Garlic-Soy Bacon

Preparation info

  • Makes about

    3½ pounds

    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

The Bacon Bible

The Bacon Bible

By Peter Sherman and Stephanie Banyas

Published 2019

  • About

This is my pork teriyaki bacon; it has a rich, salty, sweet flavor. I use it for all my Asian-inspired recipes, including bacon fried rice, Bacon Ramen, and Tempura Bacon.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (475 ml) low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) clover honey
  • 1 head garlic, cloves separated, peeled and smashed
  • 2 teaspoons pink curing salt (aka Instacure #1)
  • ¼ cup (45 g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1 (5-pound/2.3-kg) pork belly, skin removed and saved for another use (see, step 2)
  • Soaked and drained apple, hickory, or cherry wood chips

    Method

    Combine the soy sauce, honey, garlic, pink salt, and kosher salt in a blender and blend until combined. Transfer the brine to a large food-safe container with a tight-fitting lid. Add the pork belly and make sure it stays submerged. I use a plastic container filled with cans to weigh it down.

    Cure the belly in the refrigerator for 8 days.

    Drain the pork belly in a colander or large basin and rinse well with cold water. Blot it dry with paper towels. Place the belly on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet in the refrigerator or in a cool place in front of a fan (the goal is to create good airflow), and let it dry until the surface feels papery and tacky, at least 4 hours, or overnight.

    Set up your smoker following the manufacturer’s instructions and preheat it to between 200 and 225°F (93 and 107°C). Add the wood chips or chunks to the coals. Lay the pork belly directly on the grill grate opposite the coals (indirect heat). Smoke the pork belly until bronzed with wood smoke and firm, 2 to 3 hours. The internal temperature should reach 155°F (68°C). (Insert an instant-read thermometer probe through the side of the bacon at one end.)

    Transfer the bacon to a clean wire rack over a baking sheet and let it cool to room temperature. Tightly wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight.

    To serve, thinly slice the bacon against the grain and cook in a skillet over medium-low heat until crisp. Bacon will last up to 1 week in the fridge; simply slice off pieces as needed.