Making homemade bacon is a lot easier than it sounds. All you need is some pork belly and a little time to create thick, juicy, delicious, bacon.
One of the best things about homemade bacon, besides being able to brag about the fact that you can make homemade bacon, is you end up with a thick bacon brick that can be sliced thick or thin or cut into little cubes, that we like to use instead of butter or oil when we're making soups and stews or sautéing vegetables.
Think of this recipe as a starting place for homemade bacon, because once you learn the basics of making bacon at home, the options for different seasonings are endless, which opens up all sorts of culinary and probably coronary doors.
Prep Time: 7 days
Cooking Time: 2 to 3 hours
Servings: 2 lbs of delicious bacon
Start by mixing the dry cure, mustard powder, brown sugar, and ground pepper together. Rub the entire pork belly with the mixture, including the sides.
Pour the maple syrup on to the pork belly and rub it in, making sure to get your hands all nice and gooey. Put the pork belly in a ziplock bag and store it in the fridge for around a week, flipping it every day or so.
The bacon is ready to smoke when it is firm to the touch. When you take the bacon out of the bag, give it a good rinse under the sink and pat it dry.
We like to smoke the bacon with apple or hickory for two to three hours at around 200℉. It also can be slow roasted in the oven. The bacon is done when its internal temperature reaches 150℉.
Once the bacon has been smoked, slice it and cook it the way you would any other bacon.
We liked to keep a small container of dry cure around that can be used when we're curing things. The dry cure recipe here has been adapted from Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn's book Charcuterie, which is an invaluable resource.
When you're curing smoked meats it's important to use the right amount of pink salt, sometimes known as Prague Powder #1, which is for meats that will be partially cooked or smoked. The FDA recommends 1 level tsp for every 5 lbs of meat.