The other day the guys from BaconToday.com contacted me in search for some barbecue bacon recipes. Of course I have plenty of great uses for bacon in a barbecue pit, but the longer I thought about it, the more I wanted to step it up a notch and clog a few arteries for those guys. Behold, BACON EXPLOSION!!! Here’s what you’ll need…
Bacon Explosion Ingredients
- 2 pounds thick cut bacon
- 2 pounds Italian sausage
- 1 bottle of Burnt Finger BBQ sauce
- 1 shaker of Burnt Finger BBQ rub
To kick off the construction of this pork medley you’ll need to create a 5×5 bacon weave. If the strips you’re using aren’t as wide as the ones pictured, then you may need to use a few extra slices to fill out the pattern. Just make sure your bacon weave is tight and that you end up with a nice square shape to work with.
The next step is to add some seasoning on top of your bacon weave. I used our Burnt Finger BBQ Smokey Kansas City seasoning (the label artwork has changed since this photo was taken), but many rubs will work. Here are some of my favorites that are available on Amazon.
The key here is to use a seasoning that is more sweet than salty. The bacon is already bringing a good amount of salt to party, so you want to avoid getting your Bacon Explosion over salted.
Now that you’re pork is well seasoned, it’s time to add more pork. Take two pounds of Italian sausage and layer it directly on top of your bacon weave. Be sure to press the sausage to the outer edges of the bacon creating a patty that is the same thickness all the way across. Most grocery stores carry loose sausage, so just pick out one you like. I chose to go with a mild sausage, but spicy would work just the same. If you really want to get crazy, take a stab at making your own homemade sausage.
Next up is bacon layer number two. Take the remaining bacon slices and fry them up the same way you would for breakfast (or lunch, or dinner, or a midnight snack). If you like soft bacon, make it soft. If you like crunchy bacon, make it crunchy. If you like your bacon burnt to hell so the smoke detectors go off, then burn it to hell so the smoke detectors go off. These pieces are going to be a major part of the inner flavor of our sausage fatty, so cook them your favorite way. Personally, I like my bacon right at the point when it starts to get crispy, but hasn’t quite lost all of the softness yet. Regardless of how well done you like yours, you’ll need to crumble or chop the cooked strips into bite size pieces and place on top of the sausage layer. (Note-It’s okay, and encouraged, to snack on these pieces while your chopping/crumbling. But keep in mind that once those bacon morsels touch the raw sausage, you’ll need to resist all temptations to nibble. This can and will be difficult, but hospital trips are no fun, so stay strong.)
Since this is a BBQ recipe, we need to add another layer of BBQ flavor. Take your favorite sauce and drizzle it all over the top of the bacon pieces. I use our Burnt Finger BBQ Smokey Kansas City sauce, but any BBQ sauce that you like will work. Here are some of my favorites that are available on Amazon.
Once you’ve sauced the bacon, sprinkle on some more of the Smokey Kansas City Barbecue Seasoning you used on the bacon weave.
Now comes the fun part. Very carefully separate the front edge of the sausage layer from the bacon weave and begin rolling backwards. You want to include all layers EXCEPT the bacon weave in your roll. Try and keep the sausage as tight as possible and be sure to release any air pockets that may have formed. Once the sausage is fully rolled up, pinch together the seams and ends to seal all of the bacon goodness inside.
At this point we can start to see the final shape of our Bacon Explosion, but we’re missing one key item. To complete the construction process, roll the sausage forward completely wrapping it in the bacon weave. Make sure it sits with the seam facing downward to help keep it all sealed up.
Sprinkle some more Smokey Kansas City Barbecue Seasoning on the outside of the bacon weave, and now this bad boy is ready for the smoker. Cook your Bacon Explosion at 225 degrees in a constant cloud of hickory smoke until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Normally this will take about 1 hour for each inch of thickness, but that could vary depending on how well you maintain your fire and also how many times you open the smoker to take a peek. Mine took about 2.5 hours, which was right on target with its 2.5 inch diameter.
Now that our Bacon Explosion is fully cooked, we need to add some finishing flavors. Remember that Burnt Finger BBQ sauce we used for inner flavor? We’ll be using that same sauce to glaze the cooked bacon weave. Using a basting brush, coat the entire surface with a thin layer of sauce.
Slice the Bacon Explosion into quarter to half inch rounds to serve. If your roll was good and tight, you should now see a nice bacon pinwheel pattern throughout the sausage. Obviously pork is best served by itself, but if you feel the need to make this meat monster into a sandwich, try placing a couple Bacon Explosion slices on a warm Pillsbury’s Grands Biscuit. You’ll reach pork Nirvana in no time flat!