Who doesn’t love bacon? Nothing beats waking up to the smell of bacon cooking. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the side of bacon needing to be crispy or soft, we all have a common appreciation for this pork belly delicacy. Today, I’m going to walk you through the process of smoking your own bacon. Is it hard? No, but it does require time and a bit of patience. However, if I can do this then each and every one of you can do it too!
Ingredients Needed For Making Your Own Bacon
This recipe is pretty easy. As mentioned previously, it requires more time than hard work. Let’s start with the ingredients you’ll need to smoke up some of the best bacon you’ve ever tasted,
- 1 pork belly
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 6 tbsp kosher salt
- 3 tsp curing salt
- 3 tsp black pepper
How to Smoke Bacon
Unlike most smokes, bacon requires you to cure the pork belly well before the meat even touches the smoker.
In a bowl, mix your brown sugar, kosher salt, curing salt and black pepper. Make sure that you cover your pork belly on both sides. The brown sugar in this cure is going to make the bacon a bit sweeter which is my family’s favorite part. While I recommend you follow this recipe the first time you cure/smoke your bacon, in the future, play around with your cure to add different flavor profiles to your bacon.
Your pork belly will need to rest in the fridge for 7-10 days to fully cure so keep that into consideration when you think about your storage options. As you’ll see below, I cut my 8 lb belly in half and was able to fit each half into a gallon zip lock bag.
7-10 Days Later, Prepare Your Smoker
It’s recommended that you let your bacon cure for 7-10 days. This pork belly was in my fridge for 8 days. All I did was flip each ziplock bag each day to allow the cure to hit all sides of the pork belly.
Once your curing process is complete, remove the pork belly from the ziplock bags and give it a rinse under some cold weather. Give it a quick dry with some paper towels and go turn on your pellet smoker. You want the smoker to maintain a 225-degree heat for this smoke. The smoke itself will take 2-3 hours but as always, we’re going to focus on smoking the meat until it hits its internal temperature of 150 degrees. I use the iGrill mini as my digital probe of choice. It syncs directly to my iPhone which makes monitoring this smoke super simple.
Resting Your Bacon
When you take your bacon off the smoker it’s going to be HOT! While resting your bacon isn’t necessary, I’m not a big fan of scorching my hands in order to slice this bad boy.
Slicing your bacon
Your hard work is about to pay off. Your pork bellies are fully smoked and have cooled to the point where you can touch them without it burning you. It’s finally time to slice it up. If you have a meat slicer this task will be really easy. I don’t have meat slicer but I’ve invested in a set of really sharp Cutco knives which make this process fairly simple. As you’ll see below, I cut my bacon to roughly 1/4 inch slices but you can slice yours as thick or thin as you’d like. Once your bacon is sliced up, throw a few strips in a pan to officially taste them. The rest can easily be stored away in your freezer for future breakfasts. Enjoy!
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Smoked Bacon (Pork Belly)
- pellet smoker
- Ziplock bags
- 1 Pork Belly (8-10 pounds)
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- 6 tbsp Kosher Salt
- 3 tsp Curing Salt
- 3 tsp Black Pepper
- If using the ziplock bag method, cut your pork belly into 2/3 to fit your gallon bags
- Rinse and dry your pork belly
- Mix your curing salt, kosher salt, and brown sugar
- Liberally rub your pork belly with the salt/sugar mixture
- Allow pork belly to cure in the refrigerator for 7-10 days
- Rinse salt/sugar mixture from pork belly and pat dry
- Set your smoker at 225 degrees
- Allow pork belly to smoke until it reaches a temperature of 150 degrees
- Remove from smoker, rest until pork belly is cool to the touch
- Slice your pork belly into slices at your desired thickness
- Enjoy your bacon!