There are so many options when it comes to equipment for making your own delicious bacon. When I first started planning this write up, it got a bit scary writing down all the different equipment that you could use, there are SO many options!
But hopefully, it helps whether you are smoking/cooking the bacon then cutting into nice thick chunks. Or You prefer dry cured cold smoked bacon when it gets crispy and intense. I will cover both methods I use want gear you need.
I wrote another post on the process of making awesome bacon, I really want to focus more on the title about the equipment.
I’ll also mention what equipment I thing is the easiest to use along the way.
What Equipment do I Need to Make Delicous Bacon?
The equipment you need for making bacon is either an oven, a cooking temperature smoker or a cold smoking device. There are many options listed below, it also depends on what style and method you choose.
- Low & Slow Smoker that cooks and smokes
- Cold Smoking Device
- Oven or Gas Grill for ‘Green’ Bacon (Unsmoked)
Now if you’re just looking at the equipment you also want to figure out what process you going to be using.
Processes for Curing Bacon
- Dry Curing
- Wet Brining
- Salt Saturation
And really really really really short form this is the process of making bacon covered and that guide I linked to above.
How To Make Bacon
- Dry cure or Wet brine cure
- Wash off cure
- Dry the bacon to form the pellicle
- Cold or Hot Smoke (Cooked
- Wrap & store to intensify the flavor
I wrote about this in my looongggg post here, it covers the detail of making bacon, back to the equipment.
Kitchen Equipment Needed
- Tupperware of Container – for curing the meat and also rest it.
- Wood – if you’re using any of the methods apart from ‘Green’ Bacon
- Sea Salt
- Other spices and conditions (my favorite bacon recipe has juniper and garlic notes)
- Optional – Pink Curing Salt No.1 (Designed for meat curing under 30 days for meat that will be cooked before eating) – for whole muscle curing I don’t often use pink curing salt, but that choice it yours.
Smoked Bacon – 3 Methods Require Different Equipment
- Hot Cooked Smoked Bacon
- Cold Smoked Bacon
- ‘Green’ UnSmoked Bacon
When you’re looking at the equipment, of course, have to look at the method you’re going to use. What I’ve come across is 3 styles, the most common style guys do it home is the low & slow/smoked/cooked backed smoked bacon where you slowly cook the bacon for around three or four hours until the internal temperature hits 150°F\65°C.
A big reason for this is many folks are a bit scared of the mysteries of cold smoking, but if you follow a good solid procedure it’s fine. Following a procedure or process is not what some people are good at!
With this method, you basically cooking/baking (indirect heat) the bacon to a safe temperature slowly with smoke flavor. This is kind of similar to the deli ham style or pastrami without the pickling side of it.
The most important point here is that the bacon is reaching a safe and cooked internal temperature since it won’t be cured fully and dried.
Next is cold smoked bacon, this is the old traditional method of fully curing or wet brining the meat and then going through a drying process which also involves cold-smoke being applied to the meat (with antifungal and antibacterial properties to help protect the meat during the process..and of course adding flavor!
And lastly, you have the green bacon process which you can do easily and it’s a no brainer, in the oven or indirect cooking method on a gas grill.
Another name you could call this is baked pork belly that is being cured or brined I guess. It has a little bit of bacon flavor without the smoke flavor of course.
Hot Cooked Smoked Bacon
The easiest hot cooked bacon equipment, is anything that is quote unquote set and forget, which would include the pellet grill smoker, electric smoker and gas smoker.
The reason being, these are controlled by thermostats, or with a lot of gas smokers – they are just a dial, but there is one I have seen that is therostat gas.
Equipment for Hot Cooked Smoked Bacon
(These buying through a link helps the site, and doesn’t cost you a dime – cheers Tom.)
Lots of options here,
- Pellet Grill Smoker – easy to use
- Kettle/Barrel Smoker – low & slow style
- Electric Smoker – Oven with Smoke basically – easy to use
- Gas Smoker – gas oven with smoked – easy to use
- Offset Smoker – low & slow style
- Gas Grill with a Hood – Indirect, pretty easy too
If you’re just making bacon a pellet grills a big investment, however, a pellet grill is a very versatile smoker and grill.
You can do roasting, baking and a whole bunch of other things on the woodfired pellet grill smoke.
Basically an outdoor oven that has a thermostat, pellet grills are very proven on the market with friends like Traeger camp chef, pit boss and green mountain grill.
So you just whack a probe into the center of your cured pork belly and then wait until your alarm goes off telling you that it set target temperature of 150°F. Wrap it up for a few hours or overnight and your done!
Check out a few recommended pellet grills here.
These charcoal low & slow style smokers like the weber kettle or the pit barrel smoker can definitely smoke some smoky as bacon. It’s just the aspects of getting the charcoal going and maintaining around 200°F\92°C.
Three hours until the internal temperature 150°F for 65°C.
You’ll need some kind of temperature probe to figure out the internal temperature, you can check out a few recommendations here.
Oh and you could also use a ceramic egg style smoker grill as well (my brother has one at his holiday cottage, but needs to use it more!)
There is the one and only classic – easy to use Masterbuilt electric smoke which does so much more than just making bacon. Thermostat controlled as a reason why there are tens of thousands of these in the backyards everywhere (and there normally under $250ish)
Considering it can do anything from the brisket through to pulled pork for any type of low & slow.
A lot of the barbecue charcoal hard-core folks don’t like electric smokers because they can be serious contenders with a massive shortcut in effort.
Not for the purist, but damn they produce the goods!
If you want more on the masterbuilt smoker, I did a bit of a write up here about it.
Gas smoker are very similar to electric smokers, it’s just a different type of heat source. But you are always looking at low & slow style, there is actually one which is a gas thermostat controlled, and I wrote about that one here.
If your pretty hard-core in to L&S – offset smoking, but there are really two main factors fire management and airflow.
Making bacon over 3 or 4 hours it’s not too much hassle if you know what your doing ( and similar to any of the above charcoal options too).
One of the big reasons why offset smokers can hold the heat well is what materials it has been built out of.
What makes them a bit challenging is that it takes sometimes 15 and 30 minutes before changing the airflow or putting more charcoal/wood will actually have an effect.
Gas Grill with a Hood
With indirect gas grill cooking, that is you use one/two of the burners on the left and then put the meat or pork belly on the right – or vice versa.
You can use one of those pellet tubes, maze smokers or even a little tinfoil pouch to produce some smoke. I’m not keen on the foil pouch method, heating up foil is not something I’ve read is good for you.
If you have a gas grill with a hood – you can get one of those pellet tubes below for $20 or $30. You can either do low and slow bacon on your gas grill or even just leave the heat off and do cold smoking on a gas grill, all you need is a smoking area just like under the hood or a cardboard box!
Gas grill cold smoking you can also try stuff like chocolate, cheese or nuts.
Cold Smoked Bacon
You definitely get crispier bacon when you thinly slice cold-smoked dry-cured bacon, more often than not I make this because I like the preserving aspect of it as well be can hang a piece in winter and just cut off but as you need them. It has dried and lost moisture, hence why it crisps up easier I think.
I do quite a lot of cold-smoked bacon and then use the deli slicer making nice thin slices. Then I freeze each slice on a tray. I can just put it in a bag in the freezer when I needed I grab a handful and it goes straight in the fry pan.
It’s a personal preference thing of course, but a lot of people like the juicier cooked hot smoked bacon in big chunks like bacon ham too.
Each one to there own.
Equipment for Cold Smoked Bacon
- Smoke Generators – driven by a pump, adds smoked to any chamber/bbq
- Pellet Tube – cheap & lacks control
- Maze Smoker – cheap & lacks control
- Smoking Chamber piped into a cold smoking area (DIY Smokehouse)
- Charcoal & Wood – the simplest method I know
- Accessory Cold Smoker to an electric/gas/pellet smoker (depending on the brand)
(Driven by an air pump, adds smoke to any chamber/bbq)
I’ve been using one of these for nearly 10 years so I thought I’d mention the method, it uses the venturi effect. The variable air pump to draws the smoldering smoke into any area you attach it too.
I won’t get into too much here, but if you want to look at recommendations and a bit more info, I did a full review of the smokai generators here (they are an investment, but worth it.)
If we want one of my favorite ways of cold smoking, this is it, all you have to do is fill up with smoking wood pellets, light it, wait a while, blow it out and you have either 2 or 6 hours of cold smoke!
4 or 5 hours cold smoking for a 12″ Pellet Tube approx.
Sometimes I mix the woods pellets with some wood chips. You can play around with that and see how it goes.
If it’s producing too much smoke, I just offset it outside whatever the smoking chamber is I’m using.
Read more about pellet tubes, and one’s worth getting here.
Similar idea as pellet tubes, but you can use a tea candle to get them going.
Some are more wood sawdust fuel, others are sawdust or pellet wood.
pellet tubes and maze smokers are definitely small convenient & cheap.
And just like with the pellet tube, a maze smoke can cold-smoke anything he the meat or vegetables, cream, salt etc. etc.
If you’re more of a guide on cold smoking together this link here.
A smokehouse is just a structure where you get a bit of smoke happening, if it’s a bigger smokehouse you can just get something smoldering/smoking down the bottom on the ground in a pan or something. Or a pellet tube, maze smoke or the below charcoal/.wood method.
But some guys like to also have the burning smoking area piped or tunneled and the main smoking area (small smokehouses). This is for like lifestyle block or homesteading style set up.
Piping in the fire/smoke does mean you can just get a fire going with hardwood smoking logs, so it was the old traditional way as well.
Charcoal & Wood
I love this simple method, not sure if I came with it, hard to be original these days. Just get 1 piece of charcoal lit either on a gas grill or camp burner – you only need a little bit of white-hot burning on the charcoal.
Dump half to a handful of smoking hardwood on top and you have some smoldering cold smoke!
As long as it’s not too enclosed in the same chamber and under that magic 86°F\30°C then you can go crazy with cold smoking you bacon. That’s simple kit!
Accessory Cold Smoker (Depending on the Brand)
There are a few bolt ons like the masterbuilt cold smoker that attacks onto the electric smoke and a few others out there. If you’ve got an existing low & slow smoker you may want to just have a google and see if there’s an accessory out there that can be attached to it.
Green Unsmoked Bacon
It still can taste quite bacony, maybe it’s the pink curing salt that has a certain porky type flavor gives it that thinking is as well.
Equipment for Green – Unsmoked Bacon
If you get a temperature probe then you can get the green bacon style, your oven needs to run at 200°F/95°C until you have that 150°F/65°C internal temperature, pretty straightforward stuff.
And with that curing process you do get more intense flavor.
Hood Gas Grill BBQ
Same really as the above, other than indirectly heat under the hood. Liquid smoke can work as the hack (or just get a pellet tube!).
Thanks for dropping by, I’ve been passionate about meat curing for around 20 years now. Having been lucky enough to learn inside fine dining kitchens through to backyard smoking sessions. From doing courses, trial & error and reading extensively – finally, I thought it was time to share my passion online.
My insatiable appetite and passion toward classic Italian dry-cured salumi and all forms of curing and smoking are what drives this website engine. All the best, Tom