Homemade Fresh Bacon

I think I’ve made my love of bacon well known. And after making pancetta, what else could I do but make homemade bacon? I don’t need to bring home the bacon ’cause I made it myself. And, yes, my jokes are that corny in real life.

I actually bought the pork belly on a whim the last time we were at an Asian grocery store. I didn’t initially have any plans for it but Angela pushed for me to make bacon. How can you resist a woman who requests bacon? And, yes, that does make my wife the best ever.

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This bacon is a bit different than what you usually procure in a grocery store. The main difference being that it isn’t smoked. I would smoke the bacon but a second floor apartment doesn’t make that easy.

This is actually a lot easier to make than the pancetta. It doesn’t have the flavoring ingredients that the pancetta does. It also isn’t dried like the pancetta but is instead roasted.

The flavor of the bacon is quite good. The bacon and pork flavors are much more pronounced. It’s almost too much (but isn’t). You’d need to be careful using it in a dish where bacon is only one of many ingredients or the bacon may overwhelm all the others (but maybe that isn’t a bad thing).

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Homemade Fresh Bacon
Adapted from Charcuterie

3 to 5 lbs. pork belly, skin on
45 grams kosher salt
43 grams dextrose
7 grams pink salt

  1. Trim the pork belly to a rectangular shape. Mix the kosher salt, dextrose, and pink salt together on a wide low sided tray. Dredge the pork belly through the salt mixture until it is covered on all sides.
  2. Place the pork belly in a large zip top bag and place in the refrigerator. Let it refrigerate for 7 days, turning it over every other day.
  3. After 7 days, the pork belly should be firm. Remove the pork belly from the zip top bag and rinse it under running water. Dry it with paper towels.
  4. Cook the pork belly in a preheated 200ºF oven on rack over a backing tray until it’s internal temperature reaches 150ºF, about two hours.
  5. Remove the pork belly from the oven. Using a sharp knife, cut off the skin from the pork belly. Allow the pork belly to cool completely.
  6. Cut the pork belly into slices of bacon. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freezer for up to 3 months. To eat, cook like normal bacon (fry or bake).

Makes 2 to 4 lbs. of fresh bacon.

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7 Responses to “Homemade Fresh Bacon”


  1. 1 Brutus December 21, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    Nice sight!

    I too am a fan of fresh bacon.

    The cooking process you are describing is kippering.

    Most commercial bacon and other smoked meats use this process although they call it smoking because they use a smoke machine to produce smoke for the purpose giving the meat a darker color. The flavor of smoke often comes from liquid smoke added to the brine.

    I mention this because many people think they can’t cook their own smoked meats. The oven does a fine job however.

    I like the variety of your recipes.

    Brutus
    Brutusphere.wordpress.com

  2. 2 Matt December 22, 2007 at 8:42 am

    Thanks for the information. I didn’t realize that most bacons aren’t really smoked. I wonder about the “higher-quality” bacons out there.

    I’m actually trying to come up with a method for stove top smoking. I think I can just use a dryer vent to vent the smoke out the window. I just worry about setting off the smoke alarm repeatedly.

  3. 3 Brutus December 22, 2007 at 11:23 am

    There are many ways to process “smoked meats”.

    I used to run a small meat shop and am familiar with some of the basic processes. Hence the info on kippering. I am hoping to do a bit of research on a few of the other ways to make various meat products for a series of posts on the subject. It will be a while before I get that done but it’s on the horizon.

    I’m not sure if cooking on the stove top will give you better results than the oven. You may also have a problem with the smoke you are venting attracting some unwanted attention, not just setting off the smoke alarm. If you have a vent for the stove top that vents outside, that could be tapped into. Also the smoky smell is very persistent. You may not want that aroma around all the time.

    Yes, there is certainly someone out there who would say their smoked meat is really smoked not kippered. I think most people, on the face of it would call kippering smoking. The smoking process, however, uses wood and depends on the smoke as well as some heat to cook and preserve the meat. Kippering uses heat to cook the meat, is quicker, and uses smoke for cosmetics, if at all. I don’t think most people would notice the difference between meat cooked these two ways.

    Anyway, keep up the good work. I’ll be keeping an eye on what your up to next.

  4. 4 charcuterista February 11, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    I cheated and used my gas grill and some soaked hickory chips to smoke my first attempt at bacon, with good effect I might add. In poking around, I’ve seen several mentions of a cast iron oven smoker, which might be what you need. The mention I can remember and find off hand is at

    http://www.thepauperedchef.com/2008/02/adventures-in-h.html

    And you can admire my bacon at

    http://charcuterista.wordpress.com/2008/02/08/8/

  5. 5 Matt February 12, 2008 at 11:54 am

    I may have to try something like that. My only worry is that we have a rather sensitive smoke detector and our ventilation isn’t quite that good.

  6. 6 smokeydabear March 13, 2008 at 1:17 pm

    You folks can get a small electric smoker. They are inexpensive and do a great job. Regulating temp can be ab issue but with some practice you’ll get it.

    good luck

  7. 7 glanbrydan October 21, 2008 at 3:05 am

    I make bacon in a dry cure salt and sugar mix. We use it very successfully as lardons but it’s hard to slice. I’m going to look at the electric smokers as we have enclosed woodburners so no smoking possible. We have never precooked it though, sounds interesting.
    Rgds
    Sam


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