So while I am moving right along in my DIY lifestyle I found that I was still purchasing bacon. Why am I doing that? I know how to make bacon and I own a large smoker. I could come up with no good excuse so I decided that Whenever it was that I last bought bacon would be the last time. Yup, We are makin’ bacon.
Now, I have no interest in making bacon laden with nitrates and the such. For me the whole point is to make excellent bacon free of chemicals. Now bare with me, this bacon has NO NITRATES. If that is too scary for you please by all means add the pink salt (nitrates). I am not and authority and do not wish to scare the “bacon” out of you so please do what you feel most comfortable with.
Ok, that said….lets make some bacon.
Step one: order a whole pork belly skin ON from your butcher. Mine here is a bit over 8lbs.
A closer look…
Now you need to cut the belly into pieces you can work with. I cut mine in half and cleaned up the edges to get them straight more or less…Now, please don’t be upset when you find nipples on your belly. With the skin on the belly where else would the nipples be?
Here is the other side…
Now with the meat all cleaned up and squared off we will mix the “cure”.
To make the cure you need to mix together 2.5 times the amount of kosher salt to 1 part sugar and a nice heavy grind of black pepper. In my case I used 2.5 cups of kosher salt mixed with 1 cup sugar and about 1.5tbls. fresh ground pepper..
Now we rub the pork belly very very thickly with the cure mixture on both sides and then place it on a rack on a sheet pan. The soon to be bacon will loose liquid for about 2 days after which time you can transfer the soon to be bacon to a zip top bag for easy storage. Flip the bag over every day. The curing bacon must stay below 38 degrees the entire curing time. That is very very very important!!!!!
Now once the belly is covered like crazy in your cure mixture of salt sugar and pepper you will place it on a rack on a sheet pan (to catch the liquid that will come off the belly as it dries). In a couple of days it will stop losing liquid and then you can move it to a zip top bag. cover agin with cure mixture if needed.
Let the soon to be bacon cure on the fridge for about 5-7 days more. Then take the bacon from the fridge and give it a good rinse even soaking to in fresh cool water for a few minutes. I am going to stop here as my bacon in curing in the fridge and I want to give you pictures of all the steps. So this will end part one. See you soon with part two.
Come on, lets make bacon. Its so good!!!! I will give you all the steps to this process. Then you will have be on your way to making bacon too! See you soon.