Smoking Bacon at Home (Make Your Own Pork Belly Bacon in 8 Steps)

Bacon is one of the greatest things to eat. Especially when it is partnered up with eggs and fresh bread.

It’s satisfying it is to chow down on a bacon sandwich knowing that you made your own bacon from pork belly!!

Plus I think it tastes better than store-bought

Smoking bacon at home does take a little bit of time and preparation.

This isn’t for something looking for a quick bacon fix!

So follow my 8 steps below for delicious homemade bacon.

Our bacon, sliced and ready for an egg and bacon sandwich!

How To Smoke Bacon At Home

Smoking pork belly to make bacon at home is pure joy.

I have outlined my 8 simple steps below.

There is nothing like turning a piece of pork belly into delicious bacon!

What Pork Should You Use For Bacon?

You can’t go into any job without the correct tools.

Smoking your own bacon is no exception. You need to get yourself the best quality pork belly you can find.

Ideally, you want to get a good chunk of pork belly that has come from a farm, or at least a breed such as Berkshire, Duroc, or Kurobuta. 

This will ensure you have a more rich, & meatier piece of belly that will be bursting with flavor.

Not like those industry-farmed pigs. 

If you like middle-cut bacon, I would suggest using pork butt.

You’ll end up with a meatier product. However, if you’re like me you’ll prefer your pork butt smoked and shredded!

Can’t find pork belly? Here are some alternatives you can use.

Love jerky? See my guide on how to make bacon jerky!

How to Score The Fat Cap

You want to score the fat cap and give it a rub with olive oil.

Preparing The Cure For Bacon

The basic cure ingredients are curing salt, pepper, and sugar. Give the pork belly a rub with the mixture

I recommend having a play with the proportions of these ingredients.

You can even add in other flavors if you like. Chilli, pepper, and even jalapenos can help give the bacon a really beautiful flavor.

How to Cure Your Pork Belly

The curing process takes 7 days.

You need to place your pork belly on a rimmed baking tray inside of a resealable plastic bag. The rimmed baking tray is primarily used to stop any leaks.

This needs to sit in the refrigerator for 7 days and flipped each and every day.

It is very important that you turn the belly every day. This will help re-disperse the juices that gather in the tray/bag.

Many people ask if you need to remove the skin from the pork belly. This is up to you, I don’t remove all the skin I just give it a trim.

Do you love pork belly? You gotta try pork belly burnt ends, my smoky pork belly strips or smoking whole pork loin! Both are juicy, crispy and the way work should be!

How to Rinse Your Cured Pork Belly

Once the 7 days are up, you need to thoroughly rinse your pork belly.

Thoroughly rinse the pork belly under cold running water. I like to use a colander, however, use what you have available.

Once thoroughly rinsed, dab dry with plenty of paper towel.

Place the dry belly (uncovered) onto a wire rack on top of a rimmed baking tray and set in the refrigerator for a further 4 hours (the longer the better so overnight again if possible).

This process helps the skin form a pellicle layer.

The texture you are looking for is dry, papery, and tacky to touch. Below you will see what the pork belly looks like after the 7 days of curing

This outer layer will help the smoke stick to the skin giving you a deeper smoke flavor and that beautiful bronze color.

The bacon after being cured for 7 days, ready for the smoker

How Long to Smoke Bacon For?

To make bacon at home you need to smoke your pork belly for around 2 – 3 hours depending on the thickness of the cut.

The internal temperature needs to be around 150°F and the skin has a beautiful bronze color.

Using a pellet smoker? See how to smoke bacon with a pellet smoker here.

What Temperature Do You Need to Smoke Pork Belly At To Make Bacon?

For smoking your pork belly you are wanting to maintain a temperature between 150 – 180°F. Ideally as close to 175°F as possible. 

What Wood Should Use to Smoke Bacon?

When smoking pork belly for bacon, I like to use woods such as apple, hickory, or cherry.

This works with the bacon to create a great flavor. Unlike a stronger wood like mesquite which I find overpowers the bacon flavor.

The pork belly after it has been smoked for 3 hours.

How Long to Rest Bacon After Smoking?

After your bacon has reached 160°F you need to let it cool until it has reached room temperature.

The best way to do this is on a wire rack. Be sure to have a tray underneath to catch any drippings

Once at room temperature, the bacon needs to rest in the refrigerator overnight (or at least a further 4 hours).

Tightly wrap it in plastic wrap and set in the refrigerator. This helps the bacon achieve a better texture and flavor.

You can store the bacon in the freezer for several months or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

The homemade bacon, cured, smoked and ready to eat!

Step 8:Slice and Cook Your Bacon

​Making your own bacon is great for one main reason. You can choose how thick you want it!

I am a sucker for a nice big thick piece. You can cook your bacon in 1 million different ways. However, my favorite is to just simply to cook it over a hot grill until crispy. 

On a medium-high grill place your bacon directly on the grill. Leave enough space between each slice so you can move without causing flare-ups. Grill on each side until crispy. I like to place my bacon on a paper towel straight out of the grill to absorb any access grease.

Place bacon on a wire rack on top of rimmed baking in a preheated oven at 400°F for 15 – 20 minutes or until crispy. I like to place my bacon on a paper towel straight out of the oven to absorb any access grease.

Stove Top: 
Place bacon in a cold frying pan. Fry on low – medium heat until each side is crispy. Make sure that you remove any access grease throughout the cooking process. I like to place my bacon on a paper towel straight out of the pan to absorb any access grease.

Our Favorite Bacon Recipes

Want some bacon recipes?

These smoked pig shots are wrapped in bacon and filled with a cheesy filling.

Smoked cheese cream dip topped with diced bacon

How to Tell If You Bacon Is Cooked

Wondering how to tell if your bacon is cooked?

Well, it all depends on what cut you are using and how you like it done.

This will show you how to tell if your bacon is done.

Our bacon, sliced and ready for an egg and bacon sandwich!

Homemade Bacon Recipe

Home smoked bacon on the table

Home Made Smoked Bacon Recipe

Smoking bacon at home is not only satisfying it is also very delicious.
The smell that fills the backyard is like nothing else. This recipe uses pork belly and takes 7 days of curing, however, with preparation and patience it is very worth while. 
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 7 days 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 7 days 3 hours 5 minutes
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Barbecue
Servings 100 single servings
Calories 500 kcal


  • Smoker


  • 2 teaspoons pink curing salt
  • 3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 4 to 5 pound pork belly


  • In a mixing bowl mix together kosher salt, pepper and pink salt. Once mixed add in the sugar, make sure to break up any lumps with your fingers.
  • On a rimmed baking tray lined with baking paper, sprinkle half the cure onto the skin side of the belly. Once thoroughly coated, turn over and use the remaining cure to coat the underside. When the whole pork belly is coated place in a resealable bag (or covered and sealed foil pan) and place in the refrigerator. 
  • Let the pork belly cure for 7 days. Be sure to turn each day to redistribute any liquids that have accumulated at the bottom of the pan/bag. 
  • After 7 days drain the pork belly and rinse well with lots of cold water. Once well drained dab dry with lots of paper towel. 
  • Place the pork belly on a wire rack on top of a baking tray and set back in the refrigerator. Let the pork belly dry for around 4 hours (can take longer for larger bellys) or until the surface of the belly feels tacky & papery. 
  • Pre heat your smoker to 175°F as per your smokers manufacturers instructions. It’s not essential but I like to use woods such as apple, hickory or cherry for t this recipe, these woods complement the pork perfectly, however, your favourite wood will be fine too. 
  • Place the pork directly on the grill grate and smoke until the belly is firm and has a bronzed outer. Depending on the size of your belly this should take between 2 – 3 hours. You are looking for an internal temperature of 150°F.
  • Place the bacon on a wire rack and let cool until it has reached room temperature. Once cool wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. If you can wait, overnight works best.
  • Slice! I like to slice this bacon fairly thick, however, thin however you like your bacon. My favourite way to cook the bacon is on the grill, however, you can cook it any way that you like!
Keyword Bacon, Smoked Bacon

So there you have it, my super easy smoked bacon recipe.

This is a great easy recipe for anyone new to smoking or looking to impress their friends with minimum effort. I hope you enjoy it as much as myself and the family does!

What did you put in your cure?

Happy Smoking


Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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