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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Pulled Bacon

It is that time of the year that everyone who loves tomatoes looks forward to with anticipation.  That time of the year when your local farmers market is bursting with plump and juicy tomatoes of various varieties.  Romas, Early Girls, Beefsteak, take your pick.  For four to five months out of the year, we get to leave behind tomatoes of the hot house variety and feast on sweet a juicy goodness.  There are three things that I look forward to during tomato season:  marinaded and grilled tomatoes with mozzarella cheese, fresh salsa, and BLT's, hold the L.  Lets explore the summer variety BLT.

Some time last year, Gusface Grillah over at experimented with some pulled bacon.  Basically, he took a pork butt, cured it, smoked it, and turned it into a piece of art.  With fresh tomatoes on the horizon, I decided to make a little pulled bacon for my first BLT of the summer.

First, I whipped up a batch of my Apple Cider Bacon Brine.  I purchased a boneless pork butt, about 4.5 pounds, and allowed the meat to cure in the refrigerator for about two weeks. Normally for a pork belly the cure time would only be 7-10 days, but I added the extra time to ensure that the inside of the butt was cured as well.  After curing, I soaked the butt in an ice water bath overnight, then rinsed well to remove all of the cure.

The next step was easy: just smoke the butt like you are making pulled pork.  I smoked at 250 F with cherry, pecan, and hickory wood until the internal temperature was 195 F.  I wrapped the pork but with foil and a towel and let rest in a cooler for two hours.  Then, Hope removed the foil, vacuum packed, and placed in the refrigerator for a week.

Vacuum packing and letting the meat rest for a week allows the smoke flavor to mellow a bit, making for a better end product.  David, our friend over at Heavy D BBQ gave us that piece of advise and he is spot on.

After the week of rest, I removed the butt from the plastic and started pulling it just like I do for my BBQ pulled pork.

This pulled bacon had a little bit of everything.  There was a little bark from the sugar in the cure and lots of smoky bacon flavor.  I will say, there was just a bit a hammy taste, but bacon was the prevalent flavor.

As luck would have it, the first batch of Early Girls were available at our local farmers market.  So, I took about 1/3 of a cup of the pulled bacon and added to a hot skillet with a bit of cooking spray.  I heated until slightly crisp on one side then flipped to crisp the other side.  Then, I placed my pulled bacon on some crispy white bread with mayo, and sliced fresh tomatoes.

I packed up the rest in smaller portions and froze for future use.  A great use during the winter would be some for chowder or other some other hearty soup.  Maybe even as filling for a hearty omelet.

Thanks for stopping by,



  1. Brilliant! I like the way you think. I have done something similar called Buck Board bacon. It is pulled at a lower temperature and sliced not pulled. I will have to give your method a try.

    1. The pulled bacon was very good Chilebrown. The tomatoes may go away, but I will always have some of this in my freezer.