Over the past decade, and since falling off the vegetarian wagon, I’ve home cured bacon a couple times. If you eat bacon and have never tried home curing, I recommend you indulge. Although you might find store-bought artisanal bacon that compares, my home cured bacon has always been the best bacon I’ve ever had. It’s something I’ve started to share with a couple coworkers, in fact. The “bacon club”.
The double batch I prepped this morning uses “maple sugar”, which I only just learned about through the American Test Kitchen DIY bacon video. (Previously, I’ve just used maple syrup.) One of the batches will rely on a modified version of Michael Symon’s recipe [link] — which I’ve used before, and is wonderful. The other batch will be a variant of a maple black pepper recipe [link]. Both will be smoked with applewood.