Caramel Smoked Bacon

Process: Simple
Cooking: Pork
Preparation: Long Cook (Over 2 hours)

One 41⁄2- to 5-inch- thick piece of slab bacon, 11⁄4 to 13⁄4 pounds, cut into 16 slices, each about 1⁄4 inch thick

Tip: Since you’re dealing with some sticky sugar, it helps greatly to have a Silpat, the silicone-coated mat that nothing can stick to. After you use it for bacon, you might not want to use it for baking cookies, but believe me, it’s worth it.


1⁄2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1⁄4 cup water
1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds, coarsely crushed
1 tablespoon coarsely ground fresh black pepper
1 tablespoon crushed hot red pepper flakes
1⁄4 cup coarsely chopped flat- leaf parsley


1. Preheat an indirect barbecue with a drip pan and fruitwood (preferably apple), a ceramic cooker with deflector plate and fruitwood (preferably apple), or a charcoal or gas grill with a box or packet of fruitwood (preferably apple) to 275°F.

2. Line two half sheet pans (or other pans that will fit your cooker) with Silpats.

Cooking Method

3. Combine the sugar, water, crushed coriander, black pepper, and pepper flakes in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium to medium- high heat. Remove from the heat and, either in the pan or in a large bowl, toss the bacon in the sugar mixture to evenly coat all the slices. Arrange the bacon on the sheet pans, leaving a half inch between the slices.

4. Place the tray(s) in the cooker. Depending on the size of your cooker and the pans used to fit the cooker, the pans will need to be stacked and rotated halfway through the cooking. Cook for 11⁄2 hours to 2 hours, or until the bacon is caramelized and cooked to your liking. At 11⁄2 hours the bacon will be caramelized, but at 2 hours it will be crispier.

5. Remove the bacon from the cooker and sprinkle with the parsley. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.