I've been making stuffed sausage fatties and buffalo chicken fatties for a while now. They are outrageous over-the-top bacon wrapped goodness. If you've made one, you know the first step is to make a luxurious bacon weave. I've always looked at that weave and thought, "if I just stopped now and tossed this weave on the smoker I bet something amazing would happen!" Well I finally did it, and I was correct. This is the most unique bacon appetizer I've ever seen. I can only imagine a nice plate of 8 of them sitting as a centerpiece to a sweet cookout or Superbowl party!
At first I was a little intimidated making bacon weaves. It's really easy once you get it, especially when you are making a small one like this. The first step here is to open up a thick cut pack of bacon and cut the slices in half. Next lay out four of the pieces vertically (touching each other) with one extra piece horizontal up top (see #1). Next fold back the 2nd and 4th strip and lay down a 2nd horizontal piece (see #2). Next fold down the 2nd and 4th strips over the 2nd horizontal piece. Fold up vertical pieces 1 and 3 (see #3) and lay down a 3rd horizontal piece. Finally, fold down pieces 1 and 3, fold up pieces 2 and 4 and lay down a 4th horizontal piece. Fold back down pieces 2 and 4 and now you have a 4x4 bacon weave (see #4). A good tip here is to make the weaves on a portable surface like a cutting board. This makes for easy transport to the smoker.
If a 4x4 bacon blanket is a little much for you, a 3x3 is always an option. Just follow the same steps as outlined above on how to make a 4x4 bacon weave but use smaller pieces of bacon. No problem at all.
Smoking this bacon weave unseasoned would turn out fantastic. I mean bacon is great. However, I learned during my test runs that the best bacon blanket had a healthy sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon on top. Weaves with only black pepper worked really well too.
These bacon blankets can be cooked at many different temperatures. I did these at 250 degrees for about 30-60 min. To transfer the bacon weave to the grill requires a bit of care. I find it easiest to fold the weave over in half and pick it up. Place it down on the smoker and then unfold it back to the original shape. Make sure to adjust any portion of the weave that came undone. Let these weaves smoke until they look like cooked bacon. Depending on your smoker and the amount of flame ups, cooking times vary so keep an eye on them. Once they are done the bacon weave is sturdy and can easily come off the smoker with a grill turner. The bottom of this masterpiece is a little crisp and the inside is tender luxurious bacon. There is no need to flip the bacon blankets, let them cook as is.
These are just awesome and you can only imagine how great my Ugly Drum Smoker smelled with all that bacon cooking! If you are looking for an appetizer that doubles as a talking point, look no further.
Note: if for some reason you don't want to smoke these, you can certainly put them in a 350 degree oven for 20 or so minutes.