Pitmaster Bill Gillespie’s barbecue team was named Grand Champion of the prestigious American Royal Barbecue Invitational, so you can assume he knows a thing or two about smoked pork. Bacon, in particular, as it turns out, in The Smoking Bacon & Hog Cookbook. Now break out the cured pork belly and do the weave!
Ah, the bacon weave. This is something that those who love bacon really need to have in their arsenal. A bacon weave cooks flat and evenly. Not only is the bacon weave great for wrapping chicken, meatloaf and sausage fatties, but it’s also great in sandwiches to ensure you get bacon in every bite! Here, I am going to show you the fine art of creating a bacon weave.
- 16 slices bacon
For the weave
Lay 8 strips of bacon vertically across a rimmed baking sheet or aluminum foil, flush against each other. Fatty sides should all face one direction, and meaty sides should all face the other direction. The width should match the length of the strips.
Fold every other strip in half onto itself. Lay one strip of bacon perpendicular to those strips, flush against the back of the folds. Unfold those flipped strips back over the perpendicular strip of bacon.
Now fold every other strip in the alternating columns. Lay one strip of bacon perpendicular to those strips, flush against the back of the folds. Unfold those strips back down over the perpendicular strip of bacon.
Repeat again with the first set of strips. Do the same thing on the upper half of the weave. There should be the same number of strips going down as there are going across.
Cooking time and temperature will vary depending on what meat you’re wrapping the weave around. To cook as is, heat a smoker to 350ºF (177ºC) and cook for 30-45 minutes. The dish is usually done cooking when the bacon tightens around the meat and adheres in place.