In December 2008, Jason Day and Aaron Chronister, experienced BBQ competitors, came up with a recipe using bacon and sausage for tailgaters at bowl and NFL football games. The Bacon Explosion became a huge success overnight. I have made it almost every year during the holidays for friends, and 10 years later no one has had a heart attack from it. It can be baked or smoked (prefer smoked) and is a true delight for the pork aficianado. Feel free to experiment with different sauces and rubs, different “fillings”, even different sausages.
Below is my personal recipe…feel free to use it or design your own!!! This is the perfect Super COVID Quarantine Comfort Food.
Approx. 30 minutes, depending on how well you do the weave. Ingredients: 2 lbs bacon (thick cut best and local even better), 1 lb. Spicy or sweet Italian Sausage, 1 Sweet Vidalia onion, 1/4 lb shredded sharp cheddar or similar flavorful cheese, Dry BBQ rub ( I like Savory Spice Shop Memphis BBQ rub) , Favorite BBQ Sauce (once again local works best).Alternate Fillings: Portabello Mushrooms or Jalapenos.
First you want 2 lbs of bacon. Start cooking one pound. Take the other and start laying out strips side by side the length of one slice. Take remaining uncooked bacon and start weaving into a mat as seen in the picture. This takes a little practice, but keep it tight until it looks like the pic. Now generously apply dry rub!
Take 1lb. of sausage and gently roll out until it is spread out over the “bacon mat”.
Add more dry rub,chopped onions,cheese,and cooked bacon.
Make Your Roll
Now comes the trick: gently roll the sausage away from the bacon mat into a log. Now take your bacon mat and roll it the opposite direction around your sausage log. At this point it should look like above: (after smothering the roll in BBQ Sauce).
Now wrap it in foil if you are going to put in your smoker. If using a smoker, unwrap it about an hour in, and then put on some more BBQ Sauce so it gets that nice caramelization. At 225 should take about 3 hours, looking for an internal temp of 165. The pic below was smoked.
In your oven use a pan with a grate at 375 for about 45 minutes or until the internal reaches 165. If you want crisp bacon when in cooking in the oven stick it under the broiler for 5-10 minutes. The pic in the header is oven-baked
Let rest for 15 minutes before cutting into sizeable pieces…This is a very rich appetizer, so a little goes a long way.