Now I can say that:
a) it can be done
b) it's wonderfully easy
c) it is inexpensive
d) it's delicious (well duh!)
e) mmmm.. bacon...
Because it was the first time, we stuck with fairly tried and true - made a slab of pepper bacon and one of maple bacon. Now I understand what my parents meant when they said that they loved both us kids differently but equally.
We followed the basic technique described by Nick, Sara and Geoff in their post How to Cure and Smoke Bacon with a few modifications:
- I alternated applications of salt and additional flavorings, so one night I salted one slab, then the next night I rubbed in some additional maple syrup.
- Since we don't have a proper smoker, we smoked our bacon in a Weber kettle. It worked perfectly.
The slabs just prior to smoking
What I would do differently next time: I followed the directions and rinsed both slabs before smoking. Next time, I would pat them dry, but rinsing washed off that gorgeous pepper crust we had going and probably some of the maple flavoring. So maybe they're right and I'm wrong, but I look forward to the next time to test it out!
On the grill - we built the fire on one side only to keep it cool and circulate the smoke.
Oh yeah, and I would make more. We made enough, but it is so tasty and lean that I know we'll get through it. You can't really ever have too much bacon.