So Makin Bacon was a success. Clean and simple. 8 days of love and I still have a ton of left overs. Sunday was my Mother In Law’s birthday and she wanted a brunch. Nikki was tasked with making homemade chocolate croissants. They came out great. And I volunteered to have my bacon ready.
So Sunday came and it was the day to start. My first project; a project of love. Really, I started this 8 days before I smoke the meat. I defrosted it and rubbed it with salt so it could cure and dry in my fridge. I am not as patient as I would like to be, so waiting 8 days was hard. But I was able to do it.
I set my alarm for 6:30 and got up at 7:00am. Went outside to get my upright smoker going. I got a bunch of coals nice and hot and I put it in the smoker. I left it to go get the pork ready. Come back outside about 20 min later and the smoker is still stupid cold. I was like WTF. I added some more coals and waited…and waited…and waited. It was not getting hot at all. So I had to think up a plan B.
Plan B: USE MY BBQ. I have an awesome BBQ. The left side is for propane while the right is for charcoal. I took off half the grate on the right side and put my coals there. As you can see in the picture above I was able to get both slabs of bacon on the single grate. I did not go all out in the marinade and the rosemary. For my marinade (it goes in the bowl under the meat to help steam it) I used a bottle of Guinness beer and maple syrup. For my wood smoke I used both cherry chunks and chips. I like using both as the chucks go longer, but the chips get me a pretty immediate smoke. AND I LIKE SMOKE.
So 2+ hours on the grill and the meat hits the ideal internal temp, 150. I brought the two slabs off and allowed them to rest. Now mind you, the meat was not ready to eat. Yes, technically one could eat it because the temp was at the safe level but slicing off a piece and placing it in my cast iron was the best way to finish it off. It got a little char on it and when I put it in my mouth I got a FOODGASM. Yes, I had never tasted any better piece of bacon ever. It was just so rich and satisfying. Plus I knew what was in it and actually it was probably better for someone as there was less chemicals in it. I have 3ooz of bacon left ready to fry up and a whole other slab in the freezer.
Now I paid $28.00 for the two pork bellies. I got basically 6 pounds of bacon. That is about $4.66 per pound. At Trader Joes I think it is around $5.50 for 12oz of bacon and it is a whole lot more at the other stores. Not only did I save money. I had a lot of fun, made something with skill and artistry, and made people smile when they tasted it.