View Full Version : Made my own home cured bacon...with pics...56k NO WAY you want to come in here

October 25, 2009, 09:42 AM
Heard it was pretty easy & supposed to give really good results, so I tried it & it was pretty easy, but it did take some work...

We're only allowed 6 pics here, so I posted the full set of 25 pics at http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=10&f=19&t=629065&page=1&#10717018 if anyone wants to see it.

All the items needed (plus a cooking thermometer, forgot to include that in the pic) 12 pound slab of Duroc breed, skin on pork belly overnight delivered from heritage foods, smoker, measuring cup, brown sugar, morton's tender quick curing salt, fridge thermometer, meat scale, digital scale & a tub.


I only used a piece since it was my first time trying this and it would be a shame for it all to go to waste if I did a bad job, so I measured one smoker rack size.

Cut it to that size, and it was 1/3rd at 4 pounds (not bad for a by the eye cut!)

Followed the instructions of 1/2 ounce per pound, plus I used 1 cup of brown sugar

Rubbed it all over in the tub

And after only 20 minutes the salt was already drawing water out of the meat. It turned into a brine later, but I didn't take pictures of that...

I was careful to keep the fridge at between 36 and 40 degrees to keep the cure working and avoid spoilage. I flipped it once a day for 8 days, keeping it in constant contact with the brine. Then I rinsed it down, patted it dry, and placed it uncovered on a rack in the fridge for 18 hours to dry out.

Then I placed it in the smoker, skin side up, with one panful of apple wood chips. It was raining today, and some people would have put off the smoking until the rains stopped, but not me...I just placed the smoker in the fireplace! I did a test run first to ensure the draft was strong enough, and all seemed ok, especially if I kept the smoker all the way in the back and kept the side with the heating element either facing the back or at least to the side, since that's where most of the smoke comes out of and it would escape into the room a little every now & then if it faced forward. Notice the Polder dual thermometer (oven and food temp) connected..


This thing really got going

So safety first! I had a bucket of water & a fire extinguisher, too, just in case, before I even started...

After about 3 hours, the bacon temp reached 125 degrees, so I removed it from the smoker and removed the skin & then returned it, and added a second pan of apple wood chips.


After about another hour and 20 minutes, it finally reached 150 degrees and was done. Total time from initial placement in smoker till done: 4 hours & 20 minutes. Ha, 4:20, in a smoker. Now that's just poetic, isn't it?

The smoker actually reached 240 degrees, without a blanket; not bad. And the anticipation at 149 degrees was killing me!


Done cooking:


Hoping the inside looks just as good..and it does! Hard to see in the pics, but it's nice...notice the pink coloring from the nitrite...


Taste Test is mandatory of course, (couldn't include the pic here)

And....yes, it is good...outside pieces, having receiving full smoke, were too strong, but inside piece was great!

October 25, 2009, 10:04 AM
Fantastic and look at that great color.
Scrap5000, Thanks a bunch for your post and recipe. I've done Jerky, ribs and brisket and definitly going to write this one down ... :)

Be Safe !!!

October 25, 2009, 12:47 PM
Awesome job!

October 25, 2009, 12:53 PM
Looks real good!
Use any sugar?

October 25, 2009, 02:19 PM
Looks very nice! I might just have to try that!

October 25, 2009, 02:30 PM
Brent, yes, 1 cup of brown sugar...you can also use Maple Syrup (the real maple syrup type is the best)...

October 25, 2009, 04:53 PM
And here are the pics of it sliced (well, what was left it of it, anyway! lol). The slicer I have is 10 inches long, and the whole slab didn't fit lenghtwise on it, so at first I was holding it on an angle and dropping it onto the blade by hand, and then pushing it the rest of the way through. This was giving me really nice, whole length slices, but it was too much trouble and plus I appreciate having all 10 of my digits intact, so I decided to just cut off an end of the bacon and slice it separately...





October 25, 2009, 05:07 PM
Looks great, Scrap! Where's mine???;)

October 25, 2009, 05:23 PM
Damn,that's the way bacon was and still should be.

October 25, 2009, 06:21 PM
I just ate and looking at those pics made me hungry again!

October 25, 2009, 07:03 PM
Outstanding!! Looks great. Now all you need is grits and eggs and you can invite me over for breakfast:D

October 25, 2009, 07:33 PM
Scrap, don`t remember ever seeing any better looking bacon.Hope it taste as well as it looks. One question though, how much Smirnoff did the recipe call for:D?

October 26, 2009, 12:10 AM
how much Smirnoff did the recipe call for? Obviously, you have never used Smirnoff as a lubricant for slow-moving machinery. I'm talking about Scrap, not the slicer.;)

October 26, 2009, 03:04 AM
That looks awesome. I grew up in deepest, darkest Appalachia and love home cured and smoked hams and bacon.

BTW, when I saw the smoker sitting in the fireplace, you became my new hero. :D

October 26, 2009, 08:57 AM
LOLOL, you guys are the best...thanks for all the kind words!

October 26, 2009, 02:19 PM
Another vote here for a exellent posting. And yes it made me hungry. The fireplace idea.......like that too.

Is that a Isokern some other type of masonry core unit or is it a built to order in place? We're in the process of doing some work on our OLD house and one of the things getting replaced is the fireplace.

October 26, 2009, 02:34 PM
Great job and thanks for sharing..
I love bacon :)

October 27, 2009, 05:49 PM
I make Bacon often. I have a Bradley Smoker and have discovered how easy it is. Most of the time I use a pork butt (shoulder) and slice it so it's half as thick as originally was. It's easier to find than belly's, for me anyway.
If you liked your belly bacon try using the back loin. It's canadian bacon. Make it just like you did the belly. Tenderquick has sugar and salt and the nitrites and nitrates. After the week is up I will rinse then soak for 2 hours. It removes alot of the extra saltiness. Then coat it with about 1/4 cup maple syrup and smoke as usual. I take mine out at 140*.

Here are some bacon recipes. http://www.susanminor.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=23

October 27, 2009, 05:56 PM
Very nice :D:D and some great looking mounts:D:D

October 27, 2009, 10:36 PM
bswiv, I really have no idea...the house was built in the 50's, bought it from the builder's grand daughter...I can ask her but I doubt she will have a clue...

Is that a Isokern some other type of masonry core unit or is it a built to order in place? We're in the process of doing some work on our OLD house and one of the things getting replaced is the fireplace.

Phoneguy, thank you, I will definitely try that; I LOVE canadian bacon!

Bigim3, thanks man!