Beef Brisket Bacon

Jeremiah Cutlip is known for his resourcefulness on the grill and in the kitchen. When he sampled our beef bacon at a recent breakfast get together, he was eager to make his own. So “Jay Stone” here is the formula I promised.

5 lbs beef brisket (2.27 kg)
1 1/2 tbsp liquid smoke (22.5 ml)
1 tsp Prague Powder #1 (5.7 g)
1/3 cup pickling salt (102 g)
1/2 cup molasses (168 g)
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar (348 g)
bacon hanger*

1. Trim fat on bottom side of brisket to 1/4” (0.65 cm) thick, place in shallow container, paint surface of brisket with liquid smoke.
2. Mix together curing salt, pickling salt, molasses and brown sugar, rub mixture into top, bottom, sides and ends of the brisket.
3. Transfer brisket to Ziploc freezer bag, seal bag, cure in a 38°F (3°C) refrigerator for 7days, turning brisket bacon every day.
4. Remove brisket from Ziploc bag, rinse away excess cure under cold running water.
5. Hang brisket in preheated 110°F (43°C) smoker, vents wide open, hold (no smoke) until surface of brisket is dry to the touch.
6. Close dampers to 1/4 open, raise smoker temperature to 130°F (54°C), smoke 2-3 hours or until desired color is reached.
7. Increase smoker temperature to 170°F (77°C), hold until the brisket bacon reaches an internal temperature of 125°F (52°C).
8. Remove finished bacon from smoker and refrigerate overnight. Next day slice beef brisket bacon and *cook in usual manner.
9. Beef bacon can be stored safely in a 38-40°F (3-4°C) refrigerator up to 7 days or vacuum seal and freeze up to 6 months.

*Though bacon has been cured and smoked, it must be fully cooked before it can be eaten. Since there’s really no way to determine the temperature of meat sliced as thin as bacon, to be safe it should be cooked until it’s crispy.

If the finished product seems too salty for your taste buds, soaking it in cold water for one hour will remove much of the excess salt. Pat dry before slicing.

*Stainless steel bacon hangers are available at most online sausage and jerky supply stores. They about eight dollars apiece, but you’ll get a lifetime of use.

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