How To Build A Better Bacon Explosion
A step by step guide to cooking a better bacon explosion.
When I first heard about the Bacon Explosion after reading about it on The BBQ Addicts site I knew it was a stroke of genius. Meat sushi…how brilliant! At the time, I never thought I’d ever make one. But life is full of unexpected surprises. Before long, I found myself thinking about it constantly. On a daily basis actually. I thought about how relatively boring the BBQ Addicts made theirs. They were the originators so I have to hand them that but I couldn’t help but feel the Bacon Explosion could be improved. So when my friend OJ told me he was coming out to visit from NYC (he loves to eat) I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to get a few other people together and make this glorious log of meat with our own little spin on it. I expected it to be good but let me tell you, the end result was fantastic!
2 pounds of thick cut style bacon (2 packages)
2 pounds of sausage (we used beer brats)
Your Favorite BBQ sauce
Your Favorite pork rub seasoning
Pepperoni (Deli sliced thin)
Prosciutto (Deli sliced thin)
Capiccola Ham (Deli sliced thin)
Jalapenos (Diced Marinated)
The first step is to weave the bacon mat. You can use any brand of bacon you want but I think it’s fairly important to use thick cut bacon so that you can weave it well. Otherwise the strips are too thin. It looks more complicated than it really is…It’s relatively simple. You just lay out 6 strips of bacon going in one direction and then weave another 6 strips horizontally to form a mat.
Try to get the mat as tight as possible but don’t worry if it’s a little bit loose.
Next throw some pork rub seasoning on the mat to give it some flavor. I used some Famous Dave’s Pork Rub.
Now it’s time to add the sausage layer. We used Johnsonville Beer Brats for the sausage. All you have to do is take a sharp knife and slit the casing lengthwise down the sausage so you can peel it off.
Once the casing is peeled off you can start pressing the brats down on to the bacon mat. One sausage actually fills up the mat from end to end so it’s perfect.
Fill up the mat with a thin layer of sausage. I left the last sausage whole in this picture just to show you what the sausage looks like before it’s smashed.
Next step, add the pepporoni layer.
Then a layer of the prosciutto…
and finally a layer of Capicolla…
Now here comes the fun part. The original recipe calls for pre-cooking the second pound of bacon and crumbling it up on top of the sausage layer. Instead, I decided to pre-cook a second bacon weave and lay it down on top. This weave was 5×5 instead of 6×6 like the outer weave.
Next is the cheese. I knew I wanted to do some kind of cheese when I first started pondering my own bacon explosion but I wasn’t sure what kind to do. I finally decided on Velveeta cheese because the thought of nacho cheese dripping out of my bacon explosion was just too orgasmic to pass up. I sliced two pieces of cheese and laid them down side by side horizontally on the cooked bacon mat.
Then last but not least I add a generous amount of diced pickled japlapeno’s on top of the cheese. I have to say, the jalapenos added a really nice kick to the bacon explosion. Not too hot but not to mild either. Like a jalapeno popper in my bacon explosion. The vinegar from the pickling juice soaked nicely into the meat and added some nice flavor to the explosion.
Now that we were done adding the toppings it was time to start rolling the explosion. I was worried about this part because I didn’t want any of the meat to fall off or cheese to come dripping out. That being said, I didn’t have any issues…everything stayed intact nicely. The trick is to roll the sausage layer first with all of the filling inside. Seal everything up inside nicely with the sausage since the sausage is pretty much like play-doh. Then roll the outside bacon weave seperately over the sausage roll.
Next, roll the bacon weave over the sausage roll.
Now that the whole thing is rolled up, sprinkle some more pork rub on top of the bacon explosion to give it some more color and flavor on the outside. I don’t know why, but I thought it would be a good idea to measure the finished product before I cooked it. This thing packed a solid 3″ from top to bottom.
Now, it’s time to cook it. The recommended method for cooking the bacon explosion is to cook it in a smoker. I personally don’t own a smoker but I do own a grill so I turned my grill into a smoker. I never smoked anything on my grill before but I found that it was pretty easy to do. You get some hickory wood chips from your local supermarket or hardware store, put them into a piece of foil and wrap the foil up. Poke some holes in the top of the foil and put it on one side of the grill. Then you turn up the heat under the wood chips so that they start smoking in the foil. Once they start smoking you turn off all the burners except for one underneath the wood chips. Put the bacon explosion on the side that has no burners on underneath so that it cooks indirectly. I also added a foil pan underneath so that it catches any drippings from the bacon explosion. Also, if you notice I put the bacon explosion on one of those grill plates that you use to cook vegetables on the grill so they don’t fall through. I found that was a nice platform for transporting the explosion so that it doesn’t do anything crazy like fall apart or fall down into the grill.
Now you close the grill cover and let that baby cook low and slow. Make sure that it doesn’t get too hot in there. You want to keep it between 250-275 degrees in there. If it gets to hot, turn down your burner. My grill has an internal thermometer so I used that to keep track. For every inch of meat you need to cook it for about an hour. So mine took about 3 hours to cook since it was 3″ thick. . You’ll know it’s done when you stick a meat thermometer in and it reaches 165 degrees.
Here’s the finished product.
The cheese came out perfect and it actually complemented the meat very well. Notice the swirly layers of meat. Perfect.
We cut it up into thin sushi like slices.
You can eat the meat alone or you can serve it on a piece of bread. Enjoy!