Home-Cured Bacon Recipe (2024)

Recipe from Eugenia Bone

Adapted by Cathy Barrow

Home-Cured Bacon Recipe (1)

Total Time
2 hours, plus 7 to 8 days' refrigeration
Rating
4(156)
Notes
Read community notes

Pink salt, also known as curing salt No. 1, is a nitrate, a combination of sodium chloride — table salt — and nitrite, a preserving agent used to deter the growth of bacteria in cured meats. Bacon is cured in the refrigerator, then slow roasted, and finally cooked again before serving. It is not being consumed as a raw, cured meat, so the use of a nitrate is a personal decision. A small amount of pink salt in your cure provides that familiar pink color and bacon-y flavor, or what we have come to know as bacon-y. It is absolutely possible to cure bacon without nitrates; but be aware that the end product will be more the color of cooked pork and that the flavor will be akin to that of a pork roast. With or without the pink salt, homemade bacon is worth the effort. —Cathy Barrow

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Ingredients

Yield:About 2 pounds

  • pounds pork belly, squared off, rind removed
  • tablespoons kosher salt
  • ½teaspoon pink salt, optional
  • ¼cup maple syrup, or honey, brown sugar, white sugar or molasses
  • 2tablespoons cold strong black coffee, bourbon or apple cider
  • 2garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed
  • 2teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1teaspoon fennel seed, toasted
  • 1teaspoon coriander seed, toasted

Ingredient Substitution Guide

Nutritional analysis per serving (18 servings)

341 calories; 33 grams fat; 12 grams saturated fat; 0 grams trans fat; 16 grams monounsaturated fat; 4 grams polyunsaturated fat; 4 grams carbohydrates; 0 grams dietary fiber; 3 grams sugars; 6 grams protein; 163 milligrams sodium

Note: The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Home-Cured Bacon Recipe (2)

Preparation

  1. Step

    1

    Place the pork belly in a large Ziploc bag. Add the salt (and pink salt if using) and the cure additions. Rub the cure into the pork belly, turning the bag over and over and pressing the cure into the flesh. Close the bag, squeezing out all the air and refrigerate for seven days. Each day, flip the bag over. Some liquid will begin to gather in the bag.

  2. After seven days, wash the cure off the meat, rinsing thoroughly. Pat the bacon dry with paper towels and set it on a rack over a baking sheet. Allow the bacon to air-dry in the refrigerator for 6 to 24 hours.

  3. Step

    3

    Preheat the oven to 225 degrees. Roast the pork belly in the oven to an internal temperature of 150 degrees for about 90 minutes. Chill the bacon well, then slice thick or thin, to preference. Any bacon that doesn't easily slice may be cut into chunks, for starting a pot of beans or soup. Wrapped in parchment paper, then wrapped in plastic wrap or foil and placed in a Ziploc bag, the bacon will keep for three weeks in the refrigerator and three months in the freezer.

Ratings

4

out of 5

156

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Private Notes

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Cooking Notes

Foo

The "Pink salt" listed in this recipe is Prague powder #1 (which contains 6.25% potasium nitrite) , NOT Himalayan pink salt.

Margaux Laskey, Staff Editor

We called Morton's and they said that Morton's Tender Quick is not the same thing as "pink salt", so please read your labels carefully.

LKF

The drying phase in the refrigerator is typically utilized to create a pedicle-- an absorbent surface to which smoke flavor can then adhere. If not smoking the bacon, the drying phase may not be as important.

Rather than roast in the oven, smoke the bacon using a fragrant wood such as oak, hickory or maple for a few hours. This can be done in a smoker or even a covered bar b que.

Using a rotary slicer (if you have one or can borrow one) on chilled bacon is much easier than slicing by hand

LKF

Pink salt (aka Prague powder) is available inexpensively on Amazon. A big bag is few dollars. The amount you will use to cure a large pork belly is miniscule.

Be careful to label the bag properly as it is not a good thing to eat accidentally.

DSM

Morton's Tender Quick is a very available brand name for "pink salt".

AJ

My thoughts exactly! They also sell much smaller bags, with free shipping, to save pantry space and a few $$.

Bnom

I regularly cure bacon — always good until I tried this recipe. I love bourbon but hated it in this cure. It gave the meat a sour taste. The bourbon flavor is strong and not appealing for most uses (terrible as a breakfast cacon). I used mine up in bacon onion jam (okay) and candied bacon (barely okay). Cannot recommend this recipe.

LEL

Sodium nitrite (NaNO2) and sodium nitrate (NaNO3) are NOT the same chemicals. Pink salt is NOT a nitrate!

Mike Giuseffi

Instead of roasting in an oven I cooked the cured belly in a stove top smoker. It was divine, however the second time I made this I omitted the coriander seeds. I found that they made the bacon taste more like pastrami.

Gorney44

Kept it simple. Didn’t use anything other than salt and syrup. Don’t have access to smoker at the moment but overall very easy and very delicious. Will try variations with pepper, etc. in future batches.

CMP_SRF

<1tsp cure for 4.5lbs belly. Mix sep rub per gallon ziploc!Add bay leaf; honey w Molasses best final taste, little sweet but kids love. skip the coffee, bourbon, etc as ends up in sour taste in end product. Smoke at 225 after 24 hr fridge for 1.5 to 3 hrs depending on smoke wants.Final cook in 325 oven to avoid burning light sugars.Turkey club on sourdough loaf or use in ranch beans. Less sugar if using for collards, etc

Mike Giuseffi

Instead of roasting in an oven I cooked the cured belly in a stove top smoker. It was divine, however the second time I made this I omitted the coriander seeds. I found that they made the bacon taste more like pastrami.

Corey Gilson

Fantastic recipe. We’ve been making all of our bacon since we saw this. I cooked it with the oven at 200 degrees in a convection oven, and the results were tastier than at 225-though I’m not exactly a good safety pro!

Rob

I've made this twice so far and will make it again this weekend. I've used molasses and bourbon both times and smoke on the cool side of my grill, set to the lowest temp. I'm still working on the best way to cook the bacon. I loosely follow baconmethod.com instructions but at 400 the molasses will be heavily caramelized (not a terrible thing), and it will burn if I leave it in for 20 minutes. ~13 seems about right and I'll try 350 or 375 next.

Bill

I'm surprised that the recipe said "pink salt" is optional. Pink Salt #1 is a curing salt and if you do not have in the brine, you are not curing the meat......

Michael

You can cure with only salt. However as stated the bacon will not have the pinkish color and will not taste like the bacon you've come to know, it will taste more like roast pork.

Bnom

I regularly cure bacon — always good until I tried this recipe. I love bourbon but hated it in this cure. It gave the meat a sour taste. The bourbon flavor is strong and not appealing for most uses (terrible as a breakfast cacon). I used mine up in bacon onion jam (okay) and candied bacon (barely okay). Cannot recommend this recipe.

ek perrow

I have wet and dry cured without pink salt #1. The bacon without while tasty was not what I was used to visually. After researching on the FDA web site I went with the minimum of pink salt. The results were much more visually pleasing. If you know and trust your source of pork belly and you practice safe storage and handling then you could consider not using Pink salt #1. Usually I cure the pork 14-21 days but I will try 7 as in this recipe and see what it tastes like. Happy charcuterie.

Nat Proctor

Might a turn in a sous vide bath take the place of the coozing as written?

Tannia

"Roast the pork belly in the oven to an internal temperature of 150 degrees for about 90 minutes."
I think this is supposed to say, "Roast the pork belly in the oven for about 90 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 90 minutes."
I doubt you want the meat to remain in the oven for 90 minutes after reaching that internal temperature.

Del

Made this recipe and it turned out well. For me the meat was a little salty. How would you recommend bumping up the sweet and savory aspects? I was hoping to use thicker cuts in sliders. A maple glaze would be nice as well. Thanks!

ek perrow

I have used turbo sugar, brown sugar, black strap molasses and bourbon in my wet cures. They each provide unique aspects to the final bacon product. I also wet cure for about 21days for 9lbs of pork belly/side.

flinhart

Made two batches - one with Morton's Tender Quick and one batch without Tender Quick. Then dried and - SMOKED (6 hours) the pork belly. Wonderful. Could not taste the difference between the two batches.

LEL

Sodium nitrite (NaNO2) and sodium nitrate (NaNO3) are NOT the same chemicals. Pink salt is NOT a nitrate!

Jack Frost

pink salt is not optional if you want bacon. Also very DANGEROUS without it

Jack Frost

pink salt or cure #1 is never optional, especially if smoked. two reasons its just plain Dangerous, and it isn't bacon without the cure, just salt pork. Also cooking does not kill botulism. Check with county health dept. The temperature required to kill botulism is much to high, something like 240 degrees if I remember correctly.

Morton tender quick contains both nitrite and nitrates. It can also be used to cure bacon but the recipe is differen't.

Will

I think the Health Department was referring to the spores of the C. botulinum requiring 240 degrees to be killed, active bacteria will be killed at the lower temperature. After being cured, with plain salt, the concentration of salt is too high for bacteria to grow. Salt pork keeps very well and safely too, no nitrite needed.

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Home-Cured Bacon Recipe (2024)
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