Sunday, June 2, 2013

Homemade BACON!

I don't know why I have never tried this until this year. It is so easy and so good. Making your own bacon. It takes about a week and a couple hours to smoke it. You can season it with a variety of spices and smoke it with different types of woods to vary the flavor but it is all good.

I recently purchased the book Charcuterie The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing which is all about curing and smoking meats. It had the recipe for bacon in it so I had to try it. We picked up a pork belly at our local Whole Foods and the curing salt at Savory South End Spice shop. When I got home I mixed up the cure, added some of my rub and coated the pork belly. I then put it in a ziplock bag for a week of curing in the fridge. Every other day I flipped it to make sure each side was getting cured evenly.

Pink salt and pork belly.

The recipe I used for the cure is as follows:
1 pound kosher salt
8 ounces of sugar
2 ounces of pink salt (curing salt which has nitrate in it)

This makes a lot of cure. I keep it in a mason jar and use it as needed and add other flavors when I put it on the pork belly. I added about 2 tablespoons of my rub to the first batch of bacon. For the second batch I added my rub and some pepper infused honey which gave it a hint of sweetness and spice.

Adding the cure.

Spiced all over.

Future bacon.
After a week of curing I removed the pork belly from the bag, rinsed it off and patted it dry. I sliced a couple pieces off to fry them up and try them un-smoked. They were good. I smoked the rest of the belly in a combination of pecan and apple wood at 200° until the pork belly reached an internal temperature of 150°.

Freshly cured.

Frying up.

Ready to sample.
After smoking it I sliced a couple pieces and fried them up to try them. It was much better. The difference between un-smoked and smoked bacon is amazing. The smoking process seems to bring out the saltiness of the cure and the flavors of the rub that I put on the meat. It intensifies it and makes it really good.

Smoking the belly.

Smoked and ready to slice.
Looks so good.

Ready to eat.
The second batch of bacon I made I put half in the freezer to keep. I use wax paper to keep the slices separated which makes them easier to pull out for cooking. The smoked bacon should keep about a month in the fridge and up to four months in the freezer but I wouldn't know as none of it lasts that long in our house.

Packed for the freezer.


  1. I did a batch of homemade bacon this weekend as well. Went with a wet cure on one and a dry cure on the other. I think I got too much salt in the dry cure and it pulled out too much moisture. But the wet cure? Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

  2. This sounds like a really good book to have in my library. Will definitely have to check this one out on the Amazon