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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Homemade Bacon

My wife and I love bacon.  I know, who doesn't love bacon?  But we don't love some of the ingredients found in most bacon.

Most conventional bacon is cured with the following ingredients:

My wife and I like to limit our intake of the highlighted ingredients so we decided to start buying uncured bacon. 
  • Brown Sugar
  • Celery Juice Concentrate
  • Salt
  • Sodium Lactate (from Corn Source)
  • Lactic Acid Starter Culture
The ingredients are better, but still not great.  So what to do?  "Why can't we make our own bacon?" my lovely wife asks.  She's so smart!

We "googled" (isn't it crazy how that has become a verb?) how to make bacon and came across a lot of blog posts.  HERE, HERE, HERE, are a few.  We apparently are not the only ones who thought of this!  Most directions called for smoking the meat, which would have made better bacon, but we wanted an easier method.  Here's what we did.

Step 1:  Buy some Pork Belly at Wegmans in DeWitt.  I swear, that store has everything!  And some salt.

Step 2:  Cover Pork Belly with cracked pepper (optional) and a LOT of salt.  You want to cover every inch of pork with salt.  Cover the top, bottom, sides and ends.

Step 3:  Place Pork on baking rack or a pan with holes so air can circulate around the pork.  We set the pork on skewers.
Step 4:  Place in refrigerator and wait about 2 days.  Flip pork over and put more salt on.  Wait another 2 days to let the bacon cure.

Step 5:  After about 4 days take pork out of refrigerator.  Thoroughly rinse pork with tap water, unless you really like salt!  Then slice bacon into strips.  Using a meat slicer would be much better, you can get much thinner slices.  I only had a knife, so my slices were pretty thick.

Step 6:  Cook the bacon and enjoy!

The bacon turned out pretty good.  I had to cook it for a long time to make it crispy, because the slices were so thick.  The bacon was a little too salty.  If I make bacon again I will wash each slice individually to get more salt off.

Give it a try and let me know how it turns out!


The salt that the directions called for that we found online is "Canning Salt" which is pure salt that doesn't contain any iodine and it's finer than table salt. I'm sure regular table salt will work, but this stuff is pretty cheap at the store. We got that huge box you can see in the pic for only $1.79

Came out pretty yummy! It was cool to try, and would definitely be better thinner and less salty next time.

our neighbor, Red Stag, makes bacon in a liquid brine then smokes it.

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