If you're a bacon lover, get ready to have your taste buds tantalized with a unique twist on this classic breakfast staple. Rosemary sugar cured bacon takes the savory goodness of bacon and adds a touch of sweetness and aromatic rosemary. It's a flavor combination that will leave you craving for more.
- 7 lbs. fresh pork belly
- 6 tbsp. kosher salt
- 3 tsp. curing salt
- 1/3 cup brown sugar / coconut sugar
- 4 sprigs rosemary, stripped and bruised
- Extra-large freezer bags
- Hickory/maple/apple wood chips/chunks for smoking
- Trim the pork belly, remove the skin, rinse, and pat dry.
- In a bowl, combine the salt, curing salt, and sugar. Remove the rosemary leaves from the stems and then, using a mortar and pestle, bruise the rosemary before adding it to the salt mixture.
- Thoroughly rub the pork belly with the salt mixture and place into a large Ziplock bag. Remove as much air as possible before sealing. Set the belly into the fridge on a tray to cure for 7 days. Flip the (soon to be) bacon daily. You will notice an accumulation of liquid in the bags. That is something you want. The rubs are drawing out the moisture. That is what makes supermarket bacon shrivel and curl. At the end of the curing period, the pork belly should be firm.
- When you are ready to smoke the bacon, remove it from the bag in the fridge and rinse thoroughly. Pat it dry.
- Prepare your smoker for a longer smoke by filling the charcoal basket ¾ of the way full of premium lump charcoal. Place 4 or 5 chunks of smoking wood like hickory amongst the charcoal. Light 1/3 to ½ of a load of charcoal using the Napoleon JETFIRE Chimney Starter. Dump the lit charcoal into the center of the unlit charcoal and allow your smoker to preheat to 200°F. Fill the water pan with hot water.
- Place your cured pork belly onto the cooking grids and smoke for 3 to 6 hours, until an internal temperature of 150°F. Using a wireless or Bluetooth BBQ thermometer with multiple probes will allow you to keep an eye on both the internal temperature of the bacon and the temperature of your smoker.
- Slice the bacon, once off the grill and cooled, into your desired thickness. Package it for storage depending on your family size. Freeze it in freezer bags or wrapped in foil, thawing completely before cooking up for a delicious breakfast or addition to carbonara.