Apple Smoked Bacon

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by emuleman, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. My first attempt at smoking bacon, and it came out great!  Hardest part was waiting a total of 8 days from start to finish, but it ended up being well worth it.


    1/2 cup kosher salt
    1/2 cup apple butter
    1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
    1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1/s teaspoon ground cloves
    1/2 teaspoon allspice
    1 teaspoon curing salt
    4-5 pound pork belly (skin removed)

    In a bowl combine the salt, apple butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and curing salt.

    Put the pork belly in a 2 gallon zip-top bag. With the fat side up apply 1/3 of the paste, and rub in. Turn the pork belly over and apply the remaining paste and rub in. Seal the bag and place in the refrigerator for 7 days. Turn the pork belly over once a day.

    After 7 days remove the pork from the bag and rinse off with cold water. Slice off a small piece and fry to taste for salt content. If too salty soak in cold water for 2 hours.

    After pork belly has been rinsed and soaked, dry off and place it on back in the refrigerator overnight to dry out. This process will allow the meat to form a thin coating called a pellicle, which will allow the smoke to stick to the pork.

    Heat up the smoker using apple wood to 190-225 degrees. Cook the pork belly fat side down for 2-3 hours, or until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees.

    Remove the pork belly and let cool. From this point you can slice it up and cook it, or wrap it in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 10 days. Frozen it can last for 3 months.

  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks tatsy! 8 days, man that's nothing! My process take close to 3 weeks!
  3. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    Sure looks good! Where did you get that recipe? 8 days??
  4. 7 days to cure, and 1 day to dry out in the fridge. I got the recipe from the following book.

  5. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Yea I'm with Case.

    It takes me a little over 3 weeks to process my bacon too.

    8 days seems a little short, but whatever works for you!

  6. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    I do a 2 week brine cure, but I wonder if you could use all those spices as a rub before smoking. Nutmeg & cloves?
  7. I was a bit skeptical about the spices used in this recipe, but my wife loves when I smoke with apple wood, and loves apples, so I decided to give it a try.  Using the nutmeg and cloves adds a nice touch to the apple flavor, without completely overpowering it.  It certainly smells wonderful when you fry it, as the kitchen starts to smell like a smokey apple pie.  I think adding those spices would add some nice flavors.
  8. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    I'm not above trying it! I use Maple flavoring in the brine, and that's one of the things we love about it, the Maple aroma while frying. I have belly in brine right now and may give it a try in a week. What could go wrong?
  9. I would love to try maple, only problem is my wife hates the taste of it, so as you probably know already, I must make certain sacrifices to keep the peace. This recipe came out great.  Next time I am considering trying a honey and sriracha bacon recipe that sounds good.
  10. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

  11. uzikaduzi

    uzikaduzi Meat Mopper

    The way I like to do it tends to be a little more than 3 weeks like others have mentioned... ~14 days curing, 2-3days in the fridge uncovered to dry out the surface a bit and allow a little more equalization... 12-24 hours cold smoking (based completely on motivation) then a week mellowing in the fridge before slicing.

    Trying my first wet brine as we speak... I like how much easier it is, but I obviously have no idea how it tastes.

    You said this was your first bacon right? Some people go shy of the .25% of cure#1 since it doesn't do anything to fat... I don't do that but it makes sense. I only put my cure on the meat size though... not sure if it is actually doing this, but it seems like the cure is unlikely to penetrate the fat side much if at all... I still flip each day, so if I'm wrong, it likely doesn't change much. I also almost never have liquid to drain after 14 days... I have a few days where the salt and sugar obviously pull out moisture, but the belly seems to quickly pull all that back in.

    I've never warm or hot smoked bacon... how's the texture?
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016
  12. smokeymose

    smokeymose Master of the Pit

    I've never hot smoked, but when the smoker's in the sun the chamber has gotten up to 100, but I didn't notice any texture difference. The bacon sweats a little. I've never smoked it for more than 7 hours. That's enough for us.
  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Nice Looking Bacon Emule!!

    Looks Tasty!!

    I never hot smoked Belly Bacon to 150°, but I have taken BBB & CB to 145°, and it was always Great.

    A half a cup (4 ounces) of salt for 4-5 pounds seems a little much, when you consider that 4 pounds would call for only 2 ounces of TQ, if TQ was being used.

    As for the length of time, I go by the thickness of the meat I'm Dry curing, and 8 days would be fine if the belly was less than 2" thick, and Dry curing with TQ for 3 weeks would make a salty hunk of Bacon, unless you would soak it for a Long Time.

    This has my Curing formula & results in it:

    Bacon (Extra Smoky)

    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016
  14. lovethemeats

    lovethemeats Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    All I can say is it looks tasty. I wish I had some of that for my breakfast this morning.
  15. uzikaduzi

    uzikaduzi Meat Mopper

    1/2 cup would be nearly 6% salt... I generally shoot for under 3% in any of my recipes (more like 2% max for sausages), but with something like dry curing bacon, you can't get 100% uptake right? I use roughly 1/4 cup of kosher salt per 5 pds and sometimes I still have to soak a bit out... I wonder what percentage I actually like.
  16. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Nice looking bacon!

  17. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That's a meaty slab you got,it looks tasty!:drool

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