If you have a beef belly then you are morally obligated to make Beef Bacon. Pork bacon comes from the pork belly so making beef bacon from the belly of a steer just makes sense.
Cure the Beef Belly
Making bacon is pretty simple.
Evenly coat the belly with Morton Tenderquick at a rate of 1 Tablespoon per pound of meat. Place the meat in a Ziplock bag and then into the refrigerator. Let the belly cure for five days and flip it once a day to let the moisture even out.
After the belly has cured rinse off the surface, pat dry with a paper towel.
Morton Tenderquick is a combination of salt, sugar and curing salts so after the belly has cured for a week it has plenty of salt and sugar. For the remaining seasoning I lightly coat the belly with black pepper but feel free to add other flavor profiles to suit your taste..
Smoke the Bacon
The belly goes onto the smoker at 250F with some hickory and is smoked until it hits an internal temperature of 150F.
This will take 2-3 hours depending upon the thickness of the belly that you are working with.
Pull the belly from the smoker and allow to cool in the refrigerator before slicing.
Eating Your Beef Bacon
The texture, melting point, flavor and amount of the fat on beef bacon is very different than pork bacon. Since they are so different I end up treating them different.
I typically slice beef bacon pretty thick and either bake it at 350F until crispy or dice it into chunks to use as a secret weapon in a pot of pinto beans.
Homemade Beef Bacon
- 1 beef belly about three pounds
- 3 tbsp Morton Tenderquick
- 2 tbsp black pepper
- Evenly coat the beef belly with Morton Tenderquick. Use 1 tablespoon of MTQ per pound of beef belly.
- Place the belly into a one gallon Ziploc bag and place in the refrigerator.
- Let the belly cure in the refrigerator for five days and flip the bag over daily.
- Remove the belly from the bag, rinse under cold water and pat dry with paper towels.
- Season the cured belly with black pepper.
- Smoke the cured belly at 250F with hickory for 2-3 hours until an internal temperature of 150F is reached.
- Place the beef bacon in the refrigerator and allow to cool before slicing.