Cured Homemade Bacon
One of the keys to making great homemade bacon is to source high-quality pork belly from your local butcher or Asian grocery store.
If you remove the skin yourself make sure to use a sharp knife. To begin, start by angling the knife right underneath the skin and cut underneath the skin while angling the knife upward next to the skin. Watch Video For Full Example.
WATCH Our How-TO Video Below
TIP: You can ask your local butcher or Asian grocery store representative to remove the skin for you. Some people like to use the skin to make crackling, chicharrones. (Crispy Pork Skin/ Pork Rinds)
The Cure Recipe For Homemade Bacon
Homemade Bacon Cure Recipe
- 1+ Cups Brown Sugar
- 1 Box Coarse Kosher Salt
- 1 T Chipotle Powder
- 1 T Cumin
- 2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flake
- 2 teaspoon Prague powder ( Sold Here )
Curing Salt Information For Making Homemade Bacon
Sodium Nitrite is sometimes referred to as pink salt or Prague powder and is NOT related to, or has anything to do with pink Himalayan sea salt. Using too much Prague powder/sodium nitrite can cause serious health issues. Just not normal salt, too much is a bad thing and Prague powder is way stronger than normal table salt.
Sodium Nitrite referred to as Prague powder can be a dangerous ingredient and should be used with care. Sodium nitrite should NOT be used as normal salt. Used in too high amounts can cause cardiac arrest.
Do not confuse sodium nitrite with sodium nitrate.
Prague powder / Pink Curing Salt = It is 93.75 percent table salt and 6.25 percent sodium nitrite.
- Pork Belly (Buy what looks good to you) 1
Dry Ingredients - Cure Ingredients
- Coarse Kosher Salt (3 Pound Box) 1 48 oz Box
- Prague Powder (Sodium Nitrite + Table Salt) 2 teaspoon
- Brown Sugar 1 Cups
- Chipotle Powder 1 T
- Cumin 1 T
- Red Pepper Flake 2 teaspoon
Purchasing & Preparing the Pork Belly
- You can find pork belly at your local butcher shop or Asian grocery store.
- You can save yourself some effort and ask the butcher to remove the pork belly skin. The skin is way too tough to make bacon with. You will not be able to chew it.
- Choosing your piece of pork belly, look for a new piece with a high amount of meat and a low amount of fat (the white stuff).
The Dry Cure Ingredients
- Combine all dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
- Add about ( ⅓ ) third of the dry cure to a large casserole dish or you could use a large plastic bag. I’m not a fan of using plastic bags for this process. We will be curing the bacon for 7 days and I feel like salt and plastic touching for 7 days or more sounds off to me.
- Rub the curing mix all over the pork belly very well. Add the remaining curing mix to the top of the pork belly and make sure zero pork belly is exposed to air.
- Place the pork belly on the lower shelf in your refrigerator at the very back. The bacon will cure for 7 days.
- After 7 days rinse off the pork belly under warm water. To dry, place on a roasting rack into the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.
Adding Smoke To Your Bacon
- A natural and traditional method is cold smoking. Keeping the temperature der 110/115 degree. The idea is you are NOT cooking the bacon. Only kissing it with a little smoke flavor.
- Second MethodTake 1 ½ cups of water and mix in 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke. Then spray or pour over the bacon. I would slice the bacon before this step to increase the surface area for more flavor.
- Third MethodIncreasing the amount of chipotle powder, and even adding more ingredients like smoked paprika, some high-quality chili powder. Anything with a smokey ⅓note to it. Experiment around.
How-To: Bonus How To Make Prosciutto
Use the exact same method outlined for making homemade bacon minis the use of any liquid smoke. Prosciutto is usually made from the pig's hind leg. You can still use the pork belly just fine and cure it for two-plus weeks. Then rinse off under warm water. If you want to go the extra distance you would need to dry the cured meat and then wrap it in cheesecloth and hang to extra dry in a climate-controlled room for however long you like. Some prosciutto is hung for over two years.
After two weeks the pork belly is safe to eat without applying any heat to cook the meat. The salt curing process draws out the moisture and preserves the meat. Making the meat safe to consume with cooking. This was the method used hundreds of years ago before refrigerators. Now we call this process beside salt curing. The art of making prosciutto is called Charcuterie.