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Course: Breakfast
Keyword: Breakfast, Brunch, Gluten-Free, Make-Ahead, Pork, Scrap Iron Chef's Bacon

Scrap Iron Chef's Bacon

ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 6 hours 13 minutes
Yield: 4 pounds
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  • 2 quarts water, divided
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup salt
  • 8 ounces molasses
  • 2 quarts apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons course ground black pepper
  • 1 (5-pound) piece raw pork belly, from the loin end
ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 6 hours 13 minutes
Yield: 4 pounds


  • In a large non-reactive pot, bring 1 quart water, the sugar, salt, and molasses to a boil. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Pour into a large container with the remaining 1 quart water and the apple cider. Place in the refrigerator and cool to 40ºF.
  • Press the black pepper into the pork belly. Once the brine has cooled, place the peppered pork belly into the mixture until completely submerged. Refrigerate for 3 days.
  • After 3 days have passed, remove the pork from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Lay on a wire rack set inside a half-sheet pan and place in front of a fan for 1 hour to form a pellicle (a thick skin). Lay the pork in the protein box of a cold smoker and smoke for 4 to 6 hours. Chill the meat in the freezer for 1 hour to stiffen for easy slicing into strips of bacon. Slice what you need and keep the remainder in a freezer-safe bag in the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Place the strips of bacon onto a half-sheet pan fitted with a wire rack and place into a cold oven. Turn the oven to 400ºF and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your bacon. Remove from rack and drain on paper towels. Enjoy.
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