How to Make Perfectly Double Smoked Bacon at Home

Bacon is a breakfast staple that most people enjoy occasionally, if not daily. While you can buy pre-packaged smoked bacon at any grocery store, making your own double smoked bacon at home takes the flavor to a whole new level. Learning how to double smoke bacon may seem intimidating, but it’s actually quite simple with the right tips and techniques. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll teach you everything you need to know to make drool-worthy double smoked bacon in your own kitchen that will wow your tastebuds.

What is Double Smoked Bacon?

Double smoked bacon refers to bacon that goes through two separate smoking processes, rather than just one like typical store-bought bacon. The first smoking occurs during the curing process. Curing involves seasoning pork belly with salt, sugars, and nitrates. This preserves the meat and infuses flavor. After curing, the pork belly is hot smoked at a low temperature to cook it while imparting that iconic smoky flavor we all know and love.

With double smoked bacon, after the initial smoking, the cooked bacon is smoked a second time. This second round of smoking results in bacon that is exceedingly smoky, rich, and extra flavorful. While it requires a little extra time and effort, it takes bacon from great to absolutely incredible. The deep, robust smoky notes double smoked bacon offers are hard to beat.

Step-By-Step Instructions for Making Double Smoked Bacon

Making double smoked bacon requires patience, but we promise the payoff is well worth it Follow these simple steps for foolproof results

1. Choose and Prepare the Pork Belly

  • Select a high-quality pork belly at your local butcher or grocery store. Opt for one that is roughly 2 pounds with long wide slices.

  • Pat the pork belly dry thoroughly with paper towels.

2. Make the Curing Brine

The curing brine is what gives the bacon its signature flavor. Whisk together the following in a large bowl:

  • 1 cup kosher salt

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon Prague Powder #1 (also called pink curing salt)

  • 4 cups water

  • Stir vigorously until the salt and sugars dissolve.

3. Cure the Pork Belly

  • Place the pork belly in a large zip-top bag. Pour the curing brine over the pork belly. Remove as much air as possible and seal the bag.

  • Refrigerate for 5-7 days, flipping the bag over daily. The brine will fully penetrate the meat, cure it, and add flavor.

4. Rinse and Dry

  • After curing, remove the pork belly from the brine and rinse it under cold water. Pat it completely dry with paper towels.

5. Hot Smoke the Bacon

  • Set up your smoker or pellet grill for hot smoking at 200°F and use apple, cherry, or maple wood.

  • Place the pork belly directly on the grill grates. Smoke for 2-3 hours until it reaches an internal temp of 150°F.

  • Remove and allow it to cool to room temperature.

6. Prepare for Second Smoking

  • Now it’s time to smoke the cured, cooked bacon a second time.

  • Slice the pork belly into 1/4 inch thick slices.

  • Arrange the slices in a single layer on a wire baking rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet.

7. Double Smoke the Bacon

  • Return the bacon to the smoker, still at 200°F. Smoke for 1-2 more hours until it reaches your desired level of smokiness.

  • For even more flavor, brush maple syrup, brown sugar, or other glazes on the bacon midway through smoking.

8. Cool and Store

  • Remove the double smoked bacon from the smoker and allow it to come to room temperature.

  • Once cooled, transfer the bacon to resealable plastic bags or an airtight container. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

  • Freeze for longer storage, up to 3 months.

That’s all there is to it! While it takes some time and planning, the process for making double smoked bacon at home is pretty straightforward. The enjoyable, addicting smoky flavors make it well worth the effort.

Tips for Making Perfect Double Smoked Bacon

Follow these tips and tricks for foolproof, restaurant-quality double smoked bacon every time:

  • Use Cold Bacon – Keeping the bacon chilled before each smoking helps the fat render slowly for the best texture.

  • Pat Dry – Ensure the pork belly is very dry before curing and smoking. This helps it take on maximum smoke flavor.

  • Weigh Down – Weigh down the pork belly during curing to keep it fully submerged in the brine. This ensures even curing.

  • Scrub Away – Give the cured pork belly a good scrub with a clean brush under cold water before smoking to remove any surface spices.

  • Blot Away – Blot away any excess moisture from the bacon before the second smoking. This promotes crisping.

  • Add Flavor – Consider sprinkling on spices, rubbing on syrups, or glazing with sauces before the second smoke.

  • Use a Thermometer – Monitor the internal temperature of the pork belly during both smoking sessions for the best results.

  • Cool Completely – Allow the double smoked bacon to cool down fully before storing for safety and optimal texture.

FAQs About Double Smoked Bacon

If you’re new to making double smoked bacon, chances are you have some questions. Here we answer some of the most frequently asked questions:

What kind of wood is best for smoking bacon?

For the most balanced, sweet smoky flavor, opt for mild fruit woods like apple, cherry, peach, or maple. Stay away from intense hickory or mesquite smoke.

How long does it take to double smoke bacon?

The initial hot smoking takes 2-3 hours. After slicing and cooling, the second smoking session takes 1-2 more hours. Total time is around 4-6 hours.

What temperature do you smoke bacon at?

Aim for 200-225°F for both the first and second smoking sessions. This low and slow smoking is key for rendering fat and adding deep smoke penetration.

Can you cold smoke bacon?

While possible, cold smoking bacon below 90°F can be risky due to bacteria growth. It’s best to hot smoke for food safety.

How do you keep bacon from sticking when smoking?

Smoke bacon on wire racks inside rimmed baking sheets instead of directly on grill grates. The elevated rack allows air flow and avoids sticking issues.

How long does double smoked bacon last?

Properly stored in the fridge, double smoked bacon lasts for 2-3 weeks. For longer storage, freeze for up to 3 months.

Inspiring Recipe Ideas for Double Smoked Bacon

Once you’ve mastered making your own double smoked bacon at home, it’s time to enjoy it! Here are some of our favorite ways to use this incredible ingredient:

  • Crumble it over a salad for the perfect smoky, salty topping
  • Make epic BLTs with thick slices on toasted sourdough
  • Wrap scallops or shrimp in bacon before grilling or broiling
  • Sprinkle over baked potatoes for a tasty loaded potato skin
  • Fry some up and use bacon fat to cook eggs in the morning
  • Layer in grilled cheese sandwiches for next level flavor
  • Make homemade bacon jam to spread on biscuits or sandwiches
  • Candied bacon makes a decadent addition to any charcuterie board

BBQ – How to make Double Smoked Bacon

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