15 lbs of pork belly, skin removed (ask your butcher for bellies)
1 C of kosher salt
1 C of brown sugar
3 Tsp Pink Salt* (buy it HERE)
1 C Maple syrup
Step 1: Combine salt, pink salt, brown sugar and maple syrup in a bowl. I recommend wearing gloves as the pink salt may irritate your skin. If you are freaked out by nitrates you can omit the pink salt and increase the kosher by 1/3.
Step 2: While still wearing the gloves, rub the mixture all over the belly. Use all of the mix and scrape up and save any that falls off.
Step 3: Place the pork belly into a large zip-lock bag, add the leftover mixture and seal the bag, removing as much air as possible. Place the bag in the fridge to cure for 7 days. As the cure begins to work, it will suck moisture out of the belly creating a brine. Flip the bag once a day to redistribute the brine for an even cure.
Step 4: Remove the belly from the bag and rinse under cold water. Set it on a cutting board for about an hour to come up to room temperature.
Step 5: Hot smoke the belly in your smoker or grill equipped with a smoker box until the eternal temperature reaches 160 degrees. You should keep the cooking temperature between 250-300 degrees. You can buy wood chips from amazon.com
Step 6: Remove the belly from the smoker and let rest at room temp for an hour. Wrap it and place it in the fridge to cool overnight.
Step 7: Cut your bacon. I have an electric slicer but you can just as easily slice it with a sharp knife. Chilling the bacon first will make the cutting go smoother. I make thin-cut bacon, thick-cut and bacon lardons. Lardons are little chunks of bacon that are very versatile. I use them a lot.
Step 8: Vacuum or zip-lock your bacon and freeze until needed.
If you have any questions or need any trouble-shooting don't hesitate to post here. I'll get back to you right away.
*Pink salt is dyed this way as a safety precaution. If you were to confuse it for regular salt some bad stuff would happen.