Homemade Bacon

Staff Writer
Homemade Bacon
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No need to bring home the bacon anymore, when you can make it yourself. While there’s plenty of good bacon available these days, the Accidental Locavore loves to make her own. It’s really easy, just takes about a week to cure the meat, and you don’t need a smoker, although you might want one. I generally use two 2 ½-pound pieces of pork belly because it’s easier to handle and you can play around with different spice blends. This started out from Michael Ruhlman’s excellent Charcuterie book. 

20
Servings
153
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 4-5 Pounds pork belly, skin on, with a good mix of meat and fat
  • 4 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 Teaspoons pink curing salt
  • 1/4 Cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 Cup maple syrup, preferably dark

Directions

Combine the kosher salt, pink salt, brown sugar, and maple syrup in a bowl and mix well.

Put each of the pork bellies in a resealable plastic bag big enough to hold it comfortably. Divide the cure mixture in 1/2 and thoroughly rub the entire surface of the bellies with the mix.

Seal the bags and refrigerate. Turn the bags over every other day to distribute the liquid in the bags (the liquid is the pork making its own brine). Cure for about 1 week; the pork should be pretty firm to the touch.

Remove from the bags and rinse thoroughly (or your bacon will be really salty). Pat dry with paper towels. Discard the cure and the bags. It can rest in the refrigerator, uncovered for up to 3 days (but who can wait that long?).

To roast it, preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Put the bellies, skin side up, on a roasting pan with a rack and roast until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 hours (start checking after 1 ½ hours). Remove the skin with a big knife, while the bacon is still warm (reserve the skin to use it later to flavor soups, etc.). Let the bacon cool, then wrap well and refrigerate until you’re ready to eat it.

To hot smoke it, set up your smoker and smoke the bellies skin side up, until the internal temperature is 150 degrees. On my smoker, it’s about 4 hours. Remove the skin, while the bacon is still warm. Let the bacon cool, then wrap well and refrigerate until you’re ready to eat it.

 

Bacon Shopping Tip

Look for center cut bacon which comes from a leaner part of the belly - you'll get more meat and less fat.

Bacon Cooking Tip

Cook bacon over medium to medium-low heat to prevent it from burning, and occasionally pour off the fat. You can save it for later use as a cooking oil.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
5g
8%
Sugar
5g
N/A
Saturated Fat
2g
10%
Cholesterol
64mg
21%
Protein
22g
44%
Carbs
5g
2%
Vitamin A
2µg
N/A
Vitamin B12
2µg
39%
Vitamin B6
0.6mg
29%
Vitamin D
0.1µg
N/A
Vitamin E
0.2mg
0.9%
Vitamin K
2µg
2%
Calcium
20mg
2%
Folate (food)
3µg
N/A
Folate equivalent (total)
3µg
1%
Iron
2mg
12%
Magnesium
23mg
6%
Monounsaturated
3g
N/A
Niacin (B3)
5mg
25%
Phosphorus
222mg
32%
Polyunsaturated
0.3g
N/A
Potassium
393mg
11%
Riboflavin (B2)
0.2mg
13.1%
Sodium
253mg
11%
Sugars, added
5g
N/A
Trans
0.3g
N/A
Zinc
6mg
37%

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