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Bacon Explosion
TOTAL TIME 3hrs 15mins PREP 15 MINS COOK 3 HRS SERVINGS 8

INGREDIENTS

2 lbs thick cut bacon
2 lbs Italian sausage
3⁄4 cup barbecue sauce (your favorite)
3 tablespoons barbecue seasoning (your favorite rub)

DIRECTIONS

To kick off the construction of this pork medley you’ll need to create a 5x5 bacon weave. If the strips you’re using aren’t wide enough to span 5x5 inches, then you may need to use a few extra slices to fill out the pattern. Just make sure your weave is tight and that you end up with a nice square shape to work with.
The next step is to add some barbecue seasoning on top of your bacon weave.
Now that your 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.
Next up is bacon layer number two. Take the remaining bacon slices and fry them up the same way you would for breakfast. If you like soft bacon, make it soft. If you like crunchy bacon, make it crunchy.
Since this is a barbecue recipe, we need to add another layer of barbecue flavor. Take your favorite sauce and drizzle it all over the top of the bacon pieces. Once you’ve sauced the bacon, sprinkle on some more of the barbecue seasoning you used on the bacon weave.
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 barbecue seasoning on the outside of the bacon weave, and now it is ready for the smoker. Cook your Bacon Explosion at 225°F in a constant cloud of hickory smoke until your meat thermometer gives an internal temperature reading of 165°F 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. Recommend 2.5 hours, for a roll 2.5 inches in diameter.
Now that the Bacon Explosion is fully cooked, you need to add some finishing flavors. Remember that barbecue sauce you used for inner flavor? You’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. Sweet sauces are loaded with sugars, so they’ll give your fatty a nice glossy finish. Spicy and vinegar based sauces don’t contain as much, so they won’t set up as well. If you’re dead set on using those sauces, just cut them with a bit of honey and you’ll get the same effect.
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, place a couple Bacon Explosion slices on a warm Pillsbury’s Grands Biscuit.

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