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. It’s time to make the best onion rings on the planet.
People are always saying you have to eat more veggies, right? Well, here is your chance. Can life get any better than this? Bacon-wrapped onion rings, with sweetness from the onion and smokiness from the bacon, cooked to perfection. I’ll be surprised if you don’t eat the whole plate!
Sriracha mayo dipping sauce
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons Sriracha
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 large sweet onions
- Dry rub of your choice, such as Smokin' Hoggz All-Purpose Rub
- 2 pounds thinly sliced bacon, any kind
- 2-3 chunks apple wood or peach wood
- Smokin' Hoggz Barbecue Sauce or your favorite barbecue sauce
For the onion rings and sauce
To make the Sriracha mayo, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
To make the onion rings, cut the onions into rings about ½ inch (1.3 centimeter) thick and separate each ring. Lay them out on a flat surface and dust them lightly with the dry rub. Wrap a slice of bacon around the onion ring; for the smaller rings you may be able to use a half-slice of bacon. Secure the bacon on the onion with a skewer or toothpick.
For this recipe, I like to use a non-insulated bullet-style cooker and set it up for 275ºF-300ºF (135ºC-149ºC). Use the top grate to cook on as the temperature will be a little hotter than the bottom grate. Add the apple wood or peach wood to the cooker just before you put the onion rings on. Cook for about 1½ hours. When the bacon is done, brush with the barbecue sauce and continue to cook an additional 15 minutes to set the sauce.
If you are going to use your charcoal grill for this, set it up for two-zone cooking. Fill up a charcoal chimney with hardwood lump charcoal and light it. When flames start coming out of the top of the chimney, the coals are ready. Dump onto one side of the cooker. Keep the other side clear for indirect cooking. Add the smoke wood to the cooker just before you put the onion rings on. Place the wrapped onion rings on the grate directly over the coals and sear them for about 1 minute per side, then move them to the cooler side of the grill for about 1 hour, or until the bacon is cooked. When the bacon is done, brush with the barbecue sauce and continue to cook an additional 15 minutes to set the sauce.
Remove from the cooker and serve with the Sriracha mayo.