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#1009 - Bacon In It's Glory
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Nothing makes that cool snap in the air smell even better than the aroma of frying bacon. And few things make just about anything taste better than...bacon. Just ask your dog! We are living in something of a Golden Age for bacon, and if you can't find something out there that knocks your socks off, you just aren't even trying.
The Internet is loaded with bacon sites that will mail it to you, and different sites do offer different kinds of bacon, usually with an emphasis on the smoking wood of choice. One strategy that doesn't seem to have occurred to many people is to make your own bacon. Your butcher can provide you with the pork bellies you need, and if you have the means of smoking meat, you're golden.
Here is Jerry's recipe for home-made bacon.
Homemade Bacon Recipe
5lb slab of good quality pork belly (Some people like to remove the rind. I prefer to leave it on.)
½ cup of salt
¼ cup sugar
1 cup maple syrup
Pat the belly dry with paper towels.
Mix the three ingredients together to form a paste and rub vigorously onto all the surfaces of the belly.
Put pork belly into a large Ziploc bag, and keep it in the fridge for 7 to 9 days.
Turn the bag over once a day. There will be some liquid accumulating in the bag. This is normal, don't remove it.
Remove the bacon from the bag and wash off any of the rub left on. Pat it dry with paper towels. You now have bacon! Slice and cook as normal.
Smoking the bacon:
The smoking stage will make this bacon even better, but you'll be amazed at how good the bacon already tastes. If you have a smoker, follow the directions that came with it. If you’re going to try and smoke your bacon on your BBQ, prepare it as follows:
Let the bacon sit in the refrigerator on a wire rack overnight, uncovered, so it dries completely.
Choose your wood. I like either Apple Wood or Mesquite chips, but you can use a variety of different woods. Soak the chips overnight in water.
On one side of the grill, ready some charcoal briquettes until they are glowing red. Put the chips over the coals and let them start smoking. Place you slab of bacon on the opposite side of the grill and close the lid. You’ll need to carefully monitor the temperature. You do not want it to get over 175 degrees, and you want to make sue there is a constant stream of smoke. Allow the bacon to smoke for 3 to 4 hours or until you obtain an internal temperature in the bacon of 150 degrees.
Store it in the refrigerator and slice and cook as needed.