Updated: Sep 6, 2019
Yes, bacon is magical and amazing. And yes, you can make it yourself at home -- you only need four ingredients and a bit of time. The only specialty ingredients you need are high-quality pork belly and curing salt. Curing salt is available online, and pork belly is available from your favorite local rancher!
yield: 1.5 - 2.5 lbs, (approx. 6-10 servings)
equipment: one 1-gallon Ziploc bag; roasting pan with tray; refrigerator; oven or smoker
time: 5 days for curing + 1 day of drying + 1 day cooking & cooling = 7 days
2.5 lbs pork belly
25 g (approx. 4 teaspoons) kosher salt
50 g sugar (approx. 4 Tablespoons) brown sugar
7 g (1 teaspoon) curing salt #1
1. Measure all ingredients and mix sugar with kosher salt and curing salt together in Ziplock bag.
2. Place pork belly in bag with cure mix, push air out of bag and seal the bag closed.
3. Using your hands on the outside of the sealed Ziplock bag, rub the cure mix on all sides of pork belly, taking care to distribute cure evenly.
4. Refrigerate for 4-5 days, flipping bag daily to redistribute cure.
5. After 4-5 days, (when the belly feels firm to the touch at its thickest) remove from Ziplock, rinse pork belly under cool running water, then pat with paper towels and let dry overnight, uncovered in fridge.
6. Then, the next day, prepare cooking vessel (start smoker or preheat oven to 200F) and take pork belly out of fridge to let temper.
7. Cook until internal temperature reaches 150F, approx 1. 5 hours)
8. Allow bacon to cool to room temperature before slicing.
9. Slice to desired thickness and fry in pan or oven as you would regular bacon!
-The most important thing is to measure your ingredients carefully
-Use high-quality salt. Kosher is fine but high-quality sea salt is great
-Use high-quality, farm-raised pork from a local rancher you trust
-The thicker the belly, the longer it takes to cure.
-First get comfortable with the process. Then once you’re confident and have made bacon a few times successfully, you can start tweaking the recipe by adding maple, black pepper, juniper etc.
-If you find yourself with leftover bacon (is that even possible?) you'll want to slice it before freezing.