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Homemade bacon - curing - smoking - dry aging

You've been dreaming of homemade bacon and don't know where to start? You're scared you might do something wrong? I recognize the feeling! But when I found out you can dry age the bacon in the fridge I gave it a go! What are you waiting for? 

Course Charcuterie, Fine Epiceries, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, European, French
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 500 gr. Pork Belly well marbled

For the equilibrate salt cure

  • 20 gr. Nitrite salt Nitrite salt is salt with 0.6%nitrite/100gr. salt. Not to be confused with cure#1 or cure#2.
  • 10 gr. dark sugar
  • 5 gr. cilantro
  • 5 gr. basil
  • 2 gr. ground black pepper
  • 2 gr. dried cumin
  • 1 gr. onion powder
  • 1 gr. garlic powder

Extra necessities

  • 1 vacuum sealer
  • 1 vacuum bag
  • 1 cheese cloth
  • kitchen rope
  • 1 cold smoke generator
  • Hickory smoke dust

Instructions

Dry curing the homemade bacon

  1. Mix all cure ingredients! You can experiment with the flavors by adding or mixing in different spices. However you must keep at least 3-4 procent of the total meat weight in nitrite salt

  2. Rub the pork belly thoroughly with the salt cure and add it to a vacuum bag. Make sure all of the salt is in the bag!

  3. Vacuum seal the bagwith a foodsaver and put in the fridge for 4-5 days. 

  4. Remove the pork belly from the bag and pat it dry. Now you're ready to smoke

  5. Gently stuff the cold smoke generator with extra fine hickory smoke dust. Don't push it too hard or it will die out. 

  6. Lit the cold smoker using a blow torch and once it's smoking add your cured homemade bacon to the smoker. Smoke for 10 hours (or more). Warning: make sure the temperature doesn't cross the 25°C/77°F limit. 

  7. Once smoked remove the homemade bacon from your smoker. Wrap it in a clean cheese cloth and tie it up with kitchen rope.

  8. Hang the homemade bacon in the fridge for dry aging. You need to lose 30% of weight before it's ready to serve (in this case it's done when you're left with a piece of homemade bacon that weighs 350 gr.). In this process the meat juices are evaporated causing the weight loss and intensifying the flavour!

Serve your homemade bacon with eggs or in a delicious pasta Carbonara! If you can resist eating it right away!

Recipe Notes

NOTE: Nitrite salt 0.6 % is only apparantly only known in Europe. When using pink cure 1 containing 6% sodium nitrite you need to add (per 500 gr. meat): 

1 gr. Pink salt

19 gr. kosher salt