I don’t think I’ve ever cooked anything that made me as excited as this homemade smoked bacon. I mean…. it’s bacon. Which is awesome enough. But the fact that I bought this giant whole 8 lb slab of pork belly and turned it into beautifully seasoned and smoked homemade bacon made me near giddy. I can’t even wait to share the process with you and watch the proud homemade bacon glow wash over you.
I’m not going to pretend that I am the first person to attempt to make bacon, I did a lot of reading on proper cure times, ratios of curing salt to bacon thickness, etc. I did, however, create these two awesome cure recipes from all of the knowledge I gleaned from those who have made bacon before me. I hope you give them a try! The maple cure is the perfect mixture of sweet and salty and it just screams breakfast! The peppered cure is a little more sophisticated with some added spice. It is amazing on BLTs and cheeseburgers.
Making homemade bacon is a several day process, but it is totally worth it. I’m going to detail my steps for you here so you can follow along and venture into beautiful, homemade smoked bacon territory. First, you need to pick up a piece of pork belly. Thickness will vary, but lately Costco has been stocking beautiful, already skinned slabs of pork belly. If you are buying from a butcher, see if you can get them to remove the skin from the belly for you, I would recommend it. It can be a bit of a nasty job and it also increases your cure time since it is typically not removed until after the time spent in the cure. I like to divide my large slab of pork belly into smaller pieces so it is easier to handle in the cure. For this recipe, I just cut it in half so I had 2, 4 pound slabs. The perfect size for gallon zip top bags.