Grill up some Canadian Grillfackeln this summer and wow your guests with what will become your new favourite grilled treat!
What is Grillfackeln?
Grillfackeln is essentially thinly sliced pork belly or bacon tightly wrapped around a skewer and seasoned. The Germans also called them barbecue torches.
Our foray into the world of bacon on a stick started with our German student. When I was in Germany they never told me about this delight – totally holding out on me.
It was one of those everyday conversations where we discussed our differences in food culture. Conversations we look forward to with every International student we host.
Inspiration for this dish
Fast forward five years and we came across Grillfackeln in a local newly opened store. Inspiration comes fast and furious sometimes so I immediately bought a pork belly and set to work making Canadian Grillfackeln.
This recipe has been repeatedly made with full support from my husband. Can you really ever get enough bacon? Here is what we have learned.
We’ve used pork belly, with the fat cap removed. It’s unseasoned making it the perfect vessel for whatever seasonings you like. We’ve used unseasoned or lightly seasoned bacon already thinly sliced.
Our skewers have been soaked and not soaked with the end result is the skewers do not need to be soaked in water. Beer maybe but then…. wasting beer. We’ve roasted the barbecue torches (see what I did there) in the oven, and grilled them on the barbecue.
How to season them
Seasoning ideas include maple syrup and sambel oelek mixed together, maple syrup and black pepper, simple Za’atar spices, home made barbecue spices, honey and spicy salt on the unseasoned pork belly. In the end we enjoy a spicy + sweet combination or maple syrup with something spicy added.
In the oven I roasted the Grillfackeln at 400 F for 20 minutes, turning after 10 minutes.
On the barbecue we grilled them for 10-15 minutes on medium high heat, watching and turning them constantly to avoid flair ups and burnt ends.
Practice makes perfect
Takes a few times to get the bacon wrapped evenly around the skewers but soon enough you will be a pro!
- If you do not eat pork, use beef bacon
- Freezing the pork belly for 1- 2 hours after you remove the fat cap makes it easier to slice
- Buy the pork belly and ask the butcher to slice it thin for you
- Letting them marinate for at least 30 minutes imparts more flavour, but then again who has time to wait because bacon on a stick
- Buying a marinade saves time but all you really need is a few spices. And some maple syrup
- Since they are small, season lightly. A little goes a long way
- They don’t have to be perfect, they just have to be cooked
- For regular size skewers use 1 slice of bacon, for small skewers, cut the bacon in half and fold it lengthwise
These are great served as a pre-dinner bite. Looking for other appetizer ideas to make?!
- 12 pieces bacon thin slices
- 1/3 cup maple syrup the real stuff
- 1 tsp sambel oelek
- fresh ground black pepper
- 12 wooden skewers
- Mix together the maple syrup, sambel oelek and black pepper. Set aside.
Take once piece of bacon and starting at the top of the skewer, slowly wrap the bacon around and down the skewer spiraling them as you go. Tuck in the ends.Do this with all skewers and all pieces of bacon allowing 2 skewers per person. Brush maple syrup mixture on both sides of bacon skewers.Roast in 400 F. oven for 20 minutes turning after 10 minutes.Grill for 10-15 minutes over medium high heat, watching and turning them constantly to avoid flair ups and burnt ends.Serve immediately.