Bacon tastes great, everyone already knows that. But instead of cooking it in a frying pan or oven, use a wood smoker for the BEST results! I remember thinking that smoking already smoked bacon wouldn't make much of a difference, but I was COMPLETELY wrong, it's Amazing!
Smoking IS that much better
Smoked bacon is SO much better than bacon cooked in a pan. It crisps up perfectly and the taste is undoubtedly a hell of a lot better. I have never met anyone that has tasted smoked bacon and thought it wasn't the best they have ever had. It IS that good.
All bacon will smoke up just fine, but the thick cut bacon is the best. Mostly I buy Wrights thick cut bacon is the brand I use. Either their hickory or apple wood tastes great.
Can be found at pretty much any grocery store, but the best price is at Sam's Club or Costco. If you don't have a membership to Sam's, click here for basically a Free Membership for one year. I haven't been able to find any discounts to Costco.
- I have a Recteq 590 pellet smoker and really like the ease of use. Load these with wood pellets and the temperature is held consistent with an electric auger feeding the fire.
- Some die hard smoking guys would never part from their traditional offset smokers. Oklahoma Joe's makes a great smoker.
Both smokers produce great smoke and will cook food to perfection. When it comes to wood/pellets, a hickory wood or competition blend will be great for cooking almost all meats. Both can normally be found at your local hardware store.
Smoking to crispiness
Smoking bacon is extremely easy. Pre-heat the smoker to 200°F and place the bacon either straight on the smoker rack or on a cooling rack atop a baking pan. Smoke for 30 minutes to give it even more of a smoke flavor.
After 30 minutes, kick the temperature up to 400°F and cook until the bacon is finished and crispy. This should be about another 15 minutes for the bacon straight on the smoker rack and 20 minutes for the bacon atop the baking pan.
I like to flip the bacon about halfway through the final 15 minutes to make sure it's cooked evenly. Once it's finished, remove and enjoy!
Hazards of smoking bacon (safety)
I smoke bacon all the time on my pellet smoker, especially with my Smoked Mac and Cheese, but I do have to mention that there is a possibility of a grease fire. Most grease will not catch fire until around 500°F, which the drip pan could reach on some smokers.
Depending on the smoker, 400°F cooking temperature might be too high. So pay close attention the first time you smoke bacon on your smoker.
- If a lot of smoke starts coming from smoker, turn the temperature down. Grease will start to smoke around 450°F.
- Cook bacon at a lower temperature, 300-350°F instead of 400°
- Smoke bacon atop the baking pan, most fires come from bacon being smoked directly on smoker rack and grease falling on drip pan.
- Make sure drip pan is angled enough for grease to flow into drip can (outside smoker) quickly.
Putting out fire
The three main things you want to do if a grease fire does break out in your smoker is:
- Keep the lid closed
- Unplug the pellet smoker
- Close door on traditional smoker
Keeping a closed lid will starve the fire of oxygen causing it to go out. If using a pellet smoker, unplug the smoker, don't just turn it off.
When a pellet smoker is turned off, the fan continues for 5-10 minutes which will keep supplying the fire with oxygen. This is not ideal, but unplugging it will turn off the fan starving the fire even more resulting in extinguishing the fire.
Now that your fire is out, continue to smoke the bacon at 300-350°F. Next time you cook bacon, follow the steps above to prevent a fire and you should be fine.
Trying smoking these!
- ½ lb bacon (thick cut)
- ¼ cup brown sugar (optional)
- Pre-heat smoker to 200°F. Rub brown sugar on bacon if wanting a sweet bacon. If not, omit the sugar. Place bacon directly on smoker rack or on a cooling rack atop a baking dish.
- Smoke for 30 minutes and then increase the temperature to 400°F. Smoke another 15 to 20 minutes until bacon is crispy.
- Remove bacon from smoker and plate. Enjoy!