Maple-Cured, Whiskey Barrel Bacon


This is a great recipe that is intended to take you down the home-curing path.  Once you make this on your own, you will have a really hard time going back to store-bought bacon.  At first, you might be a bit intimidated – Don’t Be! After working through this recipe and process, you’ll be All-Pro and have a continual cure going your refrigerator.  We broke this recipe up per 5 lb section, as the size of your pork belly will vary from the butcher.  If you can’t get to the 5 lb mark exactly when you section your belly, don’t sweat it – you can be a little off and this process will still work.




The Belly:

One 10-15 lb Skin-On Pork Belly – cut into 5 lb sections


The Cure (per 5 lb section):

2 oz kosher salt

2 teaspoons pink salt (Instacure #1)

¼ cup packed dark brown sugar

¼ cup pure maple syrup


Other Ingredients:

6 Tbsp. of your favorite BBQ rub (While you're here, why not check out our store for your own Fat Daddy Joe's BBQ Rub!)




The Cure:


This is a skin-on cure process.  You will remove the skin after you smoke the belly.


To prepare the cure, mix the salt, pink salt, and brown sugar until combined.  Add the maple syrup and stir.  Rub the cure over the entire pork belly.  Place skin-side down in a large leak-proof bag or non-reactive (glass or plastic) container slightly larger than the section of pork belly.  We found that a jumbo zipper bag in a secondary container to catch any leaks works best for this, as you want to keep your belly covered in the brine this creates throughout the cure.    Place the belly in the refrigerator and cure for 7 days.  Flip the belly every day.


The Smoke:


Remove the pork belly from the cure, rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a paper towel.  Place on a cooling rack set over a baking sheet tray to allow the cured belly to dry completely (about 15 – 30 minutes).  Some folks place the cured belly back in the refrigerator for 24 hrs, but we cut right to the chase – your call.    One hour before the smoke, apply your favorite BBQ rub to the cured belly.  Prepare your fire.  We use hardwood lump charcoal and used whiskey barrels to smoke ours.  This is where your creativity comes in – some folks use apple wood, some folks use hickory, post oak.   Smoke your cured belly at 225 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 2.5 - 3 hours until the internal temperature of your bacon reaches 155 degrees Fahrenheit.  We use a remote temperature monitor throughout the cook to pull the bacon at the right temp, but you can get away with checking the temperature every 15 minutes or so after cooking for about 2.5 hrs.


The Finish:


After the smoke, rest your bacon for about half an hour.  When it is cool enough to handle after this rest, slide a large, sharp knife between the fat and the skin and take the skin off.  Be careful to leave as much fat on the bacon as you possibly can while doing this.  The skin can be discarded or used in other recipes (greens, beans, etc.).  After you remove the skin, refrigerate the bacon for at least 4 hours.  After it has cooled completely, slice the bacon to your desired thickness, fry it up and enjoy!



Fat Daddy Joe's Chicken Wings


2 Beers of your choice - we generally use PBR

2 Tbsp. BBQ Rub

3/4 Cup BBQ Sauce (While you're here, why not check out our Fat Daddy Joe's BBQ Sauce for sale in our online Store)

1 large package chicken wings (approx 3 lbs.)


Combine beer and BBQ rub in leak-proof container (large Ziploc bag works well).  Add chicken wings and soak for at least 4 hrs.  Prepare one lit chimney of charcoal (we cook over natural hardwood lump, but you can use briquettes), and pour over one side of a charcoal grill, leaving the other half of the grill empty for indirect cooking.  Add the smoke wood of your choice.  Cook wings over indirect heat until they reach an internal temperature of 180F.  Remove wings from grill and coat with Fat Daddy Joe's BBQ Sauce in a large bowl.  Serve and enjoy!



Fat Daddy Joe’s Brisket Injection


1 26 ounce container beef stock

½ Cup Worcestershire sauce
1 Beer

2 Tbsp Fat Daddy Joe’s Brisket Rub

¼ Cup Butcher BBQ Prime Brisket Injection (see BBQ Resources section)



Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, and blend until uniform.  Inject a brisket at least 30 minutes prior to cooking, being careful to inject with the grain.  Also great to reserve and use as a baste.



Fat Daddy Joe’s Original Pork Injection


1 1/2 Cups Apple Cider

1 12-Ounce Beer

6 Dashes of Worcestershire Sauce

2 Tbsp Fat Daddy Joe’s Original BBQ Rub

¼ Cup Butcher BBQ Pork Injection (see BBQ Resources section)


Just about the easiest way to get the desired BBQ flavor into a large cut of pork.  Combine all of the above ingredients in a medium-sized bowl, blend until uniform, and inject into your favorite cut of pork shoulder.



One of our favorites from New Orleans is BBQ Shrimp.  Very simple and straightforward to make, but bring out some extra napkins for the table.



BBQ shrimp (Serves 2)


Coat large sauce pan w/ Olive Oil

Add 1.5 blocks Irish butter

Add 2 Tbs sweet paprika

Add 2 Tbs black pepper

Add 4 cloves diced garlic

Add 4 pinches sea salt

Add 6 dashes Worcestershire sauce

Add 4 dashes red Tabasco


Bring to a simmer


Add 2 dozen rinsed and drained head on shrimp (10-16 count)


Turn heat on med high


Cover and cook for 5 mins

Stir shrimp with tongs/spatula

Cover and simmer for 3 mins


Dump into large bowl and serve with crusty bread



Another Hometown favorite in/around Maryland is Pit Beef.  One of our tried and true recipes follows:



Smoked Maryland Pit Beef with Tiger Sauce

(Serves 4-6, Good Luck Hanging Onto  any Leftovers)


One 4-5 lb Top Round Roast (USDA Choice or USDA Prime)

1/2 Cup of Your Favorite Rub (Fat Daddy Joe's BBQ Rub now in our online store!)

One Large Yellow Onion

Large Kaiser Rolls


Tiger Sauce:

Combine 1 cup mayonnaise and 1/4 cup horseradish


Remove the top round roast from its packaging and pat dry with a paper towel.  Liberally coat with Fat Daddy Joe’s Brisket Rub.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours.


When you’re ready to cook:


Prepare one lit chimney of charcoal (we cook over natural hardwood lump, but you can use briquettes), and pour over one side of a charcoal grill, leaving the other half of the grill empty for indirect cooking.  Cook the pit beef over direct heat briefly, searing all sides.  Remove pit beef and add 2 chunks of smoke wood (fruit wood works best) to the lit coals being very careful while handling the grate, as it will be hot (the best grate to use will have hinges so you don’t have to remove it from the grill).  Replace the grate (if required), and place pit beef over open area of the grill for indirect cooking.  Cook pit beef roast to your preferred level of doneness.  Generally, it is cooked until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees for rare/medium rare, but tastes vary.  Once the desired temperature is reached, remove the pit beef from the grill and allow to rest for 15 minutes.  After the pit beef has rested, slice it very thin against the grain and serve on a kaiser roll with tiger sauce (see above) and thin slices of yellow onion.



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