A few weeks back I decided it was time to try my hand at some side bacon. I’ve made back bacon a few times and wanted to try something a bit different. So, side bacon it is! I was able to grab a beautiful 3lb slab of pork belly from Getaway Meat Mongers at the Seaport Farmers Market.
The 3lb slab cured in the fridge tightly wrapped for 6 days with a dry cure of salt, sugar and a touch of curing salt (Prague #1). Twice a day I flipped the slab over to keep even coverage. Once it was rinsed, it sat uncovered in the fridge for another 12 hours.
On smoking day, I dusted the pork belly with a good dose of Acadian Maple Products maple pepper, a blend of local maple sugar and cracked black pepper and gave it some apple and hickory smoke until it reached 150 degrees internal.
Now I know why people say they will never go back to store-bought bacon once they have had it made at home. The bacon both looked and tasted great! It was my first time using curing salt and it really made a difference in the appearance of the final product. For great step by step instructions on making bacon, visit The Virtual Weber Bullet.