How To Make Bacon
Let’s learn how to make your own bacon.
Start by grabbing a pig’s belly. Try to find one with a lot of meat.
Cut it up into 3 or 4 sections and apply your custom cure.
I measure all ingredients by weight and most importantly use 2% salt and .25% prague powder #1. I put all the ingredients in the description as well as a link to my “Bacon Cure Recipe”
Vac seal it or put it in a ziploc bag and then cure it in the fridge for seven days. Flip it every day to help distribute the cure.
Remove from the bag and optionally rinse it off. I don’t rinse because I know I have the right amount of salt and prague powder and I want to keep my flavors on the crust. Pat it down with a paper towel. I scraped off some of the red pepper flakes and added a little more black pepper.
Let it sit in the fridge for another day to dry out the surface.
Smoke it at 200 degrees for a few hours until the internal temp hits 150 degrees. I’m using hickory wood, but feel free to use any hard or fruit wood you have on hand.
Let it cool on the counter and then in the fridge for the night.
Slice it to your desired thickness using a meat slicer or sharp knife.
Vac seal the slices into serving size bags and put in the freezer until you are ready to eat them.
Fire up your griddle and make the obligatory BLT.
This will be some of the best bacon you’ve ever eaten. It takes a bit of time and effort, but it’s totally worth it.
Bacon Cure Recipe:
Curing Salt/Prague Powder #1: .25%
Brown Sugar: 1%
Black Pepper: .6%
Granulated Garlic: .25%
Granulated Onion: .25%
Red Pepper Flakes: .25%
When building any rub or cure, I go by weight, not volume, because I want to be able to replicate the exact recipe every single time I make it. It’s very easy to scale the recipe up or down when you go by weight.
I start by weighing the pork belly and consider that 100% weight. All other ingredients are a percentage of that weight.
The most important ingredients you’ll add to your bacon cure are salt and prague powder #1, which is also known as pink curing salt. Salt is just sodium chloride and we’ll add 2% salt of that. . Prague powder is 93.75% sodium chloride and 6.25% sodium nitrite and we add .25% of it. It also has red dye coloring so you don’t mistake it for regular salt. Look for a prague powder that only has those 3 ingredients. There shouldn’t be any other ingredients listed. I found this one from Boise Salt to be a good deal. This little packet is good for about 100 pounds or 45kg of meat.
Another big reason why I go by weight of ingredients instead of volume is that too much sodium nitrite can be toxic. So, make sure you use exactly .25% of it by weight.
You actually don’t need to use curing salt when making bacon, but I do because I like the flavor, color, texture, food safety, and increased preservation qualities it provides. You could also use celery powder which includes nitrates, but it’s more difficult to get an exact amount of nitrates than with prague powder.
After you add your salt and prague powder, you can add whatever ingredients you like. I’ve included all the ingredients here for you to screenshot and they are also in the description.
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