• David Skarin

Homemade Bacon

Updated: Jan 21, 2021

There are not many things in this world that are better than bacon. There’s just something magical about bacon. Only thing better than bacon is HOMEMADE BACON! Seriously, I’m not joking. Something changes when you make it yourself. I’ve consumed far more bacon than I’d like to admit but this recipe for homemade bacon is a perfect entry for those wanting to attempt homemade bacon.

From here, the options are endless. You can add sliced jalapenos to the brine, load it up with brown sugar, whatever type of bacon you want, you can now make at home.

 

Fast Facts

Category: Pork

Cut: Pork Belly

Weight: 3 Pounds

Grill: Traeger

Heat Source: Wood Pellets

Type of Wood: Apple Wood

Estimated Cook Time: 4 hours (Note the entire process takes a week)

Actual Cook Time: 4 hours

Time of Cook: 3:45PM

Estimated Cooking Temperature: 180 degrees

Actual Cooking Temperature: 180 degrees for 3 hours, bumped to 225 degrees for final hour as I was behind schedule

Location of Purchase: Costco

Cook Date: September 5, 2020

 

Ingredient List

  • 3 pound pork belly

  • 1/3 cup coarse kosher salt

  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (both light or dark works, I used dark for this cook)

  • 3 tablespoons fresh coarse ground black pepper

  • 2 teaspoons pink curing salt (Prague Powder #1 or Insta Cure #1 - this is the one I use)

Supply List

 

Instructions

Step 1: In a mixing bowl, place the salt, pepper, curing salt and sugar and mix well, breaking up any lumps of sugar in the process. This is the cure for the pork belly.

Step 2: Place the pork belly in the marinating tub and spread the cure all over the pork belly. If you are using a Ziploc bag, I would suggest placing it in something that can potentially catch any leaks such as a disposable aluminum foil pan.

Step 3: You are now going to cure the “bacon” for 6 days in the refrigerator. Every day, flip over the pork belly. You will notice that there will be liquid in the marinating tub, this is normal. Do not discard and keep the pork belly soaking in the liquid.

Step 4: After 6 days, remove the pork belly and rinse under cool water very well. This is important, if you do not do this step your bacon will be extremely salty. Once you’ve thoroughly rinsed, pat dry.

Step 5: Place your “bacon” on a wire rack with a baking sheet underneath and return to the refrigerator for 4+ hours and up to overnight. This step is also critical as we are trying to create what is called a pellicle. The pellicle looks like the pork belly has a shine to it. This helps the smoke adhere to the pork belly.

Step 6: Preheat your smoker to 180 degrees.

Step 7: Place the pork belly on the smoker and smoke until internal temperature reaches 150-155.

Step 8: Transfer the bacon to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature.

Step 9: Once cool, tightly wrap in butcher paper (plastic wrap works as well), and refrigerate for 4+ hours, up to overnight. This helps the flavors marry together and firms up the bacon.

Step 10: Slice your bacon to desired thickness and cook it as you desire.

Enjoy the best bacon you’ve ever had!!!


Lessons Learned (Note: I will update this section to include your lessons learned from the comment section)

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