Making smoked bacon at home seems impossible if you don’t have a smoker and an outdoor space, but after many trials, the CHOW test kitchen has come up with this method that works in your kitchen oven. All you need is a roasting pan, a roasting rack, aluminum foil, and wood chips. We like the deep, smoky flavor that traditional hickory chips add to the bacon, but apple wood is also good if you want a lighter, sweeter option. Try this flavorful, smoky bacon in our Bacon-Maple Sticky Buns, a Triple-Pork Club Sandwich, or a fancy pasta dish.
Special equipment: You will need a roasting pan fitted with a roasting rack that sits at least 1 1/2 inches above the bottom of the pan. You can try flipping the roasting rack over (like we did) if it sits too close to the bottom in its traditional orientation. Or use a wire cooling or steaming rack.
Giant resealable storage bags, like these jumbo 2-gallon bags, were the perfect size to use for the curing process. If you can’t find these bags, you can cure the bacon in a roasting pan covered with foil.
To smoke the bacon, you will need at least 3 yards of 18-inch-wide heavy-duty aluminum foil.
What to buy: Pork belly is the same as fresh bacon. You can order it from a reputable butcher. A whole fresh pork belly with the skin on weighs around 11 pounds, of which you’ll need half (a 5-1/2-pound slab).
Curing salt, also known as pink salt or saltpeter, contains 6.25 percent sodium nitrite. It is colored pink so as not to be confused with regular salt. Curing salt is available at Butcher & Packer.
It’s especially important to use kosher salt here to ensure that your quantity is correct. We prefer the Diamond Crystal brand, available in most grocery stores. If you use Morton kosher salt, you will need 1/4 cup. If you have another brand, weigh out 43 grams.
You should buy pure, resin-free, bark-free wood chips. For this recipe, we recommend apple wood or hickory chips, which can be purchased at most hardware stores and grocery stores during the summer months, or online.
Game plan: The entire curing, smoking, and chilling process takes at least 9 days, so plan accordingly.
This recipe was featured as part of our How to Make Oven-Smoked Bacon project.
For the smoking: