Bacon is delicious. The balance of salty and crispy texture make it quite an amazing treat. However, with the in institution of food processing, bacon has become pretty unhealthy. So unhealthy, that the WHO recently named bacon as a carcinogen on the same level as smoking. But ain’t no way we are giving up that good ol’ bacon. So here we’ve created a bacon recipe that avoids all those cancer causing nitrates, has less sodium, and is absolutely amazing. You will never want to eat that store bought processed bacon again!
5 pounds pork belly, skin on
1/4 cup kosher salt 1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon cumin 1 teaspoon coriander 1 teaspoon garlic
1. The first step in making your own bacon is preparing the meat. Ask your local butcher for about 5 lbs of pork belly with the skin on. Rinse the pork belly and pat dry. Now get your sharpest knife and begin to skin the belly. This is the most taxing step. Be careful to only remove the skin and not the underlying meat or fat.
2. Next you will make the spice rub by mixing together all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Then massage the mixture all over the surfaces of the meat.
3. Transfer the pork belly to a resealable 2-gallon plastic bag. Refrigerate for 7-10 days to allow bacon to cure. Notice that we did not use any additional curing salts or nitrates which are the main carcinogenic agents in preserved meats.
4. After the meat is cured remove the pork belly from the bag, rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Refrigerate the belly on a rack, uncovered, 48 hours.
5. Next, using applewood chips, put the meat in the smoker on 200 degrees F. Smoke the pork belly for around 2-3 hours, or until the bacon reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees F. If you don’t have a smoker, you can cook the pork belly in a 200 degrees F oven or on the grill until it registers 150 degrees F on a meat thermometer.
6. Remove meat from heat and slice bacon to desired thickness. To store, wrap the bacon in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 1 week or freeze up to 2 months. You can then cook the bacon as desired on top of the stove, in the oven, or freeze/refrigerate for later use.