Maple Smoked Bacon!

Lately, I've been obsessed with creating my own food. Whether that's through my little veggie garden or making cheese, I find it so incredibly interesting and rewarding to create amazing ingredients on my own. As I was browsing through the Toro Bravo cookbook a couple weeks back I was inspired to create my own bacon. And to be honest, it was so incredibly easy and mind-blowingly tasty that I decided that I MUST share it on the blog.

Firstly, if you love bacon in any way (and if you don't, I think you're at the wrong blog), you HAVE to appreciate the end result.

The ingredients you need are:

  • 2.2kg pork belly
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp juniper berries
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp pink sea salt

Now, you can do less bacon if you want, just scale the ingredients back. The first thing you do is to source some good quality free-range pork belly.

Next, combine the cinnamon, coriander, juniper berries, and salt in a mortar and pestle and ground to a pasted. Add the brown sugar, paprika, chilli powder, and pink sea salt and stir to a consistent powder.

Rub a tablespoon of maple syrup on each side of the pork belly.

Cover all sides of the pork belly with the rub and place into a pan about 2x as wide and high.

Refrigerate for a week. By the end, you should see a good amount of liquid extracted from the belly. Now it's ready to smoke!

I recommend picking up a few smoking tins from Bunnings. They are $15 each and will do a great job of smoking your bacon. Pick up enough wood chips for a 4 hour smoke, about 500 grams. Wet the chips for an hour and then fire up one burner of the BBQ.

Place the pork belly on a rack on the cool side of the BBQ and smoke for 4 hours.

Once the bacon has reached 150C internally it's time to chill in the fridge for a couple hours and then thinly slice. Maybe a favour for your best local butcher? 

In any case, enjoy! I find this bacon is best crisped in the oven. But who cares? It's your own maple smoked bacon and eat it any way you want! Let me know what you think...