparation

Note: This recipe takes 8 days for the bacon to fully cure. Pork should be flipped every two days to equally cure.

For the cure: Mix together the salt, brown sugar and black pepper in a bowl. Take the bacon cure mix and cover pork belly with it.

Place in a plastic bag, removing as much air as possible. Let sit in refrigerator for 8 days.

Every 2 days, flip the pork belly over to ensure the juices go to both sides of the meat and it is equally cured.

After 8 days, remove the pork belly from the fridge. Rinse the pork belly well, being sure to get all the cure off and pat dry.

When ready to cook, set temperature to 180℉ and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes. For optimal flavor, use Super Smoke if available.

Pour a layer of ice in a jelly roll pan; place a rack on top of the ice, then place the pork belly on top of the rack. The ice will help the pork belly not get too hot while smoking.

Place both the pan with ice and rack with pork belly directly on the grill grate.

Smoke the pork belly for 2-3 hours, or until it reaches an internal temperature of approximately 150 degrees F.

After smoking the pork, wrap the bacon in plastic wrap, then place in freezer for 30 to 60 minutes, or until the bacon is nearly frozen and the meat is firm. This makes for easier cutting.

Cut the bacon to desired thickness. Use in your favorite recipes or alone. Enjoy!

When ready to cook start the Traeger according to grill instructions. Set the temperature to 400 degrees F and preheat, lid closed 10-15 minutes.

To Cook the Bacon: Place bacon slices directly on the grill grate at 400 degrees F, and cook turning once or twice, until the desired crispness is reached, about 8-10 minutes. Remove to a paper-towel lined plate to keep crispy.

*Cook times will vary depending on set and ambient temperatures.

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