Are you ready to plunge into your smoking adventure? If you just purchased an electric smoker, you have the convenience of push-button starting and temperature controls.
The electric heating element turns wood shavings into fragrant wood smoke for reliably smoking delicious, nitrate-free bacon every time. Here’s how to smoke bacon in an electric smoker effectively.
Smoking bacon from pork belly requires low temperatures. Depending on your time frame, you can choose cold smoking bacon, which takes 12 to 24 hours, at temperatures from 80°F to 100°F.
When hot-smoking bacon, you set your electric smoker to 225°F. This cooking method takes from 2 to 4 hours to smoke bacon. The time required depends on the meat’s thickness, but you should smoke it until the bacon reaches 150°F.
Learn more about smoking bacon in an electric smoker to turn ordinary pork belly into an extraordinary, mouthwatering homemade bacon. Once you experience the intense flavor of smoked bacon, you won’t want it any other way.
What Is Electric Smoking?
Electric smokers are excellent for smoking jerky, bacon, salmon, and other foods that require low-temperature smoking.
By simply pushing a button, you can add your favorite smoked flavor to any food and maintain a steady temperature.
One of the advantages of electric smoking is that it takes large, tough cuts of meat and turns them deliciously smoky and fall off-the-bone tender.
What Are the Advantages of an Electric Smoker?
Electric smokers are convenient and consistent. It’s much easier to maintain the temperature of an electric smoker rather than a wood or charcoal smoker.
Another advantage is not having to check on the fire of the smoker. You get smoked meat without messing with fires and checking the smoker every half hour.
How to Smoke Bacon in an Electric Smoker?
Smoking homemade bacon from pork belly might seem daunting at first, but with an electric smoker, it’s easy. The one thing to remember about smoking bacon is not to overcook it or it
1. Select the right pork cut for bacon.
If you’ve only bought bacon from the grocery store, you might not be familiar with the pork cuts available for smoking bacon. Pork belly and pork loin are the two most common choices.
The following economical cuts of pork make full-flavored homemade bacon:
- Organically raised hogs without hormones or antibiotics
- Heritage hog pork belly, such as Berkshire, Duroc, or Kurobuta, directly from farmers or farmer’s markets.
- Local butcher shop port bellies
- Supermarket pre-packaged pork bellies or pork loin
2. Collect the items you need for curing the pork belly.
Make sure you have all the things you need for curing or brining the pork belly before you begin smoking. This takes time, so do the curing about five days before you’re planning to smoke the bacon.
These items you need include:
- Whole pork belly
- Curing or Kosher salt
- Choice of white, maple, or brown sugar
- Spices are optional.
- Closeable plastic bags
Once you have all your supplies, start the brining process.
3. Prepare the pork belly and begin brining.
Prepare the pork belly by trimming the rind off the bottom. If you want lean bacon, trim off any excess fat, but this isn’t necessary.
The weight of your meat determines the amount of curing salt, sugar, and spices you use. Use a curing calculator to measure the needed quantities.
Once you’ve determined your curing amounts, mix the ingredients together. You can add any of your favorite spices, but these are optional. Make sure you mix all the ingredients thoroughly.
Place the pork belly on a baking sheet and rub the curing mix on all sides of the pork belly. After coating the meat, place it in a sealed plastic bag.
4. Wait for the curing process to finish.
Put the pork belly in your fridge for about five days. Turn the meat over occasionally to ensure the liquid in the bag covers all the meat.
At the end of five days, rinse the pork belly in cold water. This eliminates any excess salt.
Dry off the pork belly with paper towels and put it on a wire rack. Place the rack on a baking sheet in the fridge. Let it rest for at least four hours or overnight.
5. It’s time to smoke your bacon.
Now that the hard part is over, it’s time to start preparing your smoker. Read the instructions in your owner’s manual for preparing the wood, placing it above the heating element, and preheating the smoker.
One of the best woods for smoking bacon is hickory, but you can make a mixture of various kinds of wood for a diverse flavor. For example, a mix of hickory, apple, and cherry wood provides a nutty and smoky fruit flavor.
Preheat it to 225°F. This temperature retains the flavor and tenderness of the meat.
Smoke your bacon until the internal temperature reaches 150°F. This takes from 2 to 4 hours.
FAQs about How To Smoke Bacon In an Electric Smoker
How long does it take to smoke bacon in a Masterbuilt electric smoker?
Masterbuilt digital electric smokers let you program the temperature and the length of smoking time. They also come with a remote control, and they monitor the internal temperature when you’re smoking bacon and other meats.
When set at 225°F, it takes from 2 to 4 hours to smoke bacon. Some people prefer to cold smoke at 80°F to 100°F. Using this method, your bacon needs about 12 to 24 hours to finish smoking. Always use a meat thermometer to determine if your bacon is ready.
How do you wet brine pork belly for smoking bacon?
Wet brining pork belly is an alternative to dry curing. It uses water mixed with curing salt, sugar, and spices.
Instead of rubbing the salt mixture on the pork belly, you mix the ingredients into a liquid solution. Place the pork belly in a sealable plastic bag and pour the liquid brine into the bag.
Squeeze out the excess air and seal the bag. Place the pork belly in a bowl and put it in the fridge for about two days. Flip it over and leave it in the fridge for one more week. This brining method takes a longer time than dry curing the bacon.
After brining, rinse the pork belly to remove excess salt. Then, place the meat in a bowl of water. Put it in the fridge for an hour. Rinse it off and refill the bowl with water.
Place the submerged pork back in the fridge for two more hours. This rinses away more salt, so it doesn’t overpower your bacon.
What is the best wood for smoking pork belly to make bacon?
The wood you choose for smoking bacon is a personal choice, but most avid meat smokers recommend hickory. This produces a strong, smoky flavor.
Mixing different woods together also gives the bacon a distinctive taste. For example, mixing half hickory and half apple or cherry results in a fruity, milder smoked flavor. Another popular wood choice for bacon is maple.
How long do you smoke bacon at 225°F?
Smoke bacon in your electric smoker for 2 to 4 hours at 225°F. Of course, the timing depends on how much the pork belly weighs, and if you pre-sliced it. The most accurate measurement for making sure the smoked bacon is done, is to use a meat thermometer.
Do you use a water pan when smoking bacon?
A water pan helps stabilize the temperature inside the smoker. This isn’t much of a problem for electric smokers, but pellet and fire smokers aren’t as consistent in holding a reliable temperature.
Since the water becomes hot in the smoker, it helps keep the temperature stable, especially when adding more fuel. The water pan also blocks direct fire from scorching the meat.
When smoking bacon in an electric smoker, you don’t need a water pan. If you’re using a pellet or fire smoker, use the water pan to keep the temperature consistent.
What temperature do you smoke bacon at?
When smoking bacon, you can choose from the hot and cold smoking methods. Using the hot method, set the temperature to 225°F. If you prefer to cold smoke the bacon, set the smoker temperature between 80°F to 100°F.
Which is better, cold or hot smoked bacon?
Whether you smoke bacon using the hot or cold methods, they both give superb smoked flavoring. The difference between these two methods is that the cold smoking process dries the bacon using cold smoke.
Some people cold smoke bacon for eight hours to a full day using mild flavored wood. This method is often the choice of people who have smokehouses where they hang the meat for smoking.
The hot smoking method uses higher heat to produce hot smoke. Both methods require you to cure the bacon first.
Cold-smoking bacon preserves the meat for up to a couple of months without refrigeration. But, if you want to eat your homemade smoked bacon on the same day you smoke it, the hot method is a better option.
Can you smoke store-bought bacon strips in an electric smoker?
If you want smoked bacon but don’t want to go through the effort of curing and smoking pork belly, you can smoke it in your electric smoker. The smoking times differ from cured whole pork belly bacon.
Add hickory, cherry, or applewood to your smoker and preheat it to 300°F. Place your bacon strips on the smoker’s grate. Smoke them for 20 minutes to a half-hour. Check the bacon often, so it doesn’t overcook.
Smoking store-bought bacon in your electric smoker is convenient when you’re having company over. It allows you to cook large amounts of bacon without having to do multiple batches in a frying pan.