Basic bacon rundown please

  • Sous Vide Canning PK100 Team Blue Power User Regular Contributors Veteran

    I was able to find a 10 lb pork belly. As I have never made bacon before, but have been inspired to try by this community, I am wondering if I can get a basic rundown of the process.

    1. Which cure to buy?
    2. Qty of cure to water for 10 lb.
    3. Soak time?
    4. Some time?
    5. Is there a way to incorporate Jalapeño flavor? At what step would this take place?
    6. Any other tips - like slicing -

  • This is the method I’ve used for well over 100 lbs of bacon that I’ve made since I started:

    https://ruhlman.com/homemade-bacon/

    I like the bag method that ruhlman describes, flip them once daily in the fridge while the meat cures. You can add any aromatics or flavoring to the basic cure. I like to add things like fresh herbs, garlic, black pepper corns…I also like to experiment and have had good results with a combo of paprika, maple syrup and siracha. I call that variant “sweet-heat”.

    Typically 6 days in the cure is long enough, followed by a good rinse, then a pat dry and finally a day exposed to the fridge to finish drying off the surface. That is followed by the smoker. I don’t have a good smoke schedule but It usually takes a couple hours. I smoke mine to 150F IT, although you could go lower and still be safe, assuming that you will be slicing and frying.

    For slicing, it is best done cold and I like to use a long slicing knife, mine is victorinox. I now have a 12" meat slicer so I’ll be getting to use the powered slicer on my next batch. I place the sliced bacon on a piece of wax paper then put it in the vac bags to seal and store.

  • Team Orange Power User Canning Masterbuilt Veteran

    RafterW I think you will really like that new slicer over the knife, I used to slice all my jerky meat by hand then got a slicer, world of difference in time and consistency.

  • Team Blue Regular Contributors Traeger Power User Veteran Sous Vide Canning

    lkrfletcher I don’t buy a cure, I just use a brine with salt, water and sugar base. You can add what kind of sugar you like for the flavor you like. Brown sugar or maple sugars give better flavor. Salt goes the same way depending on how salty you like your bacon. 1 cup of Kosher salt per gallon of water is standard for brine, I use only a half cup of salt. I use a bit more sugar and the standard rate of sure cure per pound 1/4 teaspoon. I mix my ingredients for my brine in a bit of warm water, then bring it up to one gallon. One gallon will brine a five pound slab in a 2 gallon ziplock bag. As far as your Jalapeno flavor you would want to add it in with your brine. You will want to experiment with how much to add, depending on how much heat and flavor you may want to end up with. Brine in the fridge for 5-7 days turning the bag everyday, then rinse very well and dry before going to the smoker. Slice it when it it very cold, I hand slice mine with a 12" serrated knife and rinse it when it begins to drag.


  • bocephus I’m pretty excited to use it. It is a heck of a unit, an Avantco SL512. My cousin owns a restaurant in town and switched over to pre-sliced meats from their food distributor so no longer had a use for it. I got it on the cheap.


  • johnsbrewhouse said in Basic bacon rundown please:

    lkrfletcher I don’t buy a cure, I just use a brine with salt, water and sugar base. You can add what kind of sugar yo like for the flavor you like. Brown sugar or maple sugars give better flavor. Salt goes the same way depending on how salty you like your bacon. 1 cup of Kosher salt per gallon of water is standard for brine, I use only a half cup of salt. I use a bit more sugar and the standard rate of sure cure per pound 1/4 teaspoon. I mix my ingredients for my brine in a bit of warm water, then bring it up to one gallon. One gallon will brine a five pound slab in a 2 gallon ziplock bag. As far as your Jalapeno flavor you would want to add it in with your brine. You will want to experiment with how much to add, depending on how much heat and flavor you may want to end up with. Brine in the fridge for 5-7 days turning the bag everyday, then rinse very well and dry before going to the smoker. Slice it when it it very cold, I hand slice mine with a 12" serrated knife and rinse it when it begins to drag.

    Agreed, I mix up my basic cure in large batches ahead of time so I can use it for various things as I need it and just adjust the amount needed based on the meatblock weight. Its nice to just have it ready and have one less thing to think about when the time comes to make a cured item.

  • Team Orange Power User Canning Masterbuilt Veteran

    RafterW Everyone seems to get great deals on this sight, I think it seems like 30 years since I got a great deal and then took a lot of work to clean up an Enterprise stuffer I found at a flea market.


  • bocephus Yeah it is a $900 slicer new, I picked it up for $400. That’s the best deal on something that I’ve come across. I’d love to find one of those SS warming cabinets to convert into a massive smoker, like I’ve seen on here, although I am contemplating building a dedicated wood smoke house. I want to build my wife a sauna and thought I’d just build a smoke house off of the back of it, while I’m pouring the concrete and buying the materials, may as well just add several hundred in materials and knock it all out in one build!

  • Team Orange Power User Canning Masterbuilt Veteran

    lkrfletcher I am interested in this, bacon is on my to do list. I have been following quite a few posts and it doesn’t seem to be as daunting a task as I thought. One of the keys I think is good rinse after soaking and dry well and refrigerate overnight before smoking.

  • Masterbuilt

    Cure #1 using a dry rub method. Amounts of cure, salt, and brown sugar used determined via digging dog farms cure calculator. Rub belly, put in bag, cure 1 day per 1/4” of meat thickness at thickest point. Add 2 more days for good measure to the cure. Rinse pat dry and let dry overnight in fridge then smoke @150-175 for at least 4 hrs or until internal temperature is 130 degrees. Slice cold and be sure to cook before eating.

    Haven’t found a need to add other flavors so can’t help there

  • Team Blue Regular Contributors Traeger Power User Veteran Sous Vide Canning

    bocephus You don’t need to refrigerate it overnight before smoking, you can go directly into the smoker after drying. It will be ready to go and take smoke well. Refrigerate well after smoking for ease of slicing, the colder the better. It’s not hard to make bacon at all, just remembering to turn the bag is the worse part.

  • Team Orange Power User Canning Masterbuilt Veteran

    RafterW Now that is thinking, keep the wife happy and get something out of it for you.

  • Team Orange Power User Canning Masterbuilt Veteran

    johnsbrewhouse I thought you put it into refrigerator overnight to form pellicle so the smoke adheres better.


  • bocephus said in Basic bacon rundown please:

    johnsbrewhouse I thought you put it into refrigerator overnight to form pellicle so the smoke adheres better.

    You can put it in the fridge to help form that pellicle, I do this if I have time. I’ve skipped it before and just patted it dry with paper towels then got it in the smoker, it turned out the same, as far as I could tell.

  • Big Green Egg Team Blue Regular Contributors Cast Iron Power User

    lkrfletcher this is a great post. I will follow this one as I am in the same boat as you!

  • Team Orange Power User Canning Masterbuilt Veteran

    RafterW Thanks, like I said I have never made bacon and am trying to get all info I can. Have made ground venison bacon but definitely not the same process.


  • bocephus It really isn’t that daunting of a task, I know it seems to be. I cut up a belly into roughly thirds, sometimes in half depending on the overall length of the belly and put them in 2G ziplocks to cure. It is well worth making your own, you can’t buy anything as good from the stores and it makes a great gift for around the holidays. I put in several pounds at our family chrismas gift exchange each year. I’ll be making a batch after thanksgiving.

  • Team Orange Masterbuilt Big Green Egg Dry Cured Sausage Sous Vide Canning Power User

    lkrfletcher Go for it!!! Expand your comfort and knowledge zone. I have been using a rub cure to do my bellies and have started leaning towards a brine. Develop your basic recipe and build from there. I like to add additions while it dries in the fridge, maybe some coarse ground black pepper, a dusting some hot pepper or flakes, etc. You can add some brown sugar on the slices as they bake in the oven if you want to candy them a bit. I slice like johnsbrewhouse since I am not happy with my current slicer. My .02¢


  • Here is the Meatgistcis University class on Bacon Basics that could serve as a good reference. https://meatgistics.waltonsinc.com/topic/800/cured-whole-muscle-meat-104-bacon-basics

  • Regular Contributors Cast Iron Sous Vide Canning Team Blue Power User

    lkrfletcher I’ve only done the dry cure, but man was it fun, easy and tasty. I added black pepper right before the smoke. I would think that would work for you as well. Keep us informed on the outcome.

Suggested Topics

  • 3
  • 7
  • 33
  • 8
  • 2

Community Statistics

15
Online

17.6k
Users

4.4k
Topics

66.2k
Posts

About Meatgistics

Meatgistics is brought to you by Walton's (waltonsinc.com). Meatgistics is a community site, knowledgebase, forum, blog, learning center, and a sharing site. You can find help and ask questions about anything related to meat processing, smoking and grilling meats, plus a whole lot more. Join Austin & Jon from Walton's and sign up for our Meatgistics community today.