Home Cured Bacon

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There isn’t any commercial made bacon that can compare to home cured bacon. I make this twice a year. I buy a 12 pound pork belly, cure, smoke & slice it. I end up with around 10 lbs of the best bacon I’ve ever eaten.

I start by mixing up the curing spice. Then I cut the the pork belly into thirds (in half if smaller than 12 lbs). I rub each piece with liquid smoke and season with the curing spice. I put each piece in a vacuum bag and seal. Place stacked in the refrigerator with a weight on top (I use a pizza stone). Turn every other day for 14 days. Remove from the vac bags and rinse with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels and place on a rack to dry. I put the rack on the laundry machines and turn on a fan. It takes around 3 hours for the meat to develop a nice pellicle.

Place in a smoker heated to 130 degrees. Apply a heavy smudge for 3 hours. Raise the smoker temp to 165 degrees and continue smoking with normal smoke until the internal temp reaches 150. Remove from the smoker and cool. Then refrigerate overnight.

Remove from the refrigerator and slice. I use a meat slicer but if you plan to cut it by hand I would recommend partially freezing it for an hour or so. Vacuum pack in portions that will fit your family needs. It will keep nicely in the freezer for at least 6 months.

Recipe:
1 ten to twelve pound pork belly, skinless
Mix salt, brown sugar, & instacure #1 using Dry Cure Calculator found on diggingdogfarm.com. Add 1 Tbs coarse black pepper if you like. Sprinkle 1/4 of the cure on a sheet pan. Cut belly crosswise into three equal pieces. Brush each piece on all sides with liquid smoke. Press each piece into cure on all sides adding more cure until it is all used. Vacuum pack each piece and refrigerate for 14 days, turning over every other day. Remove from vac bag, rinse @ pat dry. Place on racks to dry using a portable fan. Dry until a nice pellicle is achieved. Place in 130 degree smoker for 4
3 hours. Raise temp to 165 and continue smoking until the internal temp reaches 150. Allow to cool to room temp. Wrap and refrigerate overnight before slicing. Use in a week or freeze up to 6 months.

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