Imperial Red Ale Bacon

Bacon! Does anything sound better? How about a bacon brined with Imperial Red Ale from the Great Burn Brewing Company. As a result of the week-long brining, the flavor of the beer is driven into the depths of the pork belly. I selected the leanest pork belly I could find because I like my bacon meatier. The smoking with applewood took about five and half hours at a smoker temperature of 200°F and the internal temperature of the bacon reached 155°F.

Imperial Red Ale Bacon

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 5 hours

Total Time: 5 hours, 30 minutes

4 lbs. bacon

Imperial Red Ale Bacon

Ingredients

  • 1 whole pork belly (about 5 lbs.)
  • 16 oz. Imperial Red from Great Burn Brewing
  • 1 quart water
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP garlic powder
  • 1 TBSP onion flakes
  • 1 TBSP black pepper
  • 1 TBSP chili powder (hot)
  • 1 tsp pink salt (sodium nitrite)

Instructions

  1. Bring the water to a boil
  2. Add kosher salt and brown sugar, and stir until dissolved
  3. Remove from heat and let it cool back to room temperature
  4. Add in the rest of the ingredients (except the pork belly) and stir to combine
  5. Divide pork belly in two
  6. Take a 2 gallon Ziploc bags, put the pork belly halves in them
  7. Pour the liquid mixture over top
  8. Make sure the pork belly stays submerged and place into the fridge for a week
  9. Turn the bags every day
  10. After a week remove, rinse the pork belly off under cool water and pat dry
  11. Heat your smoker/grill to about 200°F
  12. Add large chunks of applewood (I think fruit woods are best for bacon)
  13. Smoke the pork bellies until they reach 155°F internally (expect 1.5 hours per lb.)
  14. Slice into ¼ inch thick slices

Start with the meatest pork belly you can find
Start with the meatest pork belly you can find
Imperial Red ale brine on pork belly
Imperial Red ale brine on pork belly
After 7 days of bring
After 7 days of bring
Brined and dried
Brined and dried
4 hours into smoking
4 hours into smoking
Oh my goodness
Oh my goodness
Sliced at a ¼ inch thickness
Sliced at a ¼ inch thickness
Imperial Red Ale Bacon packaged for freezing
Imperial Red Ale Bacon packaged for freezing

Thoughts?