What is it about bacon that causes my stomach to rumble at the mere thought of streaky rashers of bacon sizzling in the griddle pan? Is it just the smell or is it the anticipation of that deliciously crispy crunch as the bacon fat melts away in my mouth? I can't decide, but I do know that I'm bacon obsessed!
Thankfully I'm not alone in my obsession for bacon as last weekend's Makin' Bacon class in Brisbane demonstrated. Hosted at Brisbane's Low n Slow Meat Co our mate Morgan from Wyld Smoke BBQ Seasonings spent his morning stoking the smoker and sharing all there is to know about making your own bacon using nothing more than a kilogram of pork belly, a BBQ, some wood chips and a packet of Makin' Bacon rub. I was merely the amateur photographer for the day. Five years of working for Kodak put to some use after all...
At least 30 feverish bacon addicts marveled at Morgan's magic as he pulled the 'here's one I made earlier' trick. Slathers of deliciously smoked maple bacon, drizzled with blend smoked honey were immediately devoured by the eagerly awaiting crowd.
Anyway coming back to my own bacon addiction, I find it can be satisfied in a number of ways....firstly by experimenting with Makin Bacon rub, a handful of smoking chips from Bunnings, a kilo of pork belly from my local butcher and my trusty Weber kettle knock off BBQ. (Weber feel free to jump in and generously sponsor me a new kettle BBQ) Here's some of the bacon experiments I've tried...
- Standard Makin Bacon, cured for 7 days and smoked with Hickory for 4.5 hours - very tasty, particularly with a good hit of El Presidente's Demise for some chilli heat!
- Modified Makin' Bacon, this time I added 25% Chipotle powder, cured for 10 days and smoked with Cherry wood for 4.5 hours - you can see from the photo how the colour from the chipotle really infused into the bacon, giving it a really dark toffee colour, simply scrumptious! Keeping with the smoky edge this served up beautifully with our Heads or Tails BBQ sauce and a fried egg....YUM!
- And for my latest bacon experiment I pushed the curing process from the recommended 7-10 days up to 15 days then smoked it with good old iron bark. It tasted fantastic, the maple flavours from the rub penetrated deep into the bacon. Bacon with a smoke ring, you can't beat it!
For my next experiment I think I'll add some home brewed Stout and Ancho powder to the Makin' Bacon curing mix.
So there you have a few options for turning a simple pork belly into a bacon sensation. If you live in Brisbane and want to sign up for one of our upcoming Makin' Bacon classes stay tuned on FB or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the waiting list. Our next event is 9th September at Hansel & Gretel cafe here in Brisbane where we'll be making Bacon and Jerky with James and Steve. Here's the link for tickets Making Bacon Class Tickets 9th September Brisbane (you also get to learn how to make Jerky)
If you don't have the time, a BBQ or frankly can't be arsed to make your own mouth watering bacon, then we have another option for those seriously addicted to bacon...yes it's Bacon Jam, sounds so wrong, yet tastes so right! With 35% bacon in every jar, it's a breakfast of champions, all you need is toast and a fried egg and Ta Dah! Bacon and Eggs on toast in a flash...
Keeping it Hot and Smoky