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Pasture Raised Bacon

Hey Y’all!!


Hope everyone is well! Hope you’re holding up to this summer heat that came on so early! I know we’re doing the best we can out in SW AZ! Our kids are playing outside in the mornings, having fun running through the sprinklers, but they’re back inside by 11:00. 


Today I’m working with one of the most popular cuts of meat, Bacon! 


So when you get a pork order from DCR you have the option of having the Pork Belly already cured and smoked into bacon. I opted not to have them do that for me for two reasons: 


1.You know I love to spend time at my smoker!


2.I got the insider scoop that the folks that do the smoking use a cure that has nitrides and nitrates. 


So I got the uncured, unsmoked pork belly and I’m gonna show y’all how I made bacon!



I started with one package of bacon. This one weighed around 2.5 lbs. 


The first thing you want to do is start the curing/brining process. I took a gallon ziplock bag, stuck the pork belly in, added 1/2 cup of Redmond’s Real Salt (sea salt) then filled the bag with purified water. Don’t want any of those nasty tap water chemicals etc soaking in your bacon!


Seal the bag and put it in the fridge for 7-14 days! The longer you leave it the more salty flavor it will have.


On the day you’re going to smoke your bacon, get the fire going in your smoker. I used mesquite wood and loved the flavor, some folks traditionally use hickory. 


Take the pork belly out and discard the water and bag. Place the meat on the pan you will be smoking it on. Pat it dry on all sides.


Get your smoker up to 200 and place the pan with your pork belly in. I drizzled a little organic maple syrup over. Close the lid and let it go.


You want the internal temp to be 152. For this 2.5 lb slab it took around 4 hours. I drizzled some more maple syrup to finish the last 30 minutes.


From here you can take it out of the smoker, you could let it cool and put it in the fridge or freezer. Or you can cut some slices, as thick as you like, and toss them in the cast iron and cook them up. Some folks like it on the crisp side and others a little chewy, you cook just how you like it!


No matter what, it’s gonna be delicious! I promise!


Your Cook,


Craigan

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