Makin Bacon

I’m starting to gather a reputation as a fairly self-sufficient guy. Of course there’s the homebrewing, the woodworking, the gardening, and yes, we’re thinking of getting some chickens. So I was not really surprised when my sisters got me a book on home meat-curing for my birthday, the simply, yet fancily-named Charcuterie. Beyond its appeal as a potential source of deliciousness, the book is stuffed full of great pencil drawings of one of my favorite subjects: meat preparation. Sausage, Prosciutto, Jamon Serrano, Saucisson Sec, and that staple of every Iowan’s diet, sweet, sweet bacon. Home-made bacon. Made … at home. By you. Holy. F-ing. Shit.

Perhaps home-made bacon’s greatest appeal to me was the possibility of slicing it to whatever thickness my heart desires. Actually, my heart desires me not to cut bacon that thick. But my stomach will really be into it. Speaking of stomachs, home-made bacon offered me another once-in-a-short-lifetime opportunity: the chance to speculate on pork bellies.

Pork Belly

(If you’re listening along at home, I am from Iowa, the land where pork belly futures are read on the 6 o’clock news, and hourly on the Farm Report. I have even been on the Farm Report, when the ad agency I worked for offended tractor afficianado’s statewide … but that is another story. On to the pork belly.

My speculation? This is going to taste delicious. It already looks like bacon. Raw, squirmy, sickly pink bacon. I ordered this “proto-bacon” from my favorite local meat market, Gartners, paying about $3 a pound for a 12-pound slab. I have also heard that is available from Asian markets, perhaps cheaper. I began by cutting it into three pieces, leaving the skin on. I also discovered for the second time that pig parts look eerily like human parts, with the possible exception being that I know few people with USDA grading tattoos. Although “USDA No. 1″ might be a pretty sweet one, now that I think about it.

Proto Bacon

Next step: the rub. As in “herein lies the.” Since I was doing this for the first time, I made three different rubs for the three different slabs. The first was 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and 1/2 cup of Kosher salt. Which is ironic, if you think about it. Go ahead, think about it, you anti-Semite jerk.

The second rub was 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup kosher salt, and 1/2 cup Maine maple syrup, procured in Freeport, Maine at L.L. Bean’s headquarters. Buying maple syrup from L.L. Bean’s headquarters is a bit like eating pizza at Sbarro’s while visiting New York City.

The third and final rub added freshly-ground black pepper to Rub No. 1. There is no joke associated with this rub. That’s the rub, I guess.

Add maple syrup.

This is the step that I call the “Vegan in Hiding” step. If you suspect someone you trust might actually be a vegan, simply ask them to rub a sugar-salt-syrup mix into the still-slightly-hairy skin of a raw pork belly, while you sing “Rub It In” in your best Boris Karloff voice. This reveals all but the most repressed vegans. For those, you’ll need a Caja China.

Rub it in.

Bag the bellies, and pop them in the fridge. Every two days for the next seven, flip the bags over. The salt/sugar/syrup acts as a cure, flavoring the meat as it draws moisture out of the proto-bacon. If I’d paid more attention in biology, I could probably tell you what’s going on here. But I can’t. And Mr. Wizard is dead. So we’ll probably never know.

Ziplock it

On the seventh day, rest … er … rinse. Get all that cure off.

Rinse

This next step sounds a little gross, but I assure you, it is crucial. Leave the bacon in the fridge for the next 12-24 hours, uncovered. I put mine on a cooling rack in a backing pan, so they would be elevated. According to the book, this is called “forming the pellicle,” which to me sounds like a weird art rock album by Hawkwind, but is apparently a layer of sticky goo on the outside of the cured meat that smoke will adhere to. By this, I gather the book’s authors consider “pellicle” tastier than “Elmer’s.”

Form the pellicle

12-24 hours later, pellicle formed, it is time to smoke the bacon. If you are counting along at home, this is the first time we will cook the pork. I prefer hickory smoke for my other pork-cooking activities, so I went ahead and used hickory chunks for the almost-bacon. If you need a smoker, I highly recommend the Weber bullet-shaped version.

Pick it, pack it, fire it up.

I almost fogot: place the bacon on the smoker skin-side-up. This has two purposes. One: the skin prevents smoke from reaching the tasty meat. Smoke goes up. Thus, the meatiest side goes down. It’s common sense. Secondly, under the skin is a thick layer of fat and collagen that will gradually melt as you slow-cook the pork, essentially self-basting the bacon. Self-basting bacon. Hmm. “Patent office? Yes, it’s Dave Selden again. Hello? Hello?”

25% done.

The idea here is to smoke the bacon until it reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees. Stick the ol’ thermometer in the fattest part. This may be hard to identify, as bacon is approximately 50% fat. Resist the urge to lick the delicious, home-made-bacon-flavored thermometer when you’re done.

50% done.

Half-sized photo of me in a t-shirt.

Once you hit 150 degrees, pull the bacon from the smoker and put it on a platter. If your guests enjoy the rougher flavors of young, once-cooked bacon covered in a layer of smoky, rubbery pork skin, serve. If you prefer twice-cooked, or “delicious bacon,” let the slabs cool down to handling temperature, about 149 degrees, which is pretty much as long as you’re going to be able to wait to slice into this delicious stuff, which now contains more free radicals than a PETA convention, thanks to that tasty pellicle.

The below picture serves no instructive purpose. It is purely to stimulate your saliva glands. Have you ever seen anything more beautiful?

Pork porn. Bacon curious?

The next step is pretty awesome, I have to say. Take a sharp knife, and remove the pig’s skin. If you are crafty, you can save it for football-making. There’s plenty of fat there, but leave as much on as you can. Why? Because the book said so. And that is good enough for me. Anything that produces results this appetizing is worth trusting.

Remove Skin. Save for football.

Congratulations! You made bacon! At this point, you have the option of eating the bacon, or of saving the bacon for later. I sliced my formerly 4-pound slabs into smaller breakfast-sized sections and Food-Saver’d all but one of them, and put them in the freezer for later. And by “later,” I mean “the next day.”

Disperse to hop-saver.

Actually, the last step is the most important. You need to fry up the bacon, which is the second time you cook it, if you are still playing along at home. I use a cast-iron skillet, personally, and recommend you do, too. Low and slow holds here, too. On my electric range (I know, I know), my burner dial goes to “11.” I cook bacon at “3.” Sure, it takes awhile, but this isn’t exactly Minute Rice we’re making here, is it?

75% done.

Is it good? It is great. Delicious. Kind of unbelievable, actually. I sliced mine about 3/16 inch thick, which is something you just can’t get at a store, and which results in a piece of bacon that is crisp on the outside, and slightly chewy on the inside. It compares with the best bacon I have ever had (and I have eaten bacon in all 22 states and at least five countries), and a lot less expensive than Nueske’s or that citified Niman Ranch.



239 Responses to “Makin Bacon”

  1. Captain Hops Says:


    Visit Captain Hops

    Oooh… Bacon.

    I’m speechless.

    This post is one of the most spectacular things I have seen on the internet.

    Damnit, how can you ever go back to store bought bacon after seeing this.

    Iowa huh? I am sure I can drive there in 16 hours or so. Can you save some for me?

    Cheers!

  2. beerinator Says:


    Visit beerinator

    mmmmmmm bacon.

  3. Wilson Says:


    Visit Wilson

    Cool. I’m going to start making bacon.

    Which of the 3 rubs did you prefer?

  4. Captain Hops Says:


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    Okay, I just re-read the story and it looks like you are from Iowa but you are in Portland, OR.

    The last time I drove from Baltimore, MD to Portland, OR, it took 5 days. I think if I cut out sleep, I can make it in 3 days. Do you think you can make the bacon last that long? I might need a beer when I get there too…
    ;)

  5. Butch Says:


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    Wow. That is one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen.

  6. Dave Says:


    Visit Dave

    As they say, you can take the boy out of Iowa, but you can’t take the Iowa out of the boy.

  7. Dave Says:


    Visit Dave

    Oh, also, I liked the maple syrup one best so far. Washing off the pepper version seemed a little … wrong. I think I will try a new version of pepper bacon for my next batch, and apply it just before I put it on the smoker, or just before I bag it.

  8. MAKE: Blog Says:


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    HOW TO – Make bacon…

    Dave sent in this great how to on making bacon, he writes – I’m starting to gather a reputation as a fairly self-sufficient guy. Of course there’s the homebrewing, the woodworking, the gardening, and yes, we’re thinking of getting……

  9. HOW TO – Make bacon » Developages – Development and Technology Blog Says:


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    [...] HOW TO – Make bacon – Link. [...]

  10. HOW TO – Make bacon Says:


    Visit HOW TO – Make bacon

    [...] Perhaps home-made bacon’s greatest appeal to me was the possibility of slicing it to whatever thickness my heart desires. Actually, my heart desires me not to cut bacon that thick. But my stomach will really be into it. Speaking of stomachs, home-made bacon offered me another once-in-a-short-lifetime opportunity: the chance to speculate on pork bellies.HOW TO – Make bacon – Link. [...]

  11. lester Says:


    Visit lester

    I’m hungry now. And it’s 2:35 am! Mmmmmm bacon….. *rubs belly*

  12. Gin Says:


    Visit Gin

    I’m sorry. I can’t help but laugh. For the 25 years I lived on the farm, this was what I did each fall…this along with curing hams and shoulders and making sausage. The more things are different, the more things stay the same. :)

  13. Bill Says:


    Visit Bill

    These instructions have just become my new home page…

  14. Mark Says:


    Visit Mark

    mmmmm…. bacon!!!!!
    I prefer it smoked to sweet though.

  15. BagOfNothing.com » In case you ever wanted to make your own bacon Says:


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    [...] Link [...]

  16. Pragma Says:


    Visit Pragma

    I have to agree with everyone else – this is the tastiest, most wonderful how-to I’ve read online.

    Seeing as how you have to smoke the pork-belly, have you thought about experimenting with some BBQ techniques for your next batch? A molasses cure would probably make a killer slab of bacon.

  17. Larry Says:


    Visit Larry

    Dave.
    Don’t waste the skin. Fry It! Deep fried pork rinds fresh out of the frydaddy are delicious. Sprinkle a little Cayanne pepper or just let the taste explode in your mouth as it is. By the way, chicken skin that has been removed in order to grill the parts can be deepfried as well. They may not be very healthy, but have a taste that is similar (And far superior)to the pork rinds that you get commercially.

  18. Tony B. Says:


    Visit Tony B.

    Oh man, I have to try this! I believe that bacon is the the only food that is both a main course and a condiment. Great cooking tips on the cast iron and slow and low. That is the way to go. The is the crucial step to making even OK bacon good bacon.

  19. gerald Says:


    Visit gerald

    wow. just amazing. I gotta try that.
    wow. great post.

    I’m just drooling all over the keyboard here.

  20. chris Says:


    Visit chris

    Brilliant.
    A couple suggestions…

    1 – as noted, deep fried pig skin is a wonderful thing (a little chili, a little lime and you have the ultimate beer snack).

    2 – suggest trying a 50/50 mix of hickory and fruit wood of some sort next time.

    3 – next step… pork jowl rather than pork belly. trust me.

  21. sarah Says:


    Visit sarah

    daaaaamn. that looks amazing.

    i used to live in a Polish neighborhood in Queens and the pork store on our block made bacon this way… it was the best i’ve ever had. i’m dying to try this now.

    thanks!!

  22. Metagg Says:


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    Metagg is tracking this post…

    Find out what Social News Sites are discussing this post over at metagg.com…

  23. SherryM Says:


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    OMG!!! Mmmmm Pork is definitely the way to this island girls hart.

  24. marco ramos Says:


    Visit marco ramos

    sometimes I see something on the internet that makes all the horrible, horrible (furry) things worth while.

    This, is one of those delicious, delicious things.

  25. Lennon Says:


    Visit Lennon

    If you want an alternate source for cheap pork belly, hit Fubonn (2850 SE 82nd) — the cheapest, largest, and (IMHO) most interesting of the Asian markets in town. I don’t know that they’re going to end up being all that much cheaper than Gartner’s, but it’s worth checking the store out just to try to puzzle out what some of the items are.

    My housemate once found an item in the frozen seafood section at Fubonn labeled “Miscellaneous,” with no further clue as to its composition than a vague line-drawing of a seashell. We eventually decided it was some kind of nautilus, and ate it in stew.

  26. Hog Whitman Says:


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    I think you should go straight to hell.

    Right after you leave me your leftovers.

  27. Do It Yerself Bacon « Team Bacon Strip Says:


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    [...] Hayseed Hoot fame) brings us to the next stage . . . make your own bacon at home. Here’s how . . . [...]

  28. Dibley Says:


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    You’ve been voted Man of the Year by the xkcd forum’s “Man Thread”. Sounds delicious!

  29. Podchef Says:


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    Good Show. Great post about your first try. A couple of things:

    You don’t have to smoke the bacon–and cold smoking would be my preference anyway. Non-smoked cured bacon, a tad on the salty side, can be perfectly stable in a cool room, without refrigeration.

    Pork cheek is indeed awesome, as is home made pancetta. Both require a slightly different method of curing and no smoking.

    By the way, just slowly roasting one piece of that pork belly is a treat in itself.

  30. DIY Bacon Smoking at Dethroner Says:


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    [...] Making Bacon [BSBrewing.com] (Thanks, buddy who sent me this link and then I closed the window and now I can’t find you in Spotlight!) [...]

  31. DIY Bacon Smoking » Developages – Development and Technology Blog Says:


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    [...] Making Bacon [BSBrewing.com] (Thanks, buddy who sent me this link and then I closed the window and now I can’t find you in Spotlight!) [...]

  32. Bruce Says:


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    Nice work Dave. How’s that sausage coming?

    http://www.bsbrewing.com/blog/?p=212

  33. sarah Says:


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    –My housemate once found an item in the frozen seafood section at Fubonn labeled “Miscellaneous,” with no further clue as to its composition than a vague line-drawing of a seashell. We eventually decided it was some kind of nautilus, and ate it in stew.–

    That’s pretty hardcore. Impressive…

  34. Joel Says:


    Visit Joel

    That looked absofreaking delicious. I’m thinking I need to fire up the WSM this weekend and make myself some bacon!

    Don’t forget to keep the rendered bacon fat to use in, well, just about anything!!

  35. 12 freaking pounds worth at hagerty.net Says:


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    [...] I love this guy.  I won’t eat 12 pounds of meat of any kind in the next three years, but I love the American style DIY nature of what he’s doing. [...]

  36. Mistey Says:


    Visit Mistey

    wow.

  37. Grant Says:


    Visit Grant

    Can we hear about the time you “offended tractor afficianado’s statewide” in your next post?

  38. Tits McGee Says:


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    I have never. Been more aroused. In my entire life.

  39. sysinfo Says:


    Visit sysinfo

    Wait, we’re up to 22 states now? That aside, this is going in my bookmarks for later (by which I mean the weekend.)

  40. mmmm…. « barkdust Says:


    Visit mmmm…. « barkdust

    [...]  BACON! [...]

  41. Moose Says:


    Visit Moose

    The post looks great, and kudos for discovering a ferociously delicious project. I’ve been curing my own bacon for about a year now, and have a few comments:

    First, dry-curing bacon is the best way to go, but the optimal length of cure application varies from belly to belly, from about a week to well over two, depending on thickness. In order to tell when a piece is done curing, you’ll want to literally develop a feel for it- completely cured bacon is firm and sort of resilient to the touch in a way that under-cured bacon isn’t.

    If dry-curing seems daunting or overly lengthy, a two- to three-day wet cure will also produce good-quality bacon. The usual ratio is 1/2 cup salt : 1 cup (brown) sugar : 1 gallon water. The brine should be aggressively salty and sweet to the taste, but not overwhelming. Maple or pancake syrup can be substituted for some of the sugar, with good results.

    Next, I admit it’s more a matter of style than anything, but we tend to remove the skin before curing or smoking the belly. Removing the skin after smoking also removes a lot of the smoke flavor, which disappoints me. I’ve also found that slicing the skin neatly is easiest when the belly is very well chilled, but this requires a sharp knife, technique, and some patience. If easy skin removal is your only goal, cutting it while warm is fine.

    Although I’ve cold-smoked bellies into great bacon before, I think the bacon benefits from being hot-smoked to at least 150 degrees F. internally. In addition, it reduces the possibility of bacterial contamination, always a good idea with crappy commodity meat. (Boo factory farming!) Be sure to thoroughly chill your bacon before slicing, and have a sharp knife– you’ll be amazed by the thinness and texture you can get from careful hand-slicing.

    Although frying bacon is always a great way to cook it, baking thicker slices of home-cured bacon tends to produce a more evenly-cooked and delicious product. Usually, an oven temperature of 425 for 30-45 minutes is best, and the bacon should be in a single layer on a slotted roasting pan for the fat to drain. Flip it once, and keep an eye on it– most of the extra time is for crispiness, so take it out whenever it looks good to you.

    Finally, you’ve identified some great sources and resources for the aspirant bacon-maker. The Poleyn/Ruhlman Charcuterie book is first-rate– I highly encourage everyone to try some of the sausage recipes. Bruce Aidells has also published a few good books, including the Complete Book of Pork, which has bacon and sausage recipes. Also, Gartner’s is a fine local store, and well worth your patronage. If you’re looking for larger quantities of meat, Nicky USA is another great Portland business with amazing products. I believe it’s wholesale-only, so you may need to be(come) a business, but their Carleton Farms pork bellies are sold skin-off and are superb.

    Home-cured bacon is a great culinary adventure, and is amazingly well-received. (I’ve certainly never been kissed by another man as a result of the quality of my smoked salmon, for instance.) Everyone who likes bacon ought to try it. Good luck, and happy eating!

    M.

  42. amw Says:


    Visit amw

    Wow, I think I smell bacon already.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

    You will love having chickens.

  43. Mat Says:


    Visit Mat

    When smoking salmon, the curing takes care of the “cooking” (the sanitisation) and the smoking is for flavour and extra preservation… the fish never actually gets that hot. But here you do actually seem to cook it in the smoker… is that right?

  44. Nicci Says:


    Visit Nicci

    Thank you for the information, and the chuckles.
    I have two tamworth gilts- one for eating one for breeding- I am going to follow your recipes for the pork bellies. PS I am an Australian living in Scotland.
    Now I just have to get Cassandra Trotter slabbed while the children are at school!!!

  45. furiousBlog – in my diatribe » my cat in a box Says:


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    [...] How to Make Perfect Bacon   [...]

  46. Sure, Bacon Is Good… « Non Sequitur Says:


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    [...] but how do you feel about actually making your own out of pork belly? This looks worthy of the grand experiment. ‘Cept maybe I’ll wait [...]

  47. Consumerist Says:


    Visit Consumerist

    Make Your Own Bacon!…

    We can’t believe we’re posting this, considering we follow a largely vegetarian diet – but it’s bacon, mmm… [Homer-style drool] For all you do-it-yourself foodies, and for those of you who want to exert a little more control over……

  48. Jason M. Phelan Says:


    Visit Jason M. Phelan

    This is an awesome post. You are an excellent writer and I was laughing my ass off the whole time (which I then proceeded to cure as bacon….handy, huh).

  49. Justin F. Says:


    Visit Justin F.

    For those who don’t have the time or the smoker, any good meat shop with their own smoke room will have their own house-made bacon which you can get custom sliced to your specifications. I’m not sure about the west coast, but in the Northeast they tend to be run by Eastern Europeans. Kurowycky was my favorite in NYC, but they closed recently. The Union Pork Store in Union, NJ is my current favorite. I like to buy a whole slap, put it on my grill’s rotisserie on the lowest heat for about 4 hours, and it turns into something like the saltiest pulled pork you’ve ever eaten. It’s a great burger topping. I’ve made this for parties, and a whole slab’s worth disappears in about 5 minutes.

  50. doug l Says:


    Visit doug l

    I’m a caregiver for my dad who has dementia, high-blood pressure, reduced kidney function requiring a relatively low sodium diet, and an overpowering craving for bacon. So, I started to experiment in making myown bacon at home using those cryovac’d pork loins. I guess there is an officially recognized criteria for bacon, so maybe I should call my stuff something else…but it sure has a bacon look (nice and pink but not raw, smells and tastes like bacon when it’s nice and crispy, but has a lot less fat and sodium. So I now fearlessly make him BLTs and bacon omlettes. He eats, is happy and healthier…and I like that too.
    What’s kinda funny to find out is that there’s usually more sodium in the toast or bun than in the salty fried meat.

  51. DIY Bacon < Brainwidth Says:


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    [...] looks like a fun—and tasty—weekend project. Make your own bacon. Post a comment | Trackback [...]

  52. Viv Says:


    Visit Viv

    My god. This is food porn at its rustic best.

  53. Spacemadness » Blog Archive » Because one bacon link a week isn’t quite enough. Says:


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    [...] We are going to do this. [...]

  54. ChezJJP Says:


    Visit ChezJJP

    Whoa….awesome dude. That’s my next project.

    I think what must happen now is to wrap thin slices of that bacon around a small chicken and smoke both of them.

    Check out the lamb i just smoked on my homepage….smoking rules!

  55. tribe.net: www.bsbrewing.com Says:


    Visit tribe.net: www.bsbrewing.com

    Re: All the people tribe burners love to hate…

    Bacon lovers: http://www.bsbrewing.com/blog/?p=261

    Mimes – didn’t they use……

  56. kTell Says:


    Visit kTell

    I applaud you good sir. For those that are a bit more lazy, here is a great gift for anyone on your list, Bacon Of The Month Club. Trust me, it is awesome.

    Bacon truly is meat candy. It’s the candy of meats!

  57. 5thPercentile.com Says:


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    Makin Bacon…

    Holy leg of the lamb of Jaysus! Dave Selden (Beer brewer and bon-viveur) recently received a book on the fine art of Charcuterie – that is, the art of preparing cured meat. He decided to make some bacon and on……

  58. LifeParticles.com » The World’s Most Perfect Bacon Says:


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  59. Rob Says:


    Visit Rob

    Everthing is great, but for one thing. No one in New York eats at Sbarro’s. John’s, perhaps. One of the Famous Original Rays, perhaps. Sbarro’s, however, long ago became a food-court abomination. Nathan’s is fast following.

  60. Wordswinker Says:


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    Are you married? Reply post haste.

  61. zymee.com Says:


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    The Champagne of Blogs » Makin Bacon…

    I’m starting to gather a reputation as a fairly self-sufficient guy. Of course there’s the homebrewing, the woodworking, the gardening, and yes, we’re thinking of getting some chickens. So I was not really surprised when my sisters got me a book …

  62. pipedings Says:


    Visit pipedings

    Looks tasty, but…

    no comparison to german bacon,

    Just some hints:

    - keep the bacon whole.

    - put some mustard and schnaps into the seasoning. Whisky might be an idea.

    - don’t use a fridge, but your coolest cellar room. Just leave it hanging from a meathook.

    - For smoking, put it into the specially prepared chimney to let smoke billow all around it. Smoke 2-3 times.

    - Do not cut off the skin until just before consumption!

    Ahh, Americans. They’ve got the ideas, but they’re lacking the finesse ;)

  63. Kent Says:


    Visit Kent

    This is a wonderful guide. I do a similar thing with other cuts of pork by brining and smoking, but your method is much better. You could do this with any cut; center loin, 2-inch chops, tenderloins, fresh hams. I’d probably eat the ears and feet if prepared this way!

  64. susan Says:


    Visit susan

    blogme…

    You almost got me convinced that Pork is meat. and it looks delicious, but can’t tolerate Pork. and I cant even tolerate the smell, and been thru Iowa. Love Iowa, not the Pork! Does Morrells still smoek the town up? lol I sent this to my freinds, they might like to know how to make their own bacon.
    Susana

  65. The Dog Says:


    Visit The Dog

    Wow…I live in an apartment in a city where even a small barbecue on a balcony is against local laws. let alone a smoker.

    Know of anyway I can do this inside a flat without aphysiating myself and all my neighbours?

    I’d die for bacon like that.

  66. Don (Slavic Swede) Says:


    Visit Don (Slavic Swede)

    Sounds absolutely delectable.
    Somewhere there’s a cookbook that includes the line,
    “To improve the flavor of anything, either double the
    chocolate or add bacon.” Something like this should
    make any recipe sublime.
    This post makes one feel sorry for vegetarians.
    Anon, Don

  67. How to cook delicious homemade bacon | felix ker’s blog Says:


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  68. Learn a lost art today | Jack Henderson Says:


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    [...] craft simple furniture, etc.  But I do have ambitions. I’ve never made bacon, for example. Here’s a great tutorial I’m going to try out; be sure to write if you do, [...]

  69. Make Your Own Bacon | Robert Accettura’s Fun With Wordage Says:


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  70. Ultimate Stupidity » Blog Archive » Home-Made Bacon Says:


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  71. Alex Says:


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    Any chance you can show us how to make this using human?

  72. Dave Says:


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    Alex, are you volunteering?

    The dog: I think Emeril has some way of smoking meat indoors, but I believe it requires a range hood. Also, as some have mentioned, I think some butchers will smoke things on commission.

  73. Nahleili Says:


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    I find it hilarious that you used kosher salt to cure bacon. Kudos!

  74. Fascinations & Abominations » Blog Archive » Link Dump. Says:


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    [...] Speaking of Bacon – I need to learn to do more things myself.  I need a bigger shop. Delicious thick cut bacon. [...]

  75. Luke Says:


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    Beautiful! And are those Rosle bowls I see there? I can’t wait to get a copy of Charcuterie myself.

  76. miknerak Says:


    Visit miknerak

    now that you have that wonderful bacon, you should make some chicken fried bacon….it sounds weird, I know, but in this little town in Texas, can’t remember the name, they do it at this restaurant. I watched a video of it and was mesmerized by the CFB. It looked sooo good and I wanted to eat some. So, with your newly acquired bacon making skills, I thought it would be nice to try out new bacon recipes!!!! Just batter and deep fry just as you would regular chicken fried steak. Serve with a side of whte cream gravy with lots of black pepper!!!

  77. Mike Says:


    Visit Mike

    Very cool! I just went to my local Asian market (99 Ranch) and got some pork belly for 1.99/lbs… I will be enjoying some homemade bacon too!

  78. Cletus Says:


    Visit Cletus

    Dude… You are a god. I am in awe. I MUST reproduce your results. I also worship at the alter of robot chicken but that is for another day. :)
    God bless you… God bless you.

  79. bognarama Says:


    Visit bognarama

    You made bacon. At home. I bow down before you in humble supplication.

    Mmmmmmmmm, bacon. Meat from the magical animal.

  80. Rytek Kutas Says:


    Visit Rytek Kutas

    Absolutely awesome!

    Wanna go hardcore? Get a copy of “Great Sausage Making and Meat Curing” by Rytek Kutas. It is the holy grail of MEAT!

    It can be difficult to find, but I see it was republished in April 2007. It’s on Amazon FYI.

    I use a Kitchenaid mixer with the meat grinder attachment. Gets kinda messy, but it’s oh-so-fun!

    Cheers!

  81. Rytek Kutas Says:


    Visit Rytek Kutas

    Oh yeah, and another great book is called “Cutting Up in the Kitchen” by Merle Ellis.

    It’s out of print but still available used.

    Happy chopping!

  82. Marty Says:


    Visit Marty

    That was awesome – somehow I don’t think I’ll be able to make the case for homemade bacon-making, but who knows – stranger things have happened.

    So, when are you going to make a homemade prosciutto?

  83. Fnord. Says:


    Visit Fnord.

    [...] read the article, its both informative and amusing. No Comments so far Leave a comment RSS feed for comments [...]

  84. Maryanne from NW NSW Australia Says:


    Visit Maryanne from NW NSW Australia

    Having cut up cattle, sheep, kangaroos, wild pigs & goats (have also seen dead horses, dogs and cats)
    I’d say all these mammals are similar to each other and to us

  85. Maryanne from NW NSW Australia Says:


    Visit Maryanne from NW NSW Australia

    PS good write-up
    and congratulations to the photographer
    on great photos

  86. moonbuggy Says:


    Visit moonbuggy

    Makin Bacon…

    ‘I’m starting to gather a reputation as a fairly self-sufficient guy. Of course there’s the homebrewing, the woodworking, the gardening, and yes, we’re thinking of getting some chickens. So I was not really surprised when my sisters got me …

  87. ianfish Says:


    Visit ianfish

    great site, i make my own pancetta, unsmoked, and cure it pretty much as you do but add garlic, juniper, rosemary ,thyme and black pepper to your basic salt & brown sugar rub. In the fridge for a week and then wash off, dry, roll tightly & hang in my wine cupboard[sorry ..closet, I'm english!] for 2 weeks ,that’s it. I use pork from our own pigs, we have 3 tamworth X gloucester old spot gilts right now, should be ready in november.
    The smoker is under construction from an old s/steel bulk milk tank.
    good luck from beautiful North Devon

  88. dan Says:


    Visit dan

    I too own the Charcuterie book (you should check out Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Meat book too) and I don’t get this this hot-smoking of the bacon.

    Here in the insular and backwards United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland we smoke our bacon without cooking it.

    We cure it, let it dry and then smoke it. So when we come to fry/grill it for our very British ‘Ye Olde Bacone and Egges’ it is uncooked.

    Strange!….but True.

    PS. I smoke for a living.

  89. Jeff Says:


    Visit Jeff

    OK, so my wife will kill me and wonder if I have completly lost my mind, but I have to do this before I die.

  90. Chris Says:


    Visit Chris

    Damn Dave!

    Who would have thought that a post about bacon could draw so much attention. With pictures and descriptions like that you should be working for the Pork Advisory Board or whoever is responsible for the “other white meat” campaign…

    Perhaps you should start a whole new blog about the joys of meat!

    See you soon,

    ~Chris @ Belmont Station

  91. Website Copywriter Says:


    Visit Website Copywriter

    This entry is probably the best illustrated recipe I’ve seen in a long time. Kudos to you! Now… how do I get this drool off the floor? Looks like bacon and eggs for breakfast for me :)

  92. Small Steps Forward » Blog Archive » Where’s The Beef? Says:


    Visit Small Steps Forward » Blog Archive » Where’s The Beef?

    [...] It’s posts like these which are the bane of my raw existence. Popeye’s, I can handle. I’ve reached the point in my raw food journey where I easily slough off the delicious smells wafting from that chicken shack. But this guy’s post on how to make your own bacon makes me remember meat, conveniently forgetting the sluggishness and mind-as-muck sensations which would inevitably follow, not to mention all the health concerns. [...]

  93. 100 Things You Can Make Yourself ∞ Get Rich Slowly Says:


    Visit 100 Things You Can Make Yourself ∞ Get Rich Slowly

    [...] How to make bacon [...]

  94. Kimi Says:


    Visit Kimi

    Now I’m craving bacon. Yet another reason to buy a house. (I’m also in an apartment building and not allowed a barbeque).

  95. buster Says:


    Visit buster

    i pay less than $3 a lb. for bacon and don’t do any work or waste a lot of time – just take it home, cook it and eat it. i don’t see where your saving me anything.

  96. Dave Says:


    Visit Dave

    But is your bacon as thick and delicious as mine? I don’t think so.

  97. MEL'S DINER Says:


    Visit MEL'S DINER

    KILMISTER AND BACON…

    Just a quick link I got from Serious Eats….

  98. Oh, I See What You Did There » The Champagne of Blogs » Makin Bacon Says:


    Visit Oh, I See What You Did There » The Champagne of Blogs » Makin Bacon

    [...] The Champagne of Blogs » Makin Bacon August 22, 2007 Posted by Head Jester in : Everything, Articles , trackback How To Make Your Own Bacon [...]

  99. tribe.net: www.bsbrewing.com Says:


    Visit tribe.net: www.bsbrewing.com

    Comics and Links…

    Well ladies, gentlemen and Laura, I’m off for ten days at Burning Man. We ha……

  100. bacon lover Says:


    Visit bacon lover

    Holy crap! that looks amazing. I can’t think of anything else to say, I just wanted to be comment #100

    OMG!!!!1!!!LOL!!! Hooray internets!

  101. Julian Says:


    Visit Julian

    Hey Dave – a friend linked me to your bacon makin’ page a couple of weeks ago and I’m reporting back to say that it really does work and I’ve just finished probably the best bacon & egg sandwich I’ve ever eaten: home-cured & smoked bacon, homemade bread, homegrown rocket, homemade feijoa chutney and free-range eggs.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  102. Dave Says:


    Visit Dave

    Wow, that’s great, Julian – if you have any pix, I’d love to see how the sandwich and the bacon itself turned out.

  103. Julian Says:


    Visit Julian

    Hey, pics are here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tiddly-pom/sets/72157601779090399/

  104. Dave Says:


    Visit Dave

    Julian, that looks awesome! I’m so glad you tried it. Good idea with the bay leaves and muscovado, too. A lot more liquid came out of yours than did mine. Looks just as tasty, though! Nice work.

  105. brewvana Says:


    Visit brewvana

    [...] long ago, I read an inspiring blog post. No, it didn’t motivate me to save the world. It motivated me to make my own bacon. Besides, [...]

  106. Wilson Says:


    Visit Wilson

    Here’s my bacon adventure.

    http://brewvana.wordpress.com/2007/09/03/171/

    Thanks for the inspiration!

    Wilson

  107. Dave Says:


    Visit Dave

    That is truly awesome, Wilson. The taste is pretty amazing, huh?

    Next up – Chorizo. Que bueno!

  108. Todd Cowles Says:


    Visit Todd Cowles

    I’m blowing off work right now to go buy some proto-bacon. This is the coolest thing I’ve read in like a year.

  109. abbie Says:


    Visit abbie

    i am halfway around the world and can’t believe i found a very detailed step-by-step procedure in making my own bacon… thanks for sharing… oh by the way, if it’s going to take 5 days for one guy up there to drive to your place, and another, 16 hours.. well i think it’s going to take roughly 18 hours of flight including stop over for me to get there… :(

  110. Rooftop Brew » Blog Archive » Moment of Truth, part 2 Says:


    Visit Rooftop Brew » Blog Archive » Moment of Truth, part 2

    [...] work, so I snagged my wife’s electric meat thermometer and set it on Pork, partly as a nod to B.S. Brewing, and partly because 170 (Pork), is the mash out [...]

  111. The Champagne of Blogs » Beer Chips vs. Kettle Cheddar Beer Chips Says:


    Visit The Champagne of Blogs » Beer Chips vs. Kettle Cheddar Beer Chips

    [...] other hand … well, they speak a little more softly, but they carry a pretty big stick. With a home-grown BLT and an Imperial IPA, these chips could hold their own, and they’d probably be the chips [...]

  112. Mark Evans Says:


    Visit Mark Evans

    I use the salt/brown sugar mix but add untreated apple cider to the cure. I also restrict my curing sessions to cold weather and leave the pork bellies outside in sealed containers. (More room in the fridge that way.)

    I cold smoke with a rig made of 2 large cardboard boxes and a small charcoal grill. I just get a few lumps of charcoal going and throw in a few handfulls of maple or apple twigs. With a little luck you can keep a smoldering fire going for a few days, just keep adding charcoal and twigs.

    I do have trouble keeping pesky two-legged bacon addicts away, though.

  113. Lasse Rasinen Says:


    Visit Lasse Rasinen

    I saw a beautiful piece of pork shoulder in the store, with a 1.5 inch layer of fat on it. The cure contains brown sugar, salt and fir shoot syrup.

    (You read that correctly; young fir shoots can be turned into to a delicious syrup. I had a small bottle, a bit past its expiration date, so I threw it in. We’ll see what happens)

  114. Lasse Rasinen Says:


    Visit Lasse Rasinen

    Correction to my previous entry, it’s actually spruce shoot syrup.

  115. Mixxaster Says:


    Visit Mixxaster

    WOW, I think I have a man crush. This is incredible! Bacon is the North Star of my culinary universe. It’s so useful and tasty. Thanks for sharing this.

  116. vporter DOT com » links for 2007-10-21 Says:


    Visit vporter DOT com » links for 2007-10-21

    [...] The Champagne of Blogs » Makin Bacon [...]

  117. Andrew Lettice Says:


    Visit Andrew Lettice

    Hi came across Champagne blog when browsing the net was so inspired by the easy to follow instructions and photographs had to get some pork to try it for myself I had to buy two slabs of belly pork for your one as they were on the small side but compensated with a pork loin they are in the fridge in the cure can hardly wait for Sundays smoking and tasting thank you

  118. Andy Scotland Says:


    Visit Andy Scotland

    As I mentioned before about the size of belly pork either our pigs are small our butchers greedy or EU needs to change regulations I will leave that one open

  119. The Champagne of Blogs » The Confluence of Politics and Beer Says:


    Visit The Champagne of Blogs » The Confluence of Politics and Beer

    [...] Portland, this statement may seem about as obvious as “the Pope is Catholic,” or “bacon is delicious.” There are surely a few die-hard believers out there who think some of Boston [...]

  120. Nicole Gustas Says:


    Visit Nicole Gustas

    This was a great post, and amazingly informative. I wanted to let you know I linked to it from here:
    http://www.mahalo.com/How_to_make_perfect_bacon

  121. Makin’ Bacon Part 1: Purchase and Prep | The DibS Reaction Says:


    Visit Makin’ Bacon Part 1: Purchase and Prep | The DibS Reaction

    [...] been inspired by The Champagne of Blogs to make my own bacon because who doesn’t like bacon??? Bacon makes everything better, and I’m [...]

  122. Lasse Rasinen Says:


    Visit Lasse Rasinen

    I have a web page of my experiment: http://lrasinen.kapsi.fi/bacon/

    In short, it didn’t go quite as well as I had hoped. However, the end result was still edible.

    Since I live in an apartment, I used a smoker bag. It worked surprisingly well, so I’d recommend it to anyone living in the city and having carnal desires.

  123. Dave Says:


    Visit Dave

    Lasse, I have never heard of a smoker bag, but it seems like a great option for apartment dwellers – pretty novel! I’m guessing your next attempt with real bacon will be much better – that did look like an odd cut of pork. Let me know how that one turns out if you would …

  124. Ben Gyenah Says:


    Visit Ben Gyenah

    That’s a gorgeous slab, thank your butcher — I am curing a sad little 1.5″ thick slab, but at least it was only $1.99 a pound.

  125. Gerard (Pud) Farrell Says:


    Visit Gerard (Pud) Farrell

    g’day,

    bloody awesome. thats the best destructions i have been able to find in books or on the net. i live in rural N.S.W. Australia and will be attempting the bacon process for the first time this w/e. i live virtually on game meats as i do a lot of hunting. make my own mince and sausages. have been pickling for a while and am now going to attempt bacon and ham. thank you for your knowledge.

  126. Lasse Rasinen Says:


    Visit Lasse Rasinen

    I’m going to try today with real bellies. Some of the meat was originally intended for pork belly gravy/stew, and was cut to pound-size pieces. I’m going to try different flavorings on those smaller pieces.

    In additional to plain salt/sugar mix, I’ll add black pepper, allspice and honey/mustard (with maybe a touch of cayenne pepper). The winning combination then gets applied to the final large slab that gets done for Christmas.

    I won’t bother with pictures this time, but I’ll let you know which combination was the winner.

  127. Year of the Pig » Blog Archive » Making Better Bacon Says:


    Visit Year of the Pig » Blog Archive » Making Better Bacon

    [...] I said, this is a really easy recipe. I was really eager to try it, especially after seeing this documentation from a very interesting blog which followed the exact same recipe from the Charcuterie book. The results looked wonderful! The [...]

  128. Austin Says:


    Visit Austin

    I ran across this blog and had to try it out as well. I purchased 27 lbs of pork belly for $40, (which was the smallest amount I could get since it was sold by the box, 2 sides) from a local butcher. I followed the steps layed out on this page, except the Sugar and Salt cure. A couple things to note… I smoked the meat with Apple chips at about 200 – 225 degrees F. It only took about 1.5hrs to reach the internal temperature of 150 degrees F. I found a meat slicer was the easiest way to cut it. I then packaged the bacon using a FoodSaver. It turned out GREAT! I think I like the Maple recipe the best. My freezer is now fully stocked with 1/2 lb packages of BACON!

    Cheers!
    Austin (Des Moines, IA)

  129. The Champagne of Blogs » Beer Bread Says:


    Visit The Champagne of Blogs » Beer Bread

    [...] Set your oven to 375. 2. Fry up some bacon. Homemade bacon is best. Oscar Mayer bacon barely deserves “bad.” None is worst. 3. Measure 3 cups [...]

  130. Lasse Rasinen Says:


    Visit Lasse Rasinen

    There wasn’t that much difference between different seasonings; the standout was the honey/mustard mix. On the other hand, it was smaller and meatier than the other pieces.

    It also didn’t cure as well as the other pieces, but that might be due to too little salt being applied.

  131. The Champagne of Blogs » Gift Ideas for the Beer Lover Says:


    Visit The Champagne of Blogs » Gift Ideas for the Beer Lover

    [...] you’re not making your own bacon yet, you obviously haven’t been paying attention to this blog, or the 100,000 or so people [...]

  132. Paul R. Potts Says:


    Visit Paul R. Potts

    I just finished off a big greasy hamburger with cheese, bacon, and a large side of fries — something I eat only rarely — and a pint of Guiness. My stomach is bulging painfully. I’m extremely full.

    But then I came home and read this story. And my mouth is watering _again_!

    I’m trying not to gain weight this winter… DAMN YOU, HOMEMADE BACON GUY!!! : )

  133. Joseph Says:


    Visit Joseph

    This may be one of the best blog posts I have ever seen. I am not even quite sure what to say.

  134. some links [tripp millican] | madeofglass Says:


    Visit some links [tripp millican] | madeofglass

    [...] how to make bacon. yourself. at home. john, i’m looking at [...]

  135. Peter Van Dijck’s Guide to Ease » Blog Archive » About dementia and home made bacon. Says:


    Visit Peter Van Dijck’s Guide to Ease » Blog Archive » About dementia and home made bacon.

    [...] This stuff is why I still love the internet and blogging after all these years: [...]

  136. TomRaleigh Says:


    Visit TomRaleigh

    Awesome article, GREAT writing!
    And I LOVED the Hawkwind reference—Wikipedia’s list of former Hawkwind members brings to mind Spinal Tap’s infamous dead drummers. Only name missing is Ronnie Pudding…

  137. Mal Says:


    Visit Mal

    This is not how you make bacon. This is American junk food bacon. Just cos you americans eat disgusting food doesn’t mean you need to publicise it to the world. Ick!

  138. Jeri Says:


    Visit Jeri

    How do I get a picture of Mark Evans’ smoker made from cardboard boxes and a small grill?
    Would love to see it!

  139. scott geiger Says:


    Visit scott geiger

    you smoked it at to high of heat dont go over 100 degrees

  140. Scrumptious Word Morsels » Blog Archive » Bacon: it’s what’s for dinner Says:


    Visit Scrumptious Word Morsels » Blog Archive » Bacon: it’s what’s for dinner

    [...] exactly what you’d call a bacon enthusiast. Thankfully, some other people are, and they make homemade bacon, bacon cupcakes, and bacon cookies. [...]

  141. Distant Traveler » Blog Archive » The Champagne of Blogs » Makin Bacon Says:


    Visit Distant Traveler » Blog Archive » The Champagne of Blogs » Makin Bacon

    [...] The Champagne of Blogs » Makin Bacon [...]

  142. Michael Newman Says:


    Visit Michael Newman

    thanks so much for the recipe, I made it using the brown sugar and black pepper one, for smoking I used a electric grill that I put hickory chips that I soaked in water for 1/2 hour around the coils of the grill. It is the best bacon I have ever tasted, a great recipe thanks again.

  143. DrDoom Says:


    Visit DrDoom

    I’ve been doing my own bacon for sveral years now. It can’t be beat, bacon and eggs very morning (Dr Atkins said I could). Living outside of Boston though, the chalklenge is finding the pork bellies. I love the pics of your bellies, I’m jealous. I have one local butcher that is willing to order them in for me, usually out of Canada. It would be like you going to a fish market in Iowa wondering why they don’t have live lobsters. Send me bellies, I need 100lbs soon. I’m approaching “bacon critical” meaning I’m down to my last 5 pounds.

  144. The Champagne of Blogs » From the Mailbag No. 174 Says:


    Visit The Champagne of Blogs » From the Mailbag No. 174

    [...] me to give a talk about making home made bacon. I’ve only made it once, so far, following the directions you put up. I left a note in the comments section after I finished it as well. I’m not sure if I’m [...]

  145. Chuck Phillips Says:


    Visit Chuck Phillips

    Very good…..consider using white pepper and Madagascar pepper combo with the Brown sugar and a tablespoon of salt in your first mix. ….and dry palm wood burns with a clean white smoke. Nearly 40 years ago when I was bumming around the world in a small sailboat, in the fall I would always head for Romlon Island in the Philippines and use my bow to take 3-4 nice wild porkers, build the smoke tent from palm fronds, and the smoke from the palm driftwood, wrap the hams and bacon, most everything else went into sausage with lots of sage and a touch of red pepper….with 4-5 inches of foam in the icebox, a 150 pound block of ice would last about a month. You can CAN the bacon and sausage also, even the hams with a pressure cooker and some 1 qt. jars…

  146. Dave Says:


    Visit Dave

    Chuck, you are my new hero. That is so badass, I don’t even know where to begin. Did you make the bow? Have you read “An Island To Oneself” by Tom Neale?

  147. The Cottage Smallholder » How to home cure streaky bacon. Making bacon at home Says:


    Visit The Cottage Smallholder » How to home cure streaky bacon. Making bacon at home

    [...] guy from Iowa uses three different cures and smokes his bacon in a proper [...]

  148. Nic Says:


    Visit Nic

    OMG! I made the pork belly cured for a week in maple syrup, brown sugar and salt and smoked for 5 hours in a True North smoker (I am Canadian)with hickory chips. THAT IS THE BEST BACON, EVER! I will never eat store bacon again!

  149. Bill Says:


    Visit Bill

    I tried the one with maple syrup but I mixed it with brown sugar and then tried it in my dehydrator. Ground it up in the blender for a dry rub after mixing in salt. I used a pork loin sliced in half length ways so that each half had fat on the outside. Smoked it to a temp of 145 degrees using hickory, it was a little salty but not bad for the first time and it really did taste like bacon but with a different consistency when chewing due to the more meat, less fat ratio. Going to do a little flavor research and then do it again, and again, and again.

  150. baconmaker Says:


    Visit baconmaker

    I’ll have to tell you that i just used your recipe and it was one of the best experiences of my life to drink beer with my friends and to be self sustaining. I am twenty six and I also have that reputation around my neck of the woods. Before long, I wont even need the wal-mart. I have the ducks, chickens, 2 acre garden and enough pork to last a lifetime. the bacon was great and i have passed this site on to others. thanks!!!!!

  151. Scott Says:


    Visit Scott

    Great recipes, if anyone wants to know, you can make your own smoker with an aluminum garbage can, 1000 watt hot plate. use a small chip pan for wood chips and the grill grate can be found at Walmart for ten bucks. drill hole in the bottom side of can couple holes in the lid and use a grill thermometer to monitor temp inside can. Works great for most anything, thanks for shearing bro.
    Scott from Almont Michigan. Die hard Master Hunter!

  152. Jeff Says:


    Visit Jeff

    Well…. here goes… after reading yours and several other webistes, and watching Alton Brown three times back to back, I just put my first attempt in the fridge to cure.
    Made the same three cures you did, with the exception of I went a little heavier on the maple syrup.

    So in about a week, we’ll see. That gives me time to clean out my smoker, and setup a hotplate and some applewood chips… or maybe hickory…
    Crap… more choices…
    I may just have to make more… I wonder how long 25 pounds of this stuff will take to eat?

    ;o)

  153. Jeff Says:


    Visit Jeff

    Well….. (drumroll goes here)… I just pulled the first effort off the smoker this evening, and was reasonably impressed.
    I cured for 6 days, and think next time I’ll only do 3 or 4. Turned out a bit salty for my personal taste, but it was also sliced pretty thick (right off the smoker, it was like trying to hold… well, a greased pig…) so I think that had a little to do with it.

    Overall, I’m not disappointed. I suspect it’ll take a couple more tries to get dialed in… so I guess I’ll just have to try and eat 25 poinds of bacon in a short amount of time…. :O)

    For anyone hesitant to try this… don’t be. It’s not hard.
    The only things I’d recommend for the first timer are: (1) Unless you like your bacon salty, do a 3 day cure, and work up from there. (2) Only do 1 piece of belly. I used 2, so I’ve got double the amount of ‘mistake’(which is still pretty f’n awesome). (3) Whatever smoke method you plan on using, fire it up IN ADVANCE, and test it to make sure you can hold ~100 degrees F. I usually do hot smoking, so I had to rethink my plan w the hotplace/skillet/woodchip thing, because the hotplate wouldn’t get hot enough to smoke the chips. I actually had to get a side fire going, and move coals over to the smoker, then place the wet chips on that. No big deal, but I spent a lot more time tending the fire than I would’ve liked.

    Other than that, knock yourself out… You’ll be pretty pleased w the results. And don’t be afraid to improvise. Add more sugar if you like your bacon sweeter, and play w the wood. I started w mesquite and finished w hickory… so I have a sort of tangy/hearty smoke flavor on top of the brown sugar and maple syrup in the cure….

    Oh, the possibilities!!!!!

  154. Jay Says:


    Visit Jay

    Wow, I’ve been a vegetarian for 8 years now and this has even me wanting some bacon… My hat is off to you

  155. dude Says:


    Visit dude

    “all 22 states”? Are you living in the 19th century?

  156. tim Says:


    Visit tim

    your writing style makes me chuckle. your smoker makes me jealous. and your bacon makes me hungry.

    thank you

  157. Chloe Says:


    Visit Chloe

    http://www.videosift.com/video/The-Right-Way-to-Cook-Bacon

    It works too. By the way, you didn’t show us how to catch and slaughter the pig? I’ll just stick with store bought and above linked video. I once made beef jerky, and that was soooo delicious!

  158. James Says:


    Visit James

    I am SO buying a smoker now!

  159. Atticus Hornsby Says:


    Visit Atticus Hornsby

    Someone else had mentioned Alton Brown. His show Good Eats had an episode about home made bacon. He used a cold smoker however.

  160. jasontimmer Says:


    Visit jasontimmer

    Dave- I am an Iowa resident as well. Dubuque, to be exact. Where are you at? I’d love to share some self-sufficient stories.

  161. Kristen Says:


    Visit Kristen

    This is awesome. I need to do this – but first I need a smoker. :(

    **drools**

    Anyways… I did have a legit question. How do you know which of the cures you are getting when you cook the bacon? Or is it just best left to be a surprise?

  162. JP Says:


    Visit JP

    Write a guide on making Jamón Serrano, I beg you, kind sir.

  163. Betsy Says:


    Visit Betsy

    Will you make some for me??

  164. alt Says:


    Visit alt

    Nice job! I have a WSM and have cooked many great meals in the 12 years I have had it but never smoked pork belly. I’ll give it a go now I have seen these results.

  165. alt Says:


    Visit alt

    nice! I’ll have to try that on my WSM.

  166. Frank in Austin Says:


    Visit Frank in Austin

    Great piece! I just finished my third slab-heavier on the maple syrup-and it is awesome. Now if I can only find some hog jowels-I’ll trade some IPA for it!
    FM

  167. Brian Deitte Says:


    Visit Brian Deitte

    Someone sends me a link about making bacon, and what do I see but my old college roommate and a lot of bacon.

    Dave, you are the Bacon Internet Celebrity. You can check that one off of your life goals now.

  168. durango leigh Says:


    Visit durango leigh

    I’ve got to agree with everyone else-this is the greatest thing on the internet! Just followed your lead and started a pork belly baconating today. Three cures, all with white sugar+ molasses+salt, with the following variations: crushed juniper berries+black pepper, “just” black pepper, and black pepper+ ground cloves. Will smoke it over hickory when the time comes. MUCHAS GRACIAS for this rocking bacon page!

  169. Lyle Says:


    Visit Lyle

    Congratulations on one of the best posts I’ve read. I bought my Weber Smoker about 2 weeks ago and you have definitly inspired me to smoke up some bacon and I don’t usually eat bacon. Also, I added a link to your post on the Virtual Bullet web site.http://tvwbb.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/1780069052/m/3370007755/p/2

  170. k Says:


    Visit k

    shit, that looks great. i am glad though that you likened your l.l. bean syrup to that of sbarro’s pizza. if you had not made that disclaimer i wouldn’t have made it past that section of the blog. i am a vermonter. vermont maple syrup is the only real syrup to believe in.

  171. kriaze Says:


    Visit kriaze

    After reading this post I’ll be giving this a try myself in the UK. I’ll let you know how it goes on…great post. Cheers mucker <raises a glass

  172. Micky Says:


    Visit Micky

    Irony: Kosher salt is actually misnamed. It should be called “Koshering salt”. There’s nothing Kosher about Koshering salt. It’s just the non-Kosher type of salt that’s best when Koshering meat.

    At least that’s what I’ve heard.

  173. James Olmstead Says:


    Visit James Olmstead

    Sir,
    I enjoyed the article very much. I tried to make bacon once, but did not produce the product that you did. I feel you showed me the mistakes I made. Thank you.
    Oh yes. In the sentence “I have even been on the Farm Report, when the ad agency I worked for offended tractor afficianado’s (sp?) statewide …”, was it necessary/correct to use the possessive form for “aficionado”? Just a question.
    J O

  174. Chef Don Says:


    Visit Chef Don

    AS a chef and teacher or the craft I applaud you. This is a gret site for first timers.
    I personally love applewood smoke and use a brine first, then a light dry rub sprinkled over to the pellicle ( little brown sugar, little fresh cracked pepper)
    If you ever get really into it, learn about curing salts (#1 & #2) for making bacon that lasts longer. CHeck out the book by the sausage & cured meats God Rytek Kutas – “Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing”. Also a great place for sausage making of any kind. (Rytek is the equivilant of Escoffier in the sausage making world)
    Best to you and thanks for the site.
    Chef Don

  175. Ian Kilmister Says:


    Visit Ian Kilmister

    I second the Kudos for bringing a Hawkwind reference to a “Makin’ bacon” tutorial. You’ve a potent combination of Alton Brown and Jon Stewart with what would have to be an ideal target audience of foodie black blockers – neophyte bacon smokers! thanks for the great info.

  176. Mayday Says:


    Visit Mayday

    I’m lucky I didn’t drool on the keyboard. We don’t have cellars in Hawaii, so I’ve never attempted this before. The smoker I use is a large Japanese Kamado, also, hickory is not readily available here but mesquite is plentiful. Kudos to you for the great technique and the even better writing.

  177. Michael Says:


    Visit Michael

    Mmmmmmmmmm… Bacon!

    Great article! I will definitely have to try this out!

  178. Jon Says:


    Visit Jon

    Nice, Very nice. My buddy and I make and trade jerky. I use a pellet smoker and can do about 5 lbs at once. He one-upped me lats week with some home made bacon. Twas excellent with the home grown tomatoes on the BLT’s this weekend. I have a new found mission, got to make some killer bacon. I think I can accomodate about 20 lbs on the smoker. I’ll begin with your directions and deviate with some of the suggestions posted, with a 50/50 apple/hickory blend. Stand by for results. Excellent work Dave! You are inspirational!!!

  179. butchie Says:


    Visit butchie

    I CAME.

  180. cyriac Says:


    Visit cyriac

    Awesome you could use this blog to cure the terminally ill. Pun not intended.

  181. Marilyn @ Simmer Till Done Says:


    Visit Marilyn @ Simmer Till Done

    I am speechless and also BACON-LESS! Though I’m fairly certain that a golden calf and plagues will fall from the sky to deter me, I have got to make bacon. Thanks for one of the most entertaining (and delicious) things I’ve ever seen on the net.

  182. Jon Says:


    Visit Jon

    The slabs are in, two of them, 23 pounds. Three days off and a pork tenderloin to devote to an attempt at Canadian bacon. Spices should be here tomorrow and that is when the fun will begin. BLT’s in a week. I ordered skinless, dont think it was a mistake but I will try skin on next time.

  183. jolene Says:


    Visit jolene

    I will definitely try this for it looks so good!

    Can I use sea salt instead? Don’t know where to buy the pink salt or kosher salt.

    best

    Jolene

  184. Hillerns Says:


    Visit Hillerns

    I am so late to this conversation that I can hardly fathom that it was taking place right under my nose.

    As Moose, and likely others, have reported, baking at low temperature is the best way (in my opinion, of course) to enjoy the meaty/fatty goodness of a more thinly-sliced belly. Besides attaining an evenness and retaining a somewhat chewy mouthfeel, it makes every sheet, every curtain, and every pillow in your house smell like bacon. And isn’t that really all we long to achieve?

    You sir, have just elevated your position in my book to a “favorites” status shared by too few. Well done (but not too done).

  185. Dalboy Says:


    Visit Dalboy

    Yeah thats some good looking pork product . I also make bacon but put my bellies into a wet brine , 2 cups of salt half cup of sugar and about 5 litres of water in the fridge for 5-7 days , another difference is that I cold smoke it for up to 8 hours , never getting the temp over 80 deg,f this means it is only cooked when it is fried , I will try a hot smoked twice cooked batch soon though , yours looks so good . ps I made my own smoker/rotisserie oven from a split 44 gallon drum , with a gas element , grills , grates and hinged lid , too easy , good on ya .

  186. Elaine Vigneault Says:


    Visit Elaine Vigneault

    Hey, here’s some info about your bacon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRKNrLUxG2U

  187. Don Says:


    Visit Don

    I am making my first bacon, followed the instructions in “Charcuterie”, but after a week in the fridge I am not seeing much if any water released and the slab is not firm. Should I add more cure mixture? I initially used 1/4 cup for a 5 lb slab.

  188. Dave Says:


    Visit Dave

    Don, you could totally add some more salt if you want. It will just make it … you guessed it … saltier.

    Elaine – beating the pigs makes the meat tender-er! And yes, I’m just messing with you. I generally don’t buy factory pork, and don’t believe in it. As an Iowa boy, I have some experience with it. I think it’s an environmental disaster, it can be cruel … I agree. Sustainably-raised pork is not that, though. It’s tastier, and makes your soul feel as good as your fully belly. Niman Ranch does a nice job raising their pigs, and farmer’s markets are usually good places to find locally-raised, sustainable, organic pork (and other tasty animal flesh).

  189. Chris Says:


    Visit Chris

    Yes I’m thinking about smoking my own bacon which is why your article came up on my Google search, your photos have certainly served to reinforce my intentions!

    My brother married a girl in Ft Lauderdale & whenever he came home he was always ravenously hungry for ‘proper bacon’ as he maintained that he could only usually buy streaky unsmoked offerings in the US.

    I have memories when I was pretty young of visiting an elderly relative in rural West Wales, he had a hill farm where he lived alone as a widower, his stone-built farmhouse had a tin roof and he’d always have a ‘side of bacon’ curing in the fireplace. If he had visitors, he’d pull out a chipped enamel plate, take a pen-knife from his pocket and cut a few strips of his home-cured bacon off the ‘half a pig’, removing the pipe from his mouth long enough to shove some bacon in. The bacon was almost entirely fat as I recall with a thin vein of pink running through it, although he lived into his late 80′s on this diet at a time when most people did not live anywhere near that age.

    The expression ‘chewing the fat’, (which most people associate with standing and jawing / gossiping), originates from the smoked joint, when it was courtesy to offer a friend or neighbour who had called some of your smoked meat as you caught up on the latest news.

  190. Karchuterie Says:


    Visit Karchuterie

    I’m going on my second batch of bacon…my first round (followed your instructions) was a bit salty. I read elsewhere to soak the lovelies in water for a few hours after the weeks brine…to draw out some of the salt. Ever heard of that? Advisable? Just trying to figure out how to cut the salty a bit.

  191. brett evans Says:


    Visit brett evans

    I am an accomplished bbq amatuer bbq smoker, atleast till i read this. Bacon and other smoked meats to cure this is my next frontier to explore. Like pancetta, prosciuto, pastrami, sopresotto, ect.

  192. R00B0y Says:


    Visit R00B0y

    Holy mother of God… this is the best recipe I’ve ever had for bacon… just finished my second batch, and if it hasn’t been said yet, make MORE than you think you’ll want.. because when you finish… you’ll want more.

    Our first batch was 1.5kg of succulent decadence… the second, todays batch.. 6.7kg of heavenly taste.. some is going has a gifts to close family and friends.. the rest is going to be enjoyed over time.. savoured….

    As an ex-pat Canadian living in Australia, this recipe has saved my sanity. I’ve been trying bacon after bacon after bacon in Aus and found nothing but the worst tasting meat and bland pork cuts ever… Then just when I’ve given up ever tasting decent bacon again.. I discovered this site..

    I’m saved! Thanks again!

    PS: I really like this recipe! In case that wasn’t to clear above..

  193. JA Says:


    Visit JA

    Good for you, not using that pink salt (sel rose) crap.
    I liked the photo of the bacon frying in the pan and turning white as cooked pork should.
    Be very wary of any meat that stays pink after it’s cooked (hello, hot dogs?). Lawyers and evil lab-coat wearing food scientists put it in there because their fear of getting sued for food poisoning far outweighs their desire to sell wholesome products. They (and supermarket chains) like foods that can sit on a truck for thousands of miles, then on the shelf in the market for weeks without spoiling.

    My only observation is that since you cooked it to 150 on the grill/ smoker, it’s not really bacon. It’s smoked pork belly.
    Proper bacon should be cold smoked so the fat does not melt and the protein does not cook. Proper food handling and a good cure are essential, as is cooking it completely before you eat it.
    Bon apetit.

  194. Argentum Vulgaris Says:


    Visit Argentum Vulgaris

    I have posted on homemade bacon and linked your post, it’s great stuff. And, I have stolen a pic to enhance the link, hope you don’t mind.

    AV
    http://tomusarcanum.blogspot.com/
    http://thingsthatfizz.blogspot.com/

  195. Makin’ Bacon « Says:


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    [...] been inspired by The Champagne of Blogs to make my own bacon because who doesn’t like bacon??? Bacon makes everything better, and I’m [...]

  196. Audrey Says:


    Visit Audrey

    Dave,
    I had to try my own bacon after reading your blog. I just finished my second batch and it is delicious. I only have a stovetop smoker, though, so mine didn’t get as smoked as yours, but it is mighty good. I got my pork bellies at FuBonn, a great Asian market on 82nd Ave.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  197. » Makin’ Bacon Says:


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    [...] been inspired by The Champagne of Blogs to make my own bacon because who doesn’t like bacon??? Bacon makes everything better, and I’m [...]

  198. Kregg Says:


    Visit Kregg

    That’s some truly darn good looking smoked maple bacon you got there.

    Keep up the excellent work!

    Nothing is more rewarding then frying up homemade bacon… Best part is opening your window a little so all the neighbors can smell and suffer, because even the smell lets you know that no store commercial bacon is close to good home made. :D

  199. Hey, you Says:


    Visit Hey, you

    Sooooooooooo beautiful looking, something like Cranny Clampet would have smoking out back by the cement pond. Would make Mrs. Drisdale furious.

    So when I tumble into the store do I ask for ‘pork bellies?’ Is there another name for this piece of pig? Maybe at the Asian market it’s called something difficult to verbalize??

    How should I identify this hunk of meat, besides calling it ,”Elvis.”

  200. Kregg Says:


    Visit Kregg

    I always order it as pork bellies, or belly squares. The butcher should know if they are even remotely decent in their knowledge of their job.

    If they don’t know, I wouldn’t be comfortable with a butcher who didn’t know their cuts of meats, from commercial cuts, to even odd cuts that are not as common.

    Just be warned though, a belly square is huge, and most butchers I have dealt with only sell them by the box. Usually 50lbs, but they freeze well. One square will slice into 4 quarters ‘each being the typical bacon slab’ usually so you can make it more manageable to work with; ‘curing, smoking, slicing’…

    However, you can also make some real tasty bacon using a pork shoulder/butt. Just debone it first then make sure the cure really gets into the cavity of where you deboned.

    A bacon using pork shoulder is generally referred to as ‘Cottage Bacon’. They make great bacon steaks but not as much layered fat on the back evenly like a belly square. However, they do cure up beautifully and smoke very evenly.

    Then of course you have your classic Canadian bacon using the pork loin, and jowl bacon too. It’s all in the cure, smoke and your imagination.

    If you know of any old German butcher shops, that’s where you can usually find good pork bellies. But any decent butcher shop should be able to order for you.

    Hope this helps!

  201. Jeff Says:


    Visit Jeff

    I would like to make bacon in the style of english unsmoked bacon. I don’t know if thats any different from american unsmaoked bacon, but how would i make unsmoked and unseasoned bacon?

    cheers
    Jeff

  202. wayne Says:


    Visit wayne

    Nice reading I have a small piggery in Philippines will try your recipes.As we have a small congregation of Englishmen some Americans & Germans who want natural cooked bacon

    Cheers

    Wayne

  203. ~hugh Says:


    Visit ~hugh

    Might have missed someone else saying this in the comments, but the Polcyn/Ruhlman to BSbrewing transmission seems to have gotten a little miscommunicated here. The “fattest” part of the meat P/R is talking about is the –thickest– part of the meat, not the –fattiest– part of the meat. Big difference between fattest and fattiest.

    And for Jeff’s Feb 6 question. It is necessary to *cure* all bacon (from four to seven days)with a high salt ratio (at least 50%). Unsmoked and uncooked (first cooked) bacon is called “green bacon.” It is raw, but unless hung to cure with nitrites will need to be cooked before consumption. Examples of “green bacon”: Pancetta in Italy, English green/unsmoked bacon, or the type of pork belly used in French cooking (lardons, petit sale, rillets, rillons). Pork belly, like raw ham, can be properly cured, hung, and (eventually) eaten raw, but you’d better get a book and some quick cure or pink salt and make a proper hanging environment unless you want to find out what botulism feels like.

  204. N Says:


    Visit N

    I have a meat stamp tattoo. I don’t know any other people who have a meat stamp tattoo. Of course, I don’t know any one else who is weird like me. Unless you count my children. They hate tattoos.

    Thanks for sharing your bacon making. That was very interesting. My kids are going to love reading this.

  205. Dean Parsons Says:


    Visit Dean Parsons

    I would like to make a suggestion. ( I have worked in a meat locker curing bacon and ham) be very careful using plain salt. It does not have the ability to stop the growth of c. botulim toxin or any other bacteria unless you do a virginia style cure. That is where the bacon is placed in a container on a bed of thick salt then covered with salt and allowed to cure for about ten weeks the salt draws moister from the bacon. It is better to used cure salt that contains sodium nitrate. And before anyone tells me nitrates are bad there are more nitrates in a can of beets than in a serving of bacon.

    COTTONWOOD CREEK BRAND DRY RUB
    http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6912864

  206. des dunnett Says:


    Visit des dunnett

    I myself have been making my own bacon out of mostly wild pigs that live around the lake where I live in Kinloch New Zealand…it is a hobbie of mine,I smoke them over manuka which is a popular wood smoke and it imparts a neat taste…the salt balance to me is one of the most critical aspects of the whole procedure..I used to float a potatoe in my wet brine but it proved to salty,now the ole egg trick has sorted that out,it registers aprox 20%..just where I want it..love your site …des alias (gruffalo)

  207. koatrees Says:


    Visit koatrees

    Hi Dave,

    I tried the recipe with salt, maple syrup, brown sugar. Soaked the belly pork for 7 days, then rinsed it, then pellicled it in the refrig for 24 hours.

    It came out a little too salty for me. Is it crucial to use exactly 4lbs of belly pork with the 1/2cup salt, 1/2cup maple syrup,1/2cup brown sugar recipe?

    Otherwise, how do I get it less salty before frying it up? Other than that, it was great. Thanks for any help.

  208. steve gomes Says:


    Visit steve gomes

    dave. I need you to help meI am blind known in denver as the blind meat cutter. I want to make bacon from Michael’s cookbook You did a great post. I have my pink salt and I don’t want to make maple bacon. Just good smoked bacon that doesn’t taste like ham can you contact me to tell me what to do? thanks

  209. Truth Says:


    Visit Truth

    Wow – I loved posting this. It’s always fun to piss of the vegans in my life!

  210. Bacon Week 2: It Begins : BS Brewing’s The Champagne of Blogs Says:


    Visit Bacon Week 2: It Begins : BS Brewing’s The Champagne of Blogs

    [...] You know what time it is? That’s right, it’s bacon time. I can tell, because I’m wearing a bacon watch. I showered this morning with bacon soap. I just mixed some pork belly with salt and brown sugar, in pursuit of some more homemade bacon. [...]

  211. Rodney Says:


    Visit Rodney

    Just to let you know I’ve been making really nice bacon for just about a year now, and it was THIS page that got me going! It’s nice to come back to it and find that what originally looked so exotic now just looks… well, it looks familiar! :-) Thanks!!!

  212. Commander Logjam Says:


    Visit Commander Logjam

    The instruction you give are very informative and fun to read.

    I have been making the maple, brown sugar, kosher salt version for a couple of years.

    I have only found one thing I would change about your advice.

    I have found that bacon with any type of sugar/maple syrup/honey/molasses cure, cooks better in a nonstick skillet.

    I discovered this after frying and eating about 10 lbs in a cast iron skillet. One day when I wanted to fry some, my cast iron had a 1/2″ of grease from the day before. I reluctantly grabbed My non-stick skillet, But actually the browning is much more even when using the non-stick.

    My girlfriend swears by baking it in a 350 degree oven, in stead of frying. It works really well, But it seems to take longer and the smell is better. I cannot wait that long for something sooo yummy.

  213. Gary Says:


    Visit Gary

    Hey!
    Great instructions, It gave me a lot of pointers I was looking for. Skin off skin on, spices, maple syrup? Lots of choices thankd for the ideas and Great looking bacon!
    Thanks!
    Gary

  214. Gary Says:


    Visit Gary

    BTW
    Start your oven off cold and let it come to temp with the bacon in, on a rack check every 3 mins after it reaches temp, (that’s why they call it “bake-on” lol)

  215. Oakman Says:


    Visit Oakman

    I have just started the fisrt process. I am making the salt/maple/brown sugar one.

    I will smoke it is hickory smoke in a weeks time.

    I will put the results on my website.

    You have made a Kiwi who misses Canada/USA very happy.

  216. shawn Says:


    Visit shawn

    Actually your supposed to drain out any liquid and re-season with your curing rub every day or so. When I do my own pork belly, I simply use salt/sugar. Cut it into squares and pan fry it then bake for about 30 minutes @400 brushing with maple syrup every so often. Much easier way for if you don’t have a smoker.

  217. Dave Althouse Says:


    Visit Dave Althouse

    MAde my first attempt at curing bacon. My only issue is it’s way to salty tasting. Any thoughts to reduce the end product saltyness?

  218. Mmmmm… Bacon… — Beer Haiku Daily Says:


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    [...] This is truly spectacular: Makin Bacon. As my brother Garlic Jones always says, “Never trust a person who says they don’t like [...]

  219. Jewish bacon boy Says:


    Visit Jewish bacon boy

    To get most of the saltiness out, you need to thoroughly wash the salt brine off the bacon before you dry it to form the pellicle. Can’t just put the pieces under the tap; you have take your hands and rub the salt/sugar mixture off as best you can.

  220. David Says:


    Visit David

    Fellow epicures,
    You all sound inspired and so you should…try this (or any combination thereof)for a more Euro bacon experience:
    3/4 cup of salt
    3/4 cup of brown sugar
    1 tblsp ground pimento/allspice
    2 tblsp ground black pepper
    2 tsp ground coriander seeds
    4 clove garlic finely crushed
    2 bay leaves finely chopped
    Just coat the belly (I usually manage two 3 pound pieces with this much cure) with the mix, stick it in a freezer bag and cure for 6 days. Rinse thoroughly, dry (in the fridge, uncovered – best get rid of that rotten lemon!)and cook on the bbq or add this flavour bomb to stews, omelettes etc…also try this rub on pork chops and cure for six to eight hours – you’ll love it. Sometimes I just cure chops in sugar, salt and crushed juniper berries for 6 hours or so as this seems to keep the meat juicy, especially if you’ve landed a particularly lean chop.

    Anyway, getting carried away. Enjoy yourselves and remember you will lose the occasional ham/bacon/batch of salami to a bacterial infection. Frustrating but can’t do nowt about it.

    All the best,
    David

  221. rob Says:


    Visit rob

    I followed the brown sugar maple syrup and kosher salt suggestion had two slabs left the rind on one and took it off the other before i sliced them. both tasted the same just a little different to chew. we like the rind by itself so i’m taking it off both this time. at first we thought the bacon was too salty but didn’t notice that the next day although it was salty it didn’t seem too salty anymore. still this next batch i soaked for a couple hours after washing off the cure and was told to throw in a potato to absorb some of the salt i sliced the potato in half. the slabs are forming up now and i’ll push them skin side up into a pan of cracked black pepper tomorrow before i smoke them. we are loving this bacon.

  222. Porky the Pork Pig in a Bacon Blanket : BS Brewing’s The Champagne of Blogs Says:


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    [...] category called “Meat Stunts.” That’s where you’ll find instructions for home made bacon, the legend of the curiously named “La Caja China,” and our last Superbowl centerpiece, [...]

  223. Adam Says:


    Visit Adam

    The slab is on the smoker (dome temp 170, belly temp 120 deg) so I don’t know yet. This is my second attempt… first cooked way faster than I thought it would so it’s internal temp was 180, tasted good, but was essentially ham.
    This belly’s skin had the nipples on it. It disturbed me much less than I would have thought. If nothing else I have learned I am certainly NOT a vegan in hiding.

    A

  224. TeriHarrison Says:


    Visit TeriHarrison

    That looks like some delicious Bacon. I bet the salt and maple syrup makes it taste so good. Mmmmmm.

  225. John Says:


    Visit John

    This was truly emotional for me. I am alive again. My homemade bacon goes on the smoker in the morning. Thanks for the tasty bacon.

  226. The Life and Times of Bacon: Doin’ It Yourself | LikeMe Daily Says:


    Visit The Life and Times of Bacon: Doin’ It Yourself | LikeMe Daily

    [...] post has full instructions and pictures of the process, guiding the home chef through the process of transforming regular pork bellies into the magic we [...]

  227. Argentum Vulgaris Says:


    Visit Argentum Vulgaris

    That is a bout the coolest explanation for makin’ bacon I have ever seen on a blog, Congrats.

    I will be linking.

    AV

  228. Mark B Says:


    Visit Mark B

    I am trying to duplicate Schwartzwald Speck (Black Forest Bacon)It’s the kind that can be eaten cold. Anyone have any recipes they would like to share?

  229. Martine Says:


    Visit Martine

    The chemistry involved: The salt draws out the water, creating a solution with the sugar (and any other soluble flavorings involved) and the then dehydrated flesh sucks up the solution to return to homeostasis. I think.

  230. LouBear Says:


    Visit LouBear

    I have completed the process, and it was awesome… I think I ate a whole pound this morning while I was slicing the rest of the bacon on a slicer. I have different opinions on the different flavors. Maple was too sweet for me, but I think it would be GREAT wrapped around a duck or goose fillet. The brown sugar/salt was just right for a nice normal breakfast bacon. The pepper one was AWESOME. I ate mostly the pepper one, and it had me wanting more. I look forward to experimenting with future flavors, but using this as the base. I think next time I am going to let it cure a little more than the 7 days.

    My next flavors are going to be Jalepeno and a garlic one.

    P.S. Doctor is going to be pissed again when I go in for my yearly physical and my cholestrol is through the roof!!!

  231. Jesse Streck Says:


    Visit Jesse Streck

    Stumbled across your blog while on a quest to find ideas for my inherited “Little Chief” smoker. Not only is the idea of ‘making bacon’ fascinating, but you are down right hilarious. I haven’t yet checked to see if there is more to your blog, in a hurry to speculate on pork bellies at the closest meat market asap, but i look forward to reading more of your comical input on just about anything. Thank you for the laughs and smiles, and thank you most of all for giving me another reason to fill my home with the wonderful aroma of bacon! Can’t wait to get started.

  232. Paul Says:


    Visit Paul

    As a result of the recent scientific findings of nitrite-laden meats vs. non-nitrite-laden meats, I, a bacon enthusiast extraordinaire, have chosen to make my own bacon. Your blog inspired me to do so. Thank you! I now have not only the incentive to do so, but the instructions as well!

    Carry on!

  233. Mom’s Menu Planner Says:


    Visit Mom’s Menu Planner

    This bacon looks absolutely yummy! Great job!!

  234. 50 Ways to Use Bacon! | BaconScotch.com | Bacon & Scotch | Bacon | Scotch Says:


    Visit 50 Ways to Use Bacon! | BaconScotch.com | Bacon & Scotch | Bacon | Scotch

    [...] 39. Try your hand at making your own bacon. [...]

  235. I Am a WINNER at I Do Things So You Don’t Have To Says:


    Visit I Am a WINNER at I Do Things So You Don’t Have To

    [...] Make your own damn bacon. [...]

  236. Andre Says:


    Visit Andre

    The first effort was wonderful when I tried your perfect Bacon recipe. The second time I did a ‘cold smoke’ with the same method instead of direct heat. This takes about 12 hours. I used a drum to activate the smoke and then connected a pipe about 2 meters from the enclosed/covered bacon. Naturally there is still some heat that reaches the pork belly. The longer you smoke it this way the better.
    The pork in the encloseed resepticle must be slightly elevated above the drum.
    Since I live in South Africa I used some of our local indigenous wood chips for this purpose. Also used wood chips from some fruit trees. All worked well.
    Thank you for a wonderful idea.
    Next time I will be trying honey instead of maple.

  237. 225: Kiwanda Cream Ale – Beer Reviews Says:


    Visit 225: Kiwanda Cream Ale – Beer Reviews

    [...] now on the vine, but still quite green. And I have a pork belly in the freezer, but I haven’t baconized it [...]

  238. John Says:


    Visit John

    is it ok if i dont put it in a smoker? i don’t have, and can’t afford one. can i just after curing. cut and freeze?

  239. Craft Beer Says:


    Visit Craft Beer

    Droooooool. Looks delicious. I’ve wanted to make my own bacon for quite some time but can’t find a place to get a pork belly with the skin intact. I hear that I may have some luck trying an Asian market.


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