Recipe: Beer Cured Bacon
Beer. Cured. Bacon. Really... need we say more?
This recipe is inspired from the barbecue icon Meathead Goldwyn. He has a method for bacon from scratch that allowed us to make the important addition of beer for more flavor. We used this bacon in our BBQ Bacon Beer, which was served at the recent Bacon and Beer Classic.
For ease of scaling, ingredients are listed for 1 lb. If you are doing a larger slab (we regularly do 3-4 lbs) just multiply the rest of the ingredients for the size your butcher has in stock.
What You Need
- 1 lb pork belly slab, skin removed
- 3 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon pink salt (available at specialty food stores, or if you ask nicely, at the butcher counter)
- 12 oz Chocolate Maple Porter (or another craft stout or porter)
What You Do to Cure
- Make sure all tools and work areas are thoroughly clean. The cure is going to sitting for 10 days in the fridge, so making sure that you are keeping everything sanitary as you go is important.
- In a bowl combine dry ingredients and toss to mix. Add beer and maple syrup to dry mix, whisk until well blended.
- Place the pork in a shallow non-reactive container or large zip locked bag. Pour the cure over the pork and turn to make sure all sides come in contact.
- Store in refrigerator and flip pork every 2-3 days. After 10 days, the curing will be complete and the pork will be ready for the smoker.
What You Do to Smoke
- Choose your wood for the smoker (we use a mix of hickory, apple, and pecan), but using wood local to you is always a good call. (Just don't use pine - it will be super gross!) Hickory produces a nice, medium smoke that will complement the sweetness of the cure.
- Add wood to the smoker and bring the temperature to 250 degrees F.
- Remove the pork from the cure and let excess drip off. Place in smoker.
- Smoke pork until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F. This will take 1.5 to 3 hours depending on size of slab and smoker.
- You now have bacon. Enjoy!