This post will be covering the fine art of curing and smoking bacon, or at least my experience with it. I am NOT a professional by any means but I did it and you can too. Is it easy? Well er, yes and no. Yes, in that it's all pretty methodical and no, in that it's all pretty of methodical, you have to babysit it and take care of it while it's smoking. Once you taste it, you won't care if you have to sit through a blizzard to make it, it's JUST that good.
You will need a pork belly, I got mine from a local butcher shop where they actually butcher animals. I say that specifically because many grocery outlets get meat prepackaged in boxes and will not have pork belly. I had a whole pork belly, you can buy it by the pound I believe, buy what you can smoke easily.
In a large non reactive pot you will need to mix 1 gallon of water, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 cup salt, 1/4 cup molasses, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1 TBSP crushed peppercorns. This is very basic cure, make substitutions if you like, this was fantastic. Wash the pork belly, cut it into manageable pieces and submerge in the cure. Cover it well, I used saran wrap under the lid of the pan, and set to chill in the fridge for 3 days. Check on the pork daily, push it down under the cure or turn the pieces and press under if needed.
On the morning of the 3rd day, remove the pork belly, wash, pat dry and set on cooling rack to form a pellicle. The pellicle is the tacky feeling on the pork after it has dried out for about an hour. The stickiness helps the smoke adhere and keeps the moisture in.
While the meat is drying get the smoker going. Get the smoker going. Get the smoker going. When your girl scout ninja-fu fire lighting skills fail, and you feel like the chickens are heckling you (they are)
and you still can't get the fire going it's time to bring out the big guns. No, I'm NOT talking a cup of gasoline into the stove I'm talking this big gun:
Peace and Love--