Chef Britt brings home the bacon by showing you exactly how to cure and smoke pork belly entirely from scratch!
For the cure (dry rub):
Purchase Items in this Recipe
- Using a scale, weigh the ingredients accordingly and mix together kosher salt, brown sugar, and LEM Cure thoroughly to make the cure mixture. The quantities specified in this recipe is enough to cure roughly 56 lbs of pork belly. Simply dividing each quantity in half will yield enough mixture to cure approximately 28 lbs of raw pork belly.
- Wash belly with warm water and dry. Pierce the fat (skin) side with the tip of a paring knife. This will allow the cure mixture to penetrate the pork faster. If the skin is present on your pork belly, leave it on for the entire process of curing and smoking.
- Using a scale, get the total weight of the pork belly. Then calculate 24 grams of the cure for each pound of belly you have. For instance: a 5 lb. belly will need 120 grams of cure.
- Rub the bellies with the cure mix, making sure to cover all areas. Stack the bellies skin-side down in covered plastic or stainless-steel non-reactive containers.
- Refrigerate the pork covered for 7-10 days to cure. Overhaul every other day by re-rubbing them with the liquid that is released from the curing process. Rotate as needed.
- Rinse the bellies in slightly warm water. Soak in fresh warm water for 30 minutes and blot dry. Place the bellies on a wire rack over a sheet pan and refrigerate them uncovered for 12-18 hours to air-dry and form a pellicle.
- Set your Yoder Smokers Ys640s Pellet Smoker to 200℉ and hot-smoke the bellies until they reach an internal temperature between 150-160℉. If skin is present on your pork belly, removing the skin should be done immediately after smoking.
- Allow the bellies to cool before slicing/cutting the slab as needed for grilling, sauteing, or baking.
- The bacon may be wrapped and refrigerated for up to 2 weeks, or frozen for 2 months before use.