Let’s imagine that we have a time machine and 7-10 days have passed and not just two. You followed the directions for curing the pork belly and it’s been hanging out in your fridge with you flipping it every other day. Now it’s time to smoke it. But you don’t have a smoker. What to do, what to do. That’s where the recipe for oven smoked bacon comes in.
You know that rule about reading the recipe all the way through? I’m the person who’s pretty strict about following that rule. I read and re-read recipes before I tackle them. But I’m also not one to follow very many recipes exactly. I generally get an idea of the process and the flavors and tweak it to make it my own. Most of the time this works out great. Other times, not so much. In the case of the bacon, the whole thing worked out well except I decided to be ambitious and used over 8lbs of pork belly rather than the suggested 5lbs. Which made for a crowded pan and while the bacon turned out delicious, I’m not sure it fully smoked properly and it took over 8 hours rather than the suggested 4-6.
Another thing to note is that the recipe is not labor intensive, it is fairly time intensive. So please, plan accordingly. Before I launch into the step by step with lots of photos, here are the three steps you need to plan for time-wise:
Day 1: Rinse pork belly and refrigerate overnight set skin-side up over a wire rack.
Day 2: Let pork belly sit at room temperature for an hour. Then smoke the pork belly for 4-6 hours.
Day 3: Slice bacon & enjoy!
Now, let’s get to the whole process.
Oven Smoked Bacon
Heavy-duty aluminum foil
Apple wood or hickory smoking chips
2) Remove pork belly from fridge and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Take all racks out of your oven except the lowest rack. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
3) Prepare your pan. Line roasting pan with heavy duty foil. You’ll want to make sure the bottom and sides are completely covered and have about 2 feet of foil hanging off the wide part of the pan on each side and a foot or so excess on the short end of the pan.
4) Place wood chips in the bottom of the pan and place either the roasting rack upside down or a wire rack over the wood chips. You want to make sure the rack sits about an inch and a half from the bottom.
5) Put pork belly on rack skin-side up and tent the foil making sure that you leave room for the smoke to get around the belly. Be sure to fold over the foil at the top and crimp it shut. Use the foil on the sides to completely surround the belly with foil.
6) Place the roasting pan across two burners set to medium-high. After about 5 minutes, a steady stream of smoke will pour out of the top seam of the foil. This doesn’t produce a ton of smoke but you’ll probably want to turn on the fan or open a window or door.
7) Put the roasting pan in the oven and smoke the pork belly until it reaches 150 degrees. This should take about 4-6 hours but mine took almost 8.5 hours.
Enjoy! And let me know if you decide to try this out – I’d love to hear how it worked for you. I’ve been asked if I thought it was worth it. Yes, I’ll definitely be doing this again but it won’t be my only source of bacon. And I definitely think it’s worth trying at least once.