Thursday, June 23, 2011

Making of the Bacon

So, it is a second attempt at making home made bacon.  It was a bit salty... but still very yummy.

The most important thing I've learned is that the type of pig makes a huge difference.  The first go we bought Yorkshire (I think) and this go it was a Berkshire.  The first attempt, the bacon didn't hold form and ended up as a yummy shredded pork belly versus getting bacon.  This time, we got BACON! yea!

 The recipe I found was at Daves Cupboard and I used the dry cure as the base.  I did reduce the amount of sugar and skipped some ingredients (mostly because I didn't have them).

So here is my base for curing:

3 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried thyme (actually I think I put a bit more)

Rub the cure all over the pork and put it in a zip-lock bag in the fridge for 7 days.  Turning about once a day, squishing it a bit as I did so to get a feel for how the meat was curing.  You are looking for the meat to be feeling a bit firm to the touch, you will see some liquid in the zip-lock bag as the salt is pulling out water from the pork. 

Once you have cured it for a minimum of 3 days to a max of 7, you pull it out of the fridge and wash off all the curing spices on it.  I then placed it in the oven at 200F for about 2 hrs - to both dry it out and 'smoke' it.  I would like to try out properly smoking it out in the backyard with my old smokey-joe grill.   But right now, I have to say, aside from the salt issue - it was yummy!

One of the things I've seen to try to reduce the salt taste is to submerge the bacon after curing in a cold water bath for 4  to 24 hours. ( see here)  But, I haven't tried it to say if it will work or not.

Ron - if you do make this - let me know how it goes!


  1. when cooked to the point where it's still a bit soggy, it's darn good.

    but when cooked to where most of the fat renders out, and it gets to that point where it's crunchy/crispy and starts disintegrating in your mouth... yeah, it's amazing.

    very similar to Julie's oven bacon.

  2. Did you slice it yourself, or did you purchase it sliced?

    If you sliced it yourself, what is the "optimal" setting on your slicer to achieve the maximum yumminess thickness?

    I've found with my store bought bacon that thickness matters almost as much as curing, for a pleasurable bacon eating experience. Too thin, and it can be stringy as hell. Too thick, and while it may be yummy, it might be onerously chewy.

    What "sweet spot" have you found?

  3. I will likely make some over the summer in the US with the in-laws. Will post if so.

  4. Joe: I'm not sure one can make bacon with pre-sliced pork belly. I don't even know if they would sell it that way - mostly you get a slab that you cure, "smoke" and then cut.

    as for the slicer - we have decided to buy one since the bacon experiment is a success. Right now, the bacon is cut every which way as I never was good at even slices. I try for fairly thin - but we had a few thick slices and they still turned out nice and crisp. however, the cooking time on the thick slices was a bit longer. :)

    I think the type of pig makes a huge difference in the type of bacon - more so than the cut. odd, i know.