Chipotle 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

Smoke on smoke on smoke, and I love it. This is great served alongside eggs on a BLT with avocado or, my favorite, rolled in soft tortillas for my chipotle bacon tacos.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (180 g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons pink curing salt (aka Instacure #1)
  • ½ cup (100 g) sugar
  • 1 (7-ounce/198-g) can chipotles in adobo, pureed
  • 1 (5-pound/2.3-kg) pork belly, skin removed and saved for another use (see, step 2)
  • ¼ cup (55 g) Chipotle Rub
  • Soaked and drained apple, hickory, or cherry wood chips or chunks, or pellets or sawdust (amount recommended by your smoker manufacturer)

    Method

    Whisk together the kosher salt, pink salt, sugar, chipotles, and 12 cups (2.8 L) water in 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.

    Sprinkle the rub over the entire belly on both sides, rubbing in to make sure that the mixture penetrates the flesh.

    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.