Making your own bacon on a Primo will change your bacon perspective. Most people think bacon makes everything better – once you realize the minimal effort (albeit a small time investment) of how you can make better bacon, it will be hard to buy bacon at the grocery store again. The hardest part might be finding the pork belly- locally here in Easton Maryland you can find them at the Amish Market.
We found half of a pork belly (with the spare ribs removed) and asked the butcher to cut off the skin.
Coat the pork belly heavily on all sides with your bacon cure and place on a rack in a sheet pan. You can get very creative with the flavors in your cure to create uniquely awesome bacon. Using pink salt (sodium nitrate) is also optional if you plan on eating your bacon within a few weeks. You can opt to use celery seeds which have a high level of naturally occurring nitrates to help with the curing process. Here is the bacon cure we used:
- 1 cup salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup celery seed
- 1/2 cup garlic granules
- ½ cup black peppercorns
- ½ cup onion powder
Cover and put the belly in the fridge for 7-10 days, turning it over every few. Here it is after 8 days- you can see the moisture in the bottom of the pan the cure pulled out.
Rinse the belly repeatedly to wash off the cure and then soak it in cold water. At this point prepare the Primo for smoking and soak a few cups of apple and hickory chips.
Pat dry and smoke at 225 until internal temp is around 150. A Thermapen is a helpful tool here!
Once it reaches temp you have bacon!
If you are inclined don’t shut down the Primo- increase the heat (ok to leave in the d plates) and pre-heat your favorite cast iron pan or Primo Cast Iron Griddle. Hand slice some thick pieces around the edges to square up (rectangle) the slab of bacon. Put it in the fridge to cool- once it cools it will be much easier to slice the bacon, especially if you are using a meat slicer. Of course you’ll want to cook the edge pieces…
Here are the thick cut edge pieces of bacon frying on the same grill it was smoked on a few minutes before- a great example of the Primo’s versatility.
Once you cook some bacon, go ahead and fry some eggs to go with it while the bacon grease is still hot. This is a great Sunday morning brunch project!
Once the bacon slab is cold slice away- a meat slicer is a helpful tool for this!
A “foodsaver” is another helpful tool to package the bacon. Here we cracked some pepper on it before it was sealed. Your friends won’t complain if you hand them one of these.
Frying the bacon on the Primo always wins- however if you are going to cook it inside try putting it on a sheet pan and into a cold oven and set on 400. Check it in 12-15 minutes, turning it over once. Let it go for another few minutes. Enjoy.
Primo Smoked & Fried Bacon