Recipe - No. 43
A lot of bacon
10/10 (but so worth it)
Behind the Recipe
It’ll Make You Everyone’s Best Friend
Offering someone an ordinary piece of bacon is a pretty cool move. But offering someone a slice of your home-smoked Revelry Bacon that you went out and bought specific wood chips for? That, my friend, makes you a legend. It’s that legit.
Slice it thick, eat it plain, pair it with eggs, or wrap filets. Chop it up, toss with salad, carbonara, it’s all fantastic. This is the rare kind of food you revel in and rave about with friends. Make no mistake, there’s nothing wrong with pre-packaged bacon, but you could do so much better. Your guests deserve so much better. So make your shopping list and go. Revelry Bacon simply cannot wait.
- For the Brine
- 1 gallon water
- 1 cup coarse kosher salt
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 6 juniper berries, crushed
- 1 tbsp. pink curing salt
- 2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
- 2 tsp. ground coriander
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. celery seed
- For the Rub
- 3 tbsp. coriander seeds
- 2 tbsp. black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp. white peppercorns
- 2 tbsp. yellow mustard seeds
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 tbsp. coarse kosher salt
- 3 tbsp. dark brown sugar
- 5 tbsp. paprika
- The Cut
- 1 large piece of pork belly (5 lbs.)
- 5 days before grilling, make your brine by bringing 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add all of the brine ingredients listed above and stir until the salt and sugar dissolves.
- Add 2 quarts of ice water to cool the brine, then refrigerate until chilled.
- Using a meat injector, inject the chilled brine throughout the pork belly, using 1-2 cups.
- Submerge pork belly in remaining brine, cover, and refrigerate.
- After 3 days in the fridge, re-inject the pork belly and brine for an additional 2 days. It’s a long time to wait, but oh man is Revelry Bacon worth it.
- After a total of 5 days, remove pork belly from the brine, rinse with cold water, and drain.
- Place pork belly on a wire rack over a sheet pan and let dry in the fridge for 1-2 hours.
- To make the rub, place your coriander, black and white peppercorns, and mustard seed in a spice mill or mortar and grind until coarse.
- Work in the remaining ingredients, then generously coat your pork belly on the top, bottom, and sides with the rub.
- All your hard work is about to pay dividends in flavor. Grab that beautiful hunk of meat and head outside to the Nexgrill.
Set up your Nexgrill Revelry or smoker to low, indirect heat. Right around 200 degrees is the sweet spot.
Now here’s the really cool part. Based on how you want your bacon to taste, you can use different types of pre-soaked wood chips that will infuse your pork belly with unique, smoky flavor profiles. For example:
- Applewood chips will give you a classic, mellow, apple-flavored bacon.
- Hickory wood chips will result in sweet but robust bacon.
- Cherry wood chips, on the other hand, offer sweetness with a hint of tartness.
- Pecan wood chips offer a nuttier crisp if you’re in the mood for something different.
Smoke the pork belly for about 4 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Every hour or so, add more pre-soaked wood chips to keep the inside of your firebox nice and smoky.
Once cooked, transfer the pork belly to a clean wire rack over a sheet pan and let cool to room temperature before transferring to the fridge.
Slice thinly and treat like normal bacon. Fry it on your stove top. Bake it in the oven. Cook it over a campfire. Go crazy!
Tightly wrap remaining pork belly in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze for later use.