Cherrywood Bacon

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Our bacon making comes in waves. There will be times where we are in a groove: brining, smoking, and slicing. Then we’ll take the easier route with storebought (compliant) bacon. I’m the first one to tell you, making bacon requires time and fridge space. So I get when people are turned off at the thought of making their own bacon.

But I’ll also be the first one to tell you (with a mouthful of bacon), “It’s so good though.

Cherrywood Bacon | Enjoying this Journey...

For all my smoking recipes, I use a Little Chief top loading smoker {a vintage one, at that}. It does a wonderful job without taking up a whole lot of room and it’s super easy to use. When we first started making bacon, I watched The Mister a couple times in addition to reading the manual online. But then I was completely confident enough to take on the tasks of smoking bellies, birds, hams, and cherries {mmf} by myself while he was at work. *flex*

Cherrywood Bacon
Author: 
Recipe type: Bacon
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
There are major bragging rights that come with making your own bacon. #meatcandy lovers unite!
Ingredients
  • 1 (5 lb) piece local pasture raised, hormone free, steroid free and GM feed free raw pork belly {if its skin is on, we've been brining and smoking with the skin on and removing after its smoked using a boning/fillet knife, as it is quite easy to remove this way}
  • ½ cup sea salt
  • ¼ cup organic maple syrup, maple sugar, or molasses
  • 1 gallon water
Instructions
  1. In a large non-reactive pot, bring half the water and salt to a boil. Stir to dissolve. Pour into a large container with the remaining water. Place in the refrigerator and cool to 39° F. It is important to have a thermometer in your fridge!
  2. Once the brine has cooled place the pork belly into the mixture until completely submerged. Refrigerate for three-four days. Keeping an eye on the thermometer, ensuring it stays >39° F.
  3. After day three, remove the pork from the brine and pat dry. Lay on a rack over a sheet pan and place in front of a fan for 1 hour to form a "pellicle" - a tacky layer that helps seal in the smoking flavor.
  4. Lay the pork portions in the protein box of a cold smoker and smoke for 6-8 hours. This time I used cherrywood, a popular wood that is well-known for its mild sweet flavor.
  5. Chill the smoked meat in the freezer for 1 hour to stiffen for easy slicing into strips of bacon. Slice what you need and keep the remainder in the refrigerator or freezer.
  6. Cook how you prefer. Afterwards, filter and save the fat for flavoring in other dishes.
  7. Enjoy your meat candy!
 
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  7 comments for “Cherrywood Bacon

  1. February 19, 2015 at 6:07pm

    You hold the crown for Bacon Queen!
    Eileen @ Phoenix Helix recently posted…Paleo AIP Recipe Roundtable #63My Profile

  2. February 19, 2015 at 6:49pm

    I really want to try this. I try not be acquisitive, but I’m pretty sure I now need a smoker. When I get one I’ll be back here. Thanks!

    • February 20, 2015 at 8:43am

      Need is a tricky word, isn’t it? This smoker successfully ruined all other bacon once we went to the dark side and smoked our own. Fair warning! 😉
      Erin recently posted…Yuca Pumpkin Breakfast PuddingMy Profile

  3. Christa
    March 25, 2015 at 8:33am

    This Sounds so great! I would love to tackle something like this!! I was wondering if you might consider shooting a video tutorial of some of the different steps to bacon making. I know I would sure appreciate it. Thanks!!

    • March 25, 2015 at 2:06pm

      Hey, that’s actually a great idea Christa! It’d be amateur at best {I am no videographer lol} but I think I can do it. Any questions or steps in particular you’d like me to cover?

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