1 KG piece of pork belly
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup kosher salt
12 grams (~1 1/2 TSP) pink salt (or Ready Cure in Canada) (Measure this using scales, do not poison yourself!)
1/4 cup Real Maple Syrup
4 TBSP Cracked Peppercorns
- Using a sharp knife, remove the skin from the belly. Don’t play with the pig nipples, that’s just weird. OK, go ahead and pinch one.
- Discard the skin
- In a bowl, mix up the salt, sugar, cure and pepper.
- In a Large Ziplock Bag, place the belly
- Pour in the dry cure powder, coating all sides of the belly
- Pour maple Syrup into the bag, and mush it around
- Store in the fridge for 7 days.
- (As the cure works, more liquid will be drawn out of the belly, this starts within the first hour)
- Every day, flip the belly over to allow the released liquids and cure to even coat.
- Over the course of the week, you should notice the bellies firming up quite a bit as a result of the curing process.
- After 7 days, remove from bags and rinse the cure off with cold water
- Pat dry with paper towels and place belly on a wire rack
- Back in the fridge over night to form a tacky pellicle on the surface (needed for the smoke to stick)
- Smoke on your cooker, at your desired pace till the bellies hit about 150 degrees internal temp.
- Let the bacon cool completely for easier slicing, but go ahead and cut off some NOW and fry it up!
- It should be good a couple weeks in the fridge, if you can last that long.
- I fry mine at a low temp to release much of the fat, but this stuff is so good, you WANT the fat in there. Try a couple of thick slices….this is nothing like what you are used to buying in the store.
- Don’t have a smoker? Go buy one. In the meanwhile, you can add some liquid smoke to the maple syrup, and then use your oven to get this up to 150 degrees.
- I like to cool smoke mine (180 degrees) for a couple of hours, using hickory, before raising the temp of the cooker up to 224 to finish it off for the last hour of so.