How to Make Homemade Bacon - Recipe
How to Make Homemade Bacon
Learn how to make Homemade Bacon with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.
What Is Bacon?
Bacon is classically a pork belly that has been cured by smoking, salting or pickling. After curing it can be cooked by pan frying, boiling, baking, microwaving or smoking. In American cuisine it is typically eaten for breakfast or added to other dishes to add a savory flavor.
There are two popular ways to cure bellies at home, pickling which is also often mistakenly referred to as brining and injecting. Brining is using just salt, pickling is the correct term for using an actual cure.
Before you prepare your injection there are a few things we need to point out about the water you are going to use. At the time of mixing the water needs to be between 40 and 45°, it cannot be hard water and must be potable so very low microbial levels. If you can aerate the water that is preferable, if not then put the water in a cooler and hold it overnight.
To prepare your injection you are going to dissolve 2 lb of Blue Ribbon Maple Bacon Cure and 6 ounces of bacon taste booster in a gallon of water. Bacon Taste booster helps impart the classic bacon taste while using modern curing techniques and it helps fight off rancidity in the freezer. Then you want to pump the bellies to 10 % of their green weight. Green weight is simply what the bellies weighed before you injected them.
Since the Blue Ribbon Maple Cure for Bacon has Sodium Erythorbate in it you only need to hold this product overnight in a cooler at 38° before moving them to the smokehouse. While you are holding them you want to cover them in a 50% strength solution of the pickle you used. The easiest way to do this is take the remaining pickle that you did not inject, weight it and add that amount of water to the pickle.
Next hang your bacon on 9 inch bacon hangers, making sure that there is sufficient flesh above the hooks to prevent them ripping through the top of the belly and hang them in the smokehouse.
If you want to pickle we recommend you use country brown sugar cure, you just have to modify the usage a little to get the correct parts per million. You will want to use 1.52 pounds of the cure to a gallon of water to get 120 PPM of ingoing nitrite. Fill the container with the cure before you put the bellies in, this will allow the bacon to suspend and cure evenly. Make sure to stack the bellies meat side to meat side and fat to fat. Once your bellies are covered move them to a cooler at 38° degrees and hold for 3-5 days. After it has sat for 3-5 days fill a meat lug with clean cold water, let the bacons sit in that for 20 minutes, empty that and fill it up with more cold water and let it sit for another 20 minutes to rinse of any excess salt. If you try and skip this step your bacon is going to be WAY too salty. If you are wanting a less salty product then repeat this step a 3rd time.
The smoke schedule is the same for Pickling as it is for Injecting.
Thermal Processing & Smoking
Stage 1 - 120° for an hour with no smoke
Stage 2 - 135° for an hour with smoke
Stage 3 - 150° for an hour with smoke
Stage 4 - 165° for an hour with smoke
Stage 5 - 180° with no smoke until internal temperature reaches 132°
If your smokehouse has a shower cycle you should run it for 20 minutes with no heat and no smoke. If you do not have a shower cycle in your smoker then fill a meat lug with ice and water and leave it in there for 15-20 minutes to bring down the internal temperature. Allow your bacon to sit out at room temperature for 2 hours.
Bacon is one of the most commonly cured meats in America, being able to make it at home is really not very hard but it is a little time consuming. One of the nice things about making bacon is all you need is the Cure a Meat Lug a cooler and a Smoker!
- If injecting, make sure you inject evenly throughout the bacon.
- If pickling make sure you add the pickle before adding the bellies.
For either pickle or injection make sure your water is 40°-45°F, it can not be hard water and aerate it or hold in a cooler overnight.
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