In this post I show you how you can make bacon yourself.
Freshly fried bacon smell in the morning is something heavenly. A few scrambled eggs or a fried egg on top. Yummy!
To be honest, bacon is relatively easy to make. All you need is a little time. Depending on your preferred method of smoking the process takes between 7 and 14 days.
Speaking of smoking methods… You can either hot smoke or cold smoke your bacon. I will show you both ways.
Here you can find the complete bacon recipe as a video or to read through.
Have fun and good luck making it!
Making Bacon yourself – what you need for it
INGREDIENTS PER 1 KG
- 1 kg pork belly with rind
Spices PER KG OF MEAT
- 31 g salt
- 2.5 g Cure #1
- 15 g maple syrup
- 3 g brown sugar
- 2 g black pepper
- 1 g chili flakes
INFO: You can choose the type of sugar as you like. For example, replace the maple syrup with brown sugar or use normal sugar. It’s completely up to you. I really like the maple flavor for my breakfast bacon.
You will need this equipment:
Spice grinder / mortar.
To grind your spices, it’s best to use a spice grinder. Alternatively, a mortar is also suitable. Or you can use already ground spices. I recommend to grind them yourself.
You need the smoker (e.g. this smoker cabinet) to smoke your bacon. It doesn’t matter if it is cold or hot. You always need it.
I have made very good experiences with beech smoking flour. You can also use smoking chips for hot smoking. The variety is up to you. I find also here beech not too obtrusive.
Cold smoke generator
With the cold smoking variant you also need a cold smoke generator. It ensures that you have 12 hours of continuous smoke in the smoker.
Make your own Bacon – step-by-step instructions
1. Mix the dry spices, salt and cure into a spice mixture. It should all be nicely evenly distributed.
2. Now massage the meat with the spice mixture. Make sure that all sides are nicely covered.
3. Put the meat into a vacuum bag and add the maple syrup.
Important: Add any leftover spice mixture that is still in the bowl/on the board to the vacuum bag. Since we have weighed the spices and the salt beforehand everything should end up in the bag.
4. Vacuum the meat.
5. Cure the pork belly in the refrigerator. Put the pork belly for 7 days in the refrigerator and turn it 1x daily.
The 7 days are calculated from the following curing time: Per cm of meat thickness you need approx. 1.5 days of curing. A typical pork belly is about 5 cm thick. -> 5 * 1.5 = 7.5 days. With this, you are on the safe side. You can also go longer if you want. This is the minimum required time.
6. After 7 days, rinse the meat with cold water. The goal is to wash the spices from the meat. Otherwise, the spices may burn during smoking.
7. Now pat the meat dry with a kitchen towel. Then insert a hook into the cured pork belly. This will allow you to hang it in the smoker.
IMPORTANT: Now the procedures differ depending on whether you want to cold or hot smoke your bacon.
First the hot smoking variant:
8. Optional: Let the bacon hang in the cellar or another cool room for one night after dabbing it dry. For me, it absorbs the smoke flavor better after that. Is as I said but optional, you can also smoke it directly.
9. Hang your bacon in the smoker and let it heat up to about 90 C° (194 Fahrenheit).
10. Smoke the pork belly now at about 90 C° until you reach the desired core temperature of 65 C° (149 Fahrenheit). The smoking process will take between 1.5 and 2.5 hours depending on the size. Just have a look at the core temperature and you will be fine.
11. When the core temperature is reached, take the bacon out of the smoker. Cut off the rind while it is still warm and allow the bacon to cool down in the refrigerator for at least one day.
12. Your hot smoked bacon is ready 😄. Enjoy it. Personally, it tastes best in slices or thick cubes slowly fried out in the pan.
Cold Smoking Bacon – An Alternative way
As an alternative to hot smoking, you can cold smoke your breakfast bacon. This is a method which is often used in Germany to make “Speck”-like products.
The process for this is the same up to step 7.
After that, the process changes….
8. Let the cured pork belly hang in a cool cellar or on a grid in the refrigerator for about 3 days.
The time is calculated based on the curing time. 7 days of curing divided by 2 = 3.5, so if you cure it longer you need to adjust the time.
9. You can now hang the bacon in the smoker and cold smoke it for 5 runs*. Ideally, the temperature in the smoker should be between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius (59 – 65 Fahrenheit).
*One “run” means 12 hours of smoke and 12 hours of no smoke.
10. After the smoking, your cold smoked bacon is ready 😄. Enjoy it.
What is the shelf life of the Bacon?
The shelf life of the bacon changes with the method of smoking.
Hot-smoked bacon can be kept in the refrigerator for about 7 days. However, you can also cut it into slices and freeze it in portions. Then you always have bacon on stock.
The cold-smoked bacon can be stored in a vacuum for several months.