- 1 How To Smoke Bacon?
- 1.1 What is bacon?
- 1.2 How to smoke bacon at home?
- 1.3 What are the different types of bacon?
- 1.4 Nutrition Values:
- 1.5 Different ways to cook bacon:
- 1.6 What types of wood should you use to smoke bacon?
- 1.7 What equipments are needed for smoking bacon?
- 1.8 Good smoked bacon recipes:
- 1.9 BBQ smoked bacon:
- 1.10 Smoked bacon breakfast sandwich:
- 1.11 Smoked bacon deviled eggs:
- 1.12 Safety precautions when smoking bacon:
- 2 FAQs
- 2.1 What are the benefits of smoking bacon?
- 2.2 What is the difference between Uncured and cured bacon?
- 2.3 Can you cold smoke bacon?
- 2.4 What temperature should you smoke bacon?
- 2.5 How long should you smoke bacon?
- 2.6 How long do you cook plain smoked bacon?
- 2.7 Can you smoke raw bacon?
- 2.8 Can you smoke bacon over direct heat?
- 2.9 Why does greasy bacon curl up when fried?
- 2.10 What’s the best way to keep bacon from curling?
- 2.11 How often can you eat bacon?
- 2.12 How long can you keep bacon after smoking it?
- 2.13 How to store smoked bacon in the freezer?
- 2.14 What are the common mistakes people make when smoking bacon?
- 2.15 When smoking bacon if the grease starts popping on your grill what should you do?
- 2.16 Are bacon expensive?
- 2.17 How many strips of bacon in a pound?
- 2.18 Why are there so many different types of bacon?
- 2.19 Are the nitrates in bacon bad for you?
- 2.20 Can you use table salt to cure bacon?
- 2.21 Is bacon processed meat?
- 2.22 Does bacon go bad quickly?
- 3 Conclusi on
How To Smoke Bacon?
Bacon is one of the ingredients that I’m sure you already have in your kitchen. But if not, it’s time to become friends with bacon. Bacon has multiple uses including salads, tacos, and even desserts. Bacon is the best invention ever. Yes, it’s better than sliced bread and apple pie.
Bacon can be made from any kind of pig, but the most common one used in food is the pork belly which has a layer of meat underneath a layer of fat. This is why bacon tastes so good even though by itself it’s kinda bland, but the trick to being able to enjoy bacon is knowing how to cook it properly. In this article, I’ll be showing you how to smoke bacon yourself, which is by far the best way to enjoy it.
What is bacon?
So, before getting into the actual cooking process of smoking bacon, it is important that you know what exactly bacon is.
Bacon comes from pork belly which has a layer of meat underneath a layer of fat. Usually, salt and pepper are added on top to give it more flavor during the cooking process. But if you want to get really creative you can start adding different types of spices on tops like chili powder or cayenne just to name a few.
How to smoke bacon at home?
Choose a good pork belly:
First, you’ll need to choose a good pork belly that contains plenty of fat and isn’t too thick. This is because the bacon you get from a leaner piece of meat will come out dry and not very tasty. But thicker cuts can be difficult to cook since it’s easy to over-cook them which causes the meat itself along with its fat layers to burn or dry out.
So what type of thickness should you look for when buying your pork belly? Well, that depends on how much time you want to spend cooking your bacon strips. If you’re in no hurry then I’d suggest going for a piece at least one inch thick since thicker cuts deliver better final results. On the other hand, if time is an issue then go for a slightly thinner cut since cooking time will be shorter.
Cure your pork belly:
Next, you’ll need to cure your meat using a mixture of water, salt, and sugar. This will help give your bacon that characteristic flavor and it’s not really necessary to use maple syrup-like some recipes call for since the smoke itself does an excellent job of adding sweetness to your meat. So keep that in mind when choosing what type of flavors you want your final results to have. The amount of time needed for this step can vary from around 8 hours up to 24 hours depending on how salty you want your bacon strips to taste. And as soon as the curing process is done then rinse off all remaining ingredients and pat dry with paper towels before proceeding onto the next step.
Smoke your bacon:
The first step involves soaking your wood chips in water for about an hour to make sure that they don’t catch fire when exposed to high temperatures. After doing this, place the soaked chips inside of a smoke box or even in aluminum foil if you don’t have one available.
Then place the smoking material on top of some lit charcoal in your grill and close its lid tightly so that no air will escape. If you’re using an electric skillet instead then just follow the same process but use it at its highest setting until your chips start producing smoke which should take around 8-10 minutes depending on how much smoke you want coming off of them. Then lower it down slightly to prevent burning and wait for about 10 more minutes or until your chips no longer seem to be producing any smoke.
The final step involves laying out the strips of bacon you want to cook over a cooling rack and then placing it directly above the smoke coming off of your chosen smoking material. Make sure that the meat is not touching those items in order to prevent it from cooking unevenly or even worse, getting burnt. Then leave it like this for about 30 minutes before checking back on its progress every 10 minutes.
If you find that there’s way too much smoke coming off of your bacon as it cooks then feel free to open up your grill’s lid slightly so that the entire thing won’t catch fire inside of your smoker box which can happen if you don’t let some air escape. Another step involves flipping the meat over once to make sure that both sides are evenly cooked, which you can do after about 20 minutes.
And finally, leave it in for another 30 minutes before taking it out and checking out your results. You’ll know that your bacon is ready when its color changes into something resembling that of ham or even beef jerky depending on how do you want it to be.
You have now successfully managed to cook some delicious smoked bacon with a nice smoky flavor which will surely satisfy not only yourself but everyone else who happens to try some as well! If you struggle with feeling hungry throughout the day then definitely give smoking food items like these a shot because I truly believe it’s worth the effort since all foods have their own distinct flavors catering to everyone’s personal preferences. So whether you like it long or slow, the options are there for anyone who wishes to give them a shot and see what they can come up with next. Bon appetit!
What are the different types of bacon?
Well, there are different types of bacon out there. Some people prefer the bacon that has more meat on it while others prefer the fatter type. So, it completely depends on your own preference. If you want to know what the differences between all these types are then just read ahead and see for yourself!
American-style bacon: This is by far one of the most popular types of bacon. It’s sliced and usually comes in a long strip, but if you visit England you will be able to find it in squares. The reason why this type of bacon is so slim and long-looking is because during the cooking process need to turn it around at least three times so that both sides can get evenly cooked. As for thickness, it usually varies between 1/16th of an inch up to 1/8th of an inch.
Canadian Bacon is probably the most unique type of bacon that you can find. It is also known as peameal bacon and it is made by taking a boneless pork loin, coating it with cornmeal, and then rolling it in dried peas. Canadian Bacon usually has a more subtle taste than other types of bacon out there. And if you’re looking to find a breakfast sandwich that has Canadian Bacon then there is one thing I can tell you for sure: it involves peameal bacon, eggs, and cheese.
Slab Bacon is the most common type of bacon out there because this cut allows restaurants to cook more at once since they can slice them into smaller pieces right away before cooking begins. During production, sugar may also be added in order to help give this bacon a sweeter taste. Smoked Slab Bacon is actually the same thing as regular slab bacon, but it has been smoked before production which allows for unique flavors to come out when it gets cooked. This is why sometimes you will see people calling “smoked slab bacon” Canadian bacon because that’s exactly what it sounds like, Canadian bacon that has been smoked.
Pancetta is another type of bacon that comes from the belly but contrary to popular belief, pancetta does not contain nitrites or nitrates which are often used during curing processes in order for meats to get their distinct red color. Pancetta is also brined using spices and herbs instead of being dry rubbed. It also contains more fat than other types of bacon out there. Pancetta is also often used in pasta recipes and it’s a good idea to make a sauce from the leftover juices after cooking it. A simple pancetta sauce can be made by adding garlic, cream, salt, and pepper on top of cooked pancetta, which then gets stirred together until the desired thickness has been reached. In this case, you might want to add more cream or butter since pancetta contains less fat than other meats out there.
One 2-ounce serving of cooked regular bacon contains approximately:
– Saturated fat (2 grams)
– Protein (9 grams)
– Cholesterol (45 milligrams)
Since bacon has a high amount of sodium in it, one serving can have up to 500 calories in total due to the presence of salt in this meat, which is a lot compared to other types out there. So you might want to watch your overall daily salt intake.
Different ways to cook bacon:
There are many different ways to cook bacon, but the most common ones include:
– Pan-Frying – This method involves cooking bacon in a pan with its own grease and it’s also one of the best ways to get crispy results. But you need to be careful when doing this because overheating can cause your bacon grease to catch fire. One cool thing about pan-frying is that you still have full control over how crispy or moist your final results will turn out meaning that if you want it more brown and crispy then just cook it longer until desired results are reached. If you’re not all too familiar with using a frying pan then I suggest watching some YouTube videos on this subject before attempting to do so. This way you can get a better idea of how it works before attempting to use one.
– Microwaving – If you’re in a hurry then this is the fastest way to cook bacon and it involves cooking bacon in short intervals while cutting your cooking time each time that you do this. You can also just wrap your bacon around a fork and then microwave it for about 1 minute per slice if you want soft, chewy results. I suggest microwaving cooked bacon for no more than 2 minutes since higher settings will cause fat from the meat to spill out into the inside of your oven which is definitely something you don’t want to deal with.
– Oven Baking/Roasting – Oven baking or roasting can be done with thin or thick bacon since either one works well. The main difference between baking and roasting is that the latter involves cooking meat at lower temperatures for longer periods of time to help preserve its nutrients. Baking usually involves cooking at higher temperatures but only for short amounts of time.
– Grilling – Cooking bacon on a grill pan can be difficult because it’s quite easy to overcook the bacon, making it taste burnt. So this needs to be taken into consideration when using this method of cooking your bacon strips. One thing you’ll want to do is to cook your bacon until about 80% done before flipping it over so that you have crispy results without risking the chance of ending up with partially burnt pieces of meat sticking to your grill pan.
– Deep Frying – This is definitely the most popular way to cook bacon and it involves fully immersing your meat in a deep fryer filled with oil. This method of cooking is used for restaurant kitchens but I’ve never tried it myself, so if anyone has any tips on this subject then please feel free to share them in the comment section below.
– Smoked – You can enjoy that smoky flavor without burning or drying out your bacon by using a cold smoke method which you can easily do at home by using a smoker box, an electric skillet, or a stovetop pan. Just add some soaked wood chips over smoking material over high heat and place your strips of bacon directly above the smoke coming off of the pan.
As you can see, cooking bacon can be done using many different methods. But let’s focus on the smoking part.
What types of wood should you use to smoke bacon?
There are many different types of wood chips you can use for this method, and your choice will depend on the general flavor you want to impart.
For a basic smoky flavor, try using hickory or pecan—both are quite strong with hints of sweetness, but not specifically sweet. Oak is another good choice; it tends to be more tannic with earthy flavors. Fruit woods like apple or cherry are also great options if you want bacon that’s slightly fruity with a hint of sweetness at the end after all the smoke has dissipated. Not recommended for beginners because fruit woods tend to have stronger flavors than other options.
My personal favorite varieties are applewood and mesquite because they’re both milder in flavor compared to hickory and pecan, but still, give the bacon a nice smoky essence.
What equipments are needed for smoking bacon?
The equipment you need for this method is pretty basic. Most people already have the things you’ll need in their backyard grills, but if not then I’d recommend getting one or all of the following
A smoking box (or an old cardboard box lined with aluminum foil). A wire grilling rack to place your bacon on. A sharp knife or even kitchen shears will be very helpful in trimming your meat beforehand. An instant-read thermometer (or oven thermometer) is also necessary for checking the temperature of your meat; it’s not an exact science so you’ll need to do it periodically throughout the process.
Tips for smoking bacon:
Prepare your grill in advance. You’ll need to make sure that it has enough space for your cooking rack, your smoker box, and the bacon itself.
You can also try using skewers or even wooden popsicle sticks if you want to get creative with how you cook smoked bacon!
Don’t overcook it—you’ll lose all of those wonderful, smoky flavors. Depending on how thick your slices are will determine how long you need to leave them out in the elements; make sure they’re done before taking them off or serving them.
You can use any type of wood chips you want to achieve a certain flavor. Not using enough smoking chips? Try cooking some onions underneath your bacon while it’s smoking away—the smell and added sweetness from the onions will work together with your smoke box perfectly!
If you plan to smoke the entire slab of bacon, make sure that it’s completely thawed out first. Like with cooking in general, turning the heat up too high can cause your meat to cook unevenly or even worse, get burnt.
Good smoked bacon recipes:
BBQ smoked bacon:
This is a great take on classic BBQ ribs and perhaps one of my favorite recipes to cook with mesquite wood because of its strong yet sweet smoke flavor.
Ingredients: 1/2 cup dark brown sugar 2 teaspoons garlic salt or powder 2 teaspoons onion powder 2 teaspoons chili powder 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Stir all the ingredients together in a bowl and add your strips of bacon; massage it into every inch making sure that each strip is thoroughly coated. Line your smoker box with aluminum foil and place your bacon inside, making sure that the fatty side is facing down to prevent it from curling up while cooking. Set up the grill for indirect heat grilling at about 200 degrees F; add charcoal or mesquite chips to start smoking your bacon strips. Once the smoke starts appearing, close the lid and let it cook until done, checking periodically to see if you need more smoking chips. Your bacon should be ready in about 30 to 40 minutes.
Serve with homemade barbecue sauce or just go ahead and enjoy it as is! The smoky flavor will be strong but it’s certainly not overwhelming, so you can serve this dish at any time of the year.
If you have leftover smoked bacon strips, don’t be afraid to try out these recipes :
Smoked bacon breakfast sandwich:
This is a classic breakfast sandwich recipe with a twist. Not only are the bacon strips already smoked, but they’ve got maple syrup baked right into them! This will definitely be something your guests or family will enjoy for Sunday brunch.
8 strips of cooked smoked bacon
1 small ripe avocado
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt Pepper to taste
4 slices sourdough bread
Cut each strip of bacon in half and set it aside. Dice up the avocado and place it in a bowl; lightly beat two of the three eggs and mix together until creamy. Add the olive oil, salt, pepper, and maple syrup; continue stirring until all ingredients are thoroughly combined (you can add a tiny bit of water if you want your mixture to be more liquidy). Cook the remaining two eggs in a pan over medium heat, stirring frequently until they’re no longer runny. Assemble sandwiches by making one at a time; spread the avocado mixture onto each slice of bread and top it with bacon strips, scrambled eggs, and another piece of bread.
Smoked bacon deviled eggs:
This is another classic dish that’s gotten an upgrade thanks to its flavorful smoked bacon pieces! The addition of pickled jalapeno slices adds just enough heat to create an amazing combination between smokiness and spiciness. These are great for potlucks because they can be made ahead of time and won’t spoil easily.
6 large eggs
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Salt to taste Black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon pickled jalapeno slices, chopped
16 strips of smoked bacon
Mix together the egg yolks and mayonnaise in a bowl; add the Dijon mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Taste it and see if you need more seasoning (if so, add whatever else you think will enhance the flavor). Cut your cooked bacon into smaller pieces—about half an inch long—and set aside. Boil your eggs for about 10 minutes; carefully remove them from the pot with a strainer spoon. Peel each egg under cold running water to prevent the egg from crumbling apart. Add one tablespoon of your bacon pieces to each halved boiled egg; fill the empty spaces with your mayonnaise mixture. Top each deviled egg with a small slice of pickled jalapeno for added heat and color, then place them in the fridge until you’re ready to serve them!
Safety precautions when smoking bacon:
Fresh wood chips are best for smoking your bacon; soaking them in water before using them is optional but it’s still better than using dry chips because they won’t burn so fast.
If you have a food thermometer, make sure that your smoked bacon has reached an internal temperature of 167°F; this way you can be sure that all of the harmful bacteria have been killed.
Always use a safe heat source that can be regulated for indirect cooking. This is important because you never want your bacon to burn—it should be crispy, not blackened.
If you’re using wood chips for smoking, don’t just toss them on the fire! You need to soak them in water overnight so they won’t catch on fire while cooking your bacon.
Try not to make your strips too thick or they won’t cook properly; this is especially important if you’re using the smoker function on a grill because it will take longer for the heat to reach the center of your bacon strips.
Don’t leave them unattended for any period of time since they only take about 30 minutes to cook at 200 degrees F.
What are the benefits of smoking bacon?
Although you’re cooking your meat at a lower temperature, smoking it can really bring out amazing flavors because it adds this smoky essence to anything you cook. It’s also much leaner than traditional American-style bacon so if you’re trying to cut down on fat in your diet then this is an excellent alternative.
What is the difference between Uncured and cured bacon?
Uncured bacon is made from meat that is not cured in a sugar solution with sodium nitrite, although it may contain preservatives and other artificial ingredients. On the other hand, traditional American-style bacon is cured in a sugar solution with sodium nitrate to prevent botulism poisoning and add color which makes it look & taste more appealing.
Can you cold smoke bacon?
Yes, just follow the above instructions but instead of cooking it on low heat, do so over cold wood chips for ten hours at least. Then cook the meat as usual if you want it fried or cure it if you want it cured like traditional Canadian bacon.
What temperature should you smoke bacon?
I’d say that about 225°F to 250°F is the ideal range for smoking bacon. If it gets too hot, the fat will render too quickly and cause flare-ups on your grill which can burn your meat.
How long should you smoke bacon?
It depends on how many strips of bacon you’re cooking. I would say that one to two hours should be good for most types of bacon, but if your cut is thicker or uneven then it will take longer to cook (and vice versa).
How long do you cook plain smoked bacon?
Regardless of how thick your cut is, it should always be cooked until crispy on both sides. This usually takes about 10 minutes depending on the heat setting on your stovetop/grill/smoker. If you want to speed up this process without sacrificing quality then try frying it with some butter which will add an amazing richness while cooking it through more quickly.
Can you smoke raw bacon?
Yes! If you don’t have a smoker or the time to let your meat marinate overnight, simply make sure that it’s relatively thawed, pat it dry with a paper towel, and apply salt and pepper on both sides. Then use whatever indirect heat method you prefer (I recommend trying out some applewood chips for about an hour) and cook/smoke the bacon until it reaches at least 150°F which is the minimum safe cooking temperature. Once it’s done smoking, fry it up in a pan with some butter.
Can you smoke bacon over direct heat?
If you don’t have a smoker or a grill then the next best thing is to use an indirect heat source such as charcoal on one side of your grill with either a drip pan, foil-wrapped bricks, or water/beer cans filled with water on the other side. Then place your bacon directly over the coals and cook it until it reaches at least 150°F which is the minimum safe temperature before eating it. The drawback to this method is that you may get grease popping onto your meat causing flare-ups which can burn your bacon before it’s done cooking.
Why does greasy bacon curl up when fried?
When cooking your bacon, one dilemma you may encounter is whether or not it will curl up on itself. Usually, this occurs when excess grease is deposited into the pan before the meat is fully cooked. There’s no way to avoid this sort of draining all of your fat beforehand which can be impractical for large batches during serving time. So if you notice any curling motion after placing your strips in your cooking pan, resist the temptation to eat it and simply break off the burnt end pieces.
What’s the best way to keep bacon from curling?
To keep your meat flat while cooking, simply soak it in a salt solution made of 1 tablespoon table salt dissolved into 1 cup water overnight. Then place the strips directly onto the grates of your grill/smoker and they will emerge virtually unscathed!
How often can you eat bacon?
You can eat it as often as you like, but just try not to overload your body with too much fat and sodium. A good rule of thumb is to refrain from consuming bacon more than 2-3 times/week, especially if you are trying to lose weight or have high blood pressure.
How long can you keep bacon after smoking it?
It is recommended that leftover smoked bacon be kept in an airtight container inside your refrigerator for no longer than two weeks. You can also freeze or can bacon if you prefer.
How to store smoked bacon in the freezer?
One way to store your bacon is to wrap it tightly in plastic or aluminum foil and then place it inside a Ziploc bag. This has the effect of removing any excess air which can lead to dryness, freezer burn, and mold growth. Then make sure you label your bag with either the cut name & weight (in ounces) or date that you made it so that you know how fresh it is during future defrosting stages.
What are the common mistakes people make when smoking bacon?
Probably the most common mistake people make when smoking bacon is to go overboard with excess wood chips or chunks. You should never use more than ¼ cup of any kind because it will overpower the meat and mask any subtle nuances that you worked hard for during your pre-smoking phase.
Another common problem is not properly letting the meat rest before consuming it after cooking, but this can be easily remedied by wrapping it in aluminum foil or plastic wrap until it reaches room temperature. This allows the fats to redistribute within the meat so that you receive a juicy bite each time rather than one full of fat and dryness.
When smoking bacon if the grease starts popping on your grill what should you do?
If grease starts popping out of your smoker then this is an indication that there are some grease/fat particles that have managed to drip down between your grates and now they’re causing those bubbles. All you need to do is remove the affected pieces, blot them with a paper towel, and continue cooking – just be careful not to let the grease get on the grates while you do it.
Are bacon expensive?
One pound of bacon tends to cost anywhere from $2.99 – $4.99 around here, but you can purchase it online at sites like this for fairly cheap prices if you know where to look! It’s definitely not the cheapest meat out there, but it will give you the best bang for your buck in terms of taste and versatility with other ingredients.
How many strips of bacon in a pound?
A pound of bacon usually contains 16-18 slices so you can go ahead and divide that number by however many pieces you want to cook but keep in mind that the cut thicknesses will likely be different from your local deli or supermarket. The price for this meat often fluctuates depending on what type of deal you’re getting at the time, so it’s best to stick around until they have a sale going on unless you’re just dying to try it ASAP!
Why are there so many different types of bacon?
There are many types of bacon because you can try out different flavors and combinations in the smoking process and then decide which one your friends and family like best. You can even make a few slices for yourself and see how it compares to the stuff you’re used to – maybe opt for freshly smoked with apple juice instead of maple syrup, or why not try some jalapeno-infused pieces next time? You’ll never know unless you experiment!
Are the nitrates in bacon bad for you?
Nitrates are commonly used to cure meats, but studies have shown that there may be a link between these compounds and certain types of cancer. Make sure to read your labels carefully when choosing which kind of bacon to buy because many companies are now lowering their levels of this dangerous compound by combining it with celery juice or sea salt instead.
Can you use table salt to cure bacon?
Table salt is not the best type of salt for curing meats because it contains a chemical additive that prevents clumping and may also contain iodine. It’s better to go with kosher or sea salt instead, but you may have trouble finding these salts at your local grocery store so another option is to use 1/2 cup of table salt and 1/4 cup maple syrup or brown sugar depending on if you want the bacon sweet-cured or savory.
Is bacon processed meat?
Bacon is processed meat, but it’s actually a fairly healthy one as far as these things go. Keep in mind that the term “processed” means different things to different people: some like to focus on whether or not it contains chemicals or preservatives and others like to look at how many steps were required before it reached your plate. As long as you’re eating bacon sparingly and taking care of yourself, there shouldn’t be anything to worry about!
Remember that bacon is usually between 30% – 50% fat so unless you don’t mind counting calories this shouldn’t be your main source of protein or nutrients anyway. It’s best used as a condiment rather than the star ingredient for most meals because too much can lead to weight gain and other health problems like heart disease, diabetes, and even an increased risk for some types of cancer.
Does bacon go bad quickly?
Bacon will go bad fairly quickly whether frozen or not, so make sure to keep an eye on the expiration date before you eat it all! If your package says that it should last for up to two weeks in the fridge then a couple of days buffer room should be okay, but if it doesn’t say anything then you’d better start eating it before the expiration date. If you want to freeze some bacon for later then there’s no need to thaw it beforehand since this will cause bacteria to grow more rapidly.
Smoking bacon is one of the most fun cooking techniques that you can try, but the only way to know for sure if it’s right for your household is to give it a shot! Just buy any bacon that you like on sale and experiment with some different types of wood chips until you find the perfect combination of flavors for your crew. It might take a few tries before you get everything just right so don’t lose heart if the first batch comes out looking like something your dog would refuse to eat – everyone makes mistakes!