Smoking bacon is not as hard as I thought it would be. And it is incredibly delicious.
Recently I was at Allsun Farm, where all pigs that pass through have a great life tractoring and fattening on the organic market garden vegetable leavings, and cracked pastured eggs.
Followed by their requisite one bad day. No bacon could be finer for learning to smoke…
Before smoking, bacon needs first to be cured. Here’s Rose’s natural bacon brining recipe that we’ve been using at Milkwood.
Once the bacon has brined for 7 days or so (you can tell when it’s done, it’s firm-ish to the touch) its time to either cook it slow, or smoke it…
If you’re smoking, it’s best that the bacon enters the smoker not too wet. So once you’ve rinsed it from the brine and spices, hang your bacon high, until it dries…
I don’t know how much you can discern from my blurry (sorry, pre-coffee) morning shots, but basically this bacon was smoked in a BBQ, with a small pan of soaked woodchips on one burner (which was on, down low) and the bacon over a drip tray on the other.
This was done on a regular ‘ol gas BBQ with a hood. You could also smoke via 10 zillion other methods and DIY smoking setups. Use what you have at hand, I say.
Woodchip wise, opinions differ as to what’s best to use – some peeps use acacia, some swear by apple wood, some by banksia pods.
Joyce and Mike at Allsun Farm feel that without Hickory woodchips, it ain’t actually bacon. One small problem there is that hickory wood is very hard to source in Australia, unless you buy it in a bag.
Whatever you use, with luck and patience, the results will be delicious.
And with this step, the belly parts of this Winter’s Allsun Farm pigs entered back into that precious cycle of life and death and nutrient and renewal. Thank you pigs!
Thanks to Joyce Wilkie of Allsun Farm for the info, the pigs and the know-how…
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