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Homemade Bacon

Making bacon at home is insanely easy, requires minimal ingredients, and little time commitment. Long story short you should be making...

Making bacon at home is insanely easy, requires minimal ingredients, and little time commitment. Long story short you should be making it, and I'm going to show you the easy way. All it takes is some pork belly, salt, sugar, and a little bit of patience for curing and maybe some smoking.


EQUIPMENT:


Prep Time: 15 minutes plus 7-day cure time

Cook Time: 2 hours

Yield: 2 pounds bacon


INGREDIENTS


Large Batch Dry Cure

  • 2 cups (400g) Kosher salt

  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

  • 6 1/2 teaspoons (60g) pink curing salt (Prague powder #1)


Bacon

  • 3 pounds (1.4kg) skin-on pork belly

  • 2-3 rosemary sprigs, crushed and bruised by hand (optional)

  • 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed with skin-on (optional)

  • 1-2 tablespoons toasted and crushed Juniper berries (optional)

  • 34g dry cure mixture

INSTRUCTIONS

For The Large Batch Dry Cure

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the salt, sugar, and pink curing salt. Store in a large air-tight container in your pantry until ready to use.

For The Bacon

  1. Calculate the amount of curing mixture you will need. My preferred method is to cure the pork belly at a 2.5% cure. You can get the ratio of cure to pork belly by multiplying the weight of the belly in grams by .025. The number you get will be the amount of dry cure you need to use on the bacon. So, in other words a 1,360 gram pork belly would require 34 grams of dry cure.

  2. Take the measured dry cure and spread it all over the entire pork belly. If you don’t have a scale, you can sprinkle a generous layer of cure on all sides of the pork belly, about 1/3 cup of cure for a 3-pound pork belly. This is less accurate and could result in slightly salty bacon but works in a pinch if you don’t have a scale and don’t plan on getting one.

  3. Once the pork belly is thoroughly coated in the cure, rub with the bruised rosemary, crushed garlic cloves and toasted and crushed juniper berries if desired.

  4. Label a 2-gallon zip top bag with the day you start the cure and then seal the pork belly inside with the crushed aromatics, if using. Place in the refrigerator to cure for 7 days, flipping the pork belly over halfway through, or 4 days in. Liquid will release from the pork belly and accumulate in the bag which is normal and will help cure the pork belly. Make sure when you flip the bag, the liquid is evenly distributed over the belly.

  5. Once fully cured, rinse off the cure thoroughly with water and pat dry with paper towels.

  6. Preheat the oven or smoker to 200°F / 93°C. Cook the pork belly until the internal temperature reads 150°F / 65°C. This will take approximately 2 hours, but this time can vary depending on the size of your pork belly. If you are using a smoker, use a mix of wet and dry wood chips and add more wood chips every 45 minutes or so throughout smoking. Once the pork belly is done, remove from the oven or smoker.

  7. While the fat is still warm, but the belly is cool enough to handle, remove the skin using a sharp knife. Let the pork come to room temperature and then refrigerate it overnight or for at least 8 hours to solidify the fat. Once cold, thinly slice the bacon and cook in a pan until crispy or keep as a large piece of slab bacon to cut into cubes and fry until crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The bacon will hold in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks or in the freezer indefinitely.

6 Comments


waterford0612
Mar 13

Can I use this curing mixture and process on a pork loin for canadian bacon?

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Dan Thomases
Dan Thomases
Mar 17
Replying to

Absolutely! Your cook times will vary a bit though.

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Tamika Fritz
Tamika Fritz
Sep 21, 2023

I love the recipe for bacon! I use the basic cure and add whatever herbs I feel for at the time.


Can I use the cure recipe without the sugar for a salt cure?

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Steve Dekker
Steve Dekker
Jun 04, 2023

Joshuwa-san:


This recipe is absolutely awesome and is by far the best tasting bacon my wife and I have ever had.


I always try to avoid nitrates, so I left it out, and used 2.5% salt and 2.5% brown sugar and 1.5% maple syrup for the curing process, 3 crushed garlic cloves, 3 sprigs of rosemary, 1 teaspoon of black pepper, and 8 crushed Juniper Berries, and hickory smoked to an internal temp of 75C (Not the standard 65C) to kill all bacteria.


I realize removing the nitrates greatly reduces the shelf life, but I just sliced it up, and froze 1/2 in a Zip Lock bag on layers of wax paper so individual slices can be easily used as…


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Dan Thomases
Dan Thomases
Mar 17
Replying to

The sodium nitrite is actually to prevent botulism during the smoking process and less about preserving the shelf-life.

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adi wongso
adi wongso
Feb 24, 2022

Can I use the salt sugar mixture to cure frozen salmon?

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