Add some spice to your mornings with this all-natural, sugar-free recipe for Homemade Jamaican Jerk Bacon. Homemade dry jerk seasoning mix recipe is included!
Homemade Jamaican Jerk Bacon
Bacon is a great love of mine. Spicy is the other great love of mine. So the other day, I decided to combine these two and make a spicy homemade Jamaican jerk bacon. I love making my own bacon because I get to use the meatiest piece of pork belly I can find and I also get to slice the bacon as thick as I want it.
The way I see it, there are two kinds of bacon people in this world, those who like it thin and crispy and those who like it thick and soft/chewy. I am the latter and believe that the thicker the bacon slice, the better.
I might catch some criticism for this recipe because I don’t use pink curing salt. It is my personal preference to keep my nitrites to a minimum and I prefer to consume only the natural occurring ones in my diet. To be honest, I’ve been making my own bacon without pink curing salt for over 15 years and I’ve never had a problem with the growth of bacteria or botulism.
Granted, this all natural bacon isn’t as pretty as the nitrite stuff. It’s brown, instead of a pretty pink, and some may think it doesn’t taste bacon-y enough. I don’t mind the brownish color and I think it tastes exactly like the nice salty pink cured bacon.
I used to add a sweetener (honey or a natural brown sugar) in the curing process but I like salty more than sweet so I started making it without sugar, plus it falls under the Paleo diet plan rules when made without sugar. If you really like a little sweet taste to your bacon, just add about 1-2 tablespoon of brown sugar to the curing seasoning mix.
Obviously, this homemade Jamaican jerk bacon is fantastic for breakfast but it would also be killer in a BLT. Yum! Last weekend, I made some twice baked potatoes with it and it was the best freaking thing that I’ve ever had in my life! Okay, I might be exaggerating a tiny teeny bit there but it was without a doubt the best stuffed potato I’ve ever had.
Hope y’all give this Homemade Jamaican Jerk Bacon a try and, if spicy Jerk isn’t your thing, feel free to experiment with your own seasonings too!
- 3 pound fresh pork belly skin-on is preferred
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/4 cup dry jerk seasoning mix (homemade recipe below)
- 2 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoon onion powder
- 4 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon crushed hot pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Rinse off pork belly and dry well. Place the cleaned pork belly in a zip lock bag, add the kosher salt and the salt-free dry jerk seasoning. Rub the salt and seasoning into the belly so it's completely covered. Seal bag and place in the refrigerator.
Refrigerate the pork belly for 5 days, turning the bag over every day to help distribute the spices.
After 5 days, remove the pork belly from the bag and wipe off the salt and seasoning mixture.
Set up a smoker using hickory, apple, or cherry wood chips and place the pork directly on the grill rack. Smoke at 225F degrees for 2-2.5 hours, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 150F degrees.
Oven method instead of smoking the bacon: Preheat oven to 200F degrees. Place bacon on a rack over a baking sheet and roast for 1.5-2 hours, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 150F degrees.
The skin can be cut off or left on (if left on it will be a little chewy and tough but adds great texture to the pork). Slice bacon and cook as usual.