The Bacon Explosion originated in our hometown of Kansas City, and it is possibly the most decadent item you can put on a grill or smoker. We deviated from the original a bit, but at its most basic it’s a bacon core surrounded by sausage, all wrapped up in a hand-woven bacon blanket.
THE MEAT: Bacon, sausage, and more bacon. We used a thick-cut bacon and a cheddar sausage (the original called for the Italian variety), but any quality bacon and flavorful pork sausage will do. For the sausage, you can get it freshly-ground, or take encased sausage out of its casing.
THE METHOD: Honestly, while this looks really complicated, it’s actually quite simple. The most intimidating part of the process is making a lattice of bacon, but it’s easy. Just start with one piece of bacon going up and down and then one going left and right. Keep adding alternate slices of bacon until you have a beautiful blanket. After you’ve made the roll, put it on a smoker, sit back and open a beer. Glaze it about 30 minutes before you take it off to give it a nice sheen and a little added flavor.
THE MEAL: The best way to serve the bacon explosion is to slice it into rounds (well, ovals). From there you can serve them on their own, on buns, or on top of a bed of slaw. There’s a lot of flavor bursting forth from the bacon explosion so don’t complicate things with fancy accompaniments.
16 slices thick-cut bacon
1½ pounds ground sausage
1 cup barbecue sauce
¼ cup your favorite barbecue rub
Cut 4 slices of bacon into lardons and cook until they are browned and crispy. Drain the fat and set the crispy bacon bits to the side.
Prepare your smoker (or set an oven) to cook at 225ºF.
Create a bacon quilt with the remaining 12 slices of bacon. Spread the sausage in a square shape on top of the bacon quilt. Sprinkle a line of bacon bits down the center of the sausage and drizzle ½ cup of the barbecue sauce on top of the bacon. Leaving the bacon quilt down, roll the sausage into a log with the line of bacon and sauce inside the middle of the sausage.
Roll the bacon quilt along with the sausage until it is fully enclosed in bacon. Roll until the seam is on bottom.
Place the bacon explosion on your smoker and cook for 2 hours. Brush the bacon quilt with the remaining ½ cup of barbecue sauce and sprinkle with more barbecue rub. Cook for 30 more minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165ºF. Remove from the smoker and let it cool for 15 minutes.
Slice into rounds and serve with additional sauce and handwritten apology notes your guests can send to their cardiologists.