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Episode 310: Cured and Smoked

Maple-Cured Bacon

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Other Recipes from Episode 310: Cured and Smoked


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Maple-Cured Bacon

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 8

Ingredients

For the cure:

  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar
  • 1/8 cup coarsely and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pink curing salt, such as Prague Powder #1

  • One 3 to 4-pound pork belly, skinned
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup, plus more for serving

  • A dozen of your favorite biscuits for serving

You’ll also need:

  • A dozen of your favorite biscuits for serving

Recipe Steps

1: Place the salt, maple sugar, pepper, and pink salt in a mixing bowl and mix well with your fingers, breaking up any lumps in the sugar.

2: Place the pork belly on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Paint it on all sides with the maple syrup. Sprinkle half of the cure on top and rub it into the belly. Invert and sprinkle the remaining cure on the bottom and rub it in. Place the belly (plus any excess cure) in a large, sturdy, resealable plastic bag in a foil pan or roasting pan on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator.

3: Cure the belly for 7 days, turning it over twice each day to redistribute the liquid that will accumulate.

4: Drain the pork belly. Blot it dry with paper towels. Place the belly on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet in the refrigerator or in a cool place in front of a fan (the goal is to create good airflow) and let it dry until the surface feels tacky, 2 to 4 hours, or as long as overnight.

5: Set up your smoker following the manufacturer’s instructions and preheat it to 250 degrees F. Add the maple wood chunks or chips to the coals. Place the pork belly directly on the grill grate. Smoke the pork belly until bronzed with wood smoke and firm, 3 to 4 hours. The internal temperature should reach 155 degrees F. (Insert an instant-read thermometer probe through the side of the bacon at one end.)

6: Transfer the bacon to a wire rack over a baking sheet and let it cool to room temperature. Tightly wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight.

7: Slice and cook (grill, pan-fry, or bake in the oven). Split and grill or toast the biscuits. To serve, pile the cooked bacon on the biscuits. Drizzle with maple syrup and dig in!!

Recipe Tips

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