Complete Directions on How to Cure and Smoke Your Own Bacon at Home.
Also includes links to all the ingredients needed for home curing/smoking.
Hams are cured similar to bacons. They first must be pumped with a brine solution.
To make the brine solution, add 1.75 lbs. of Sugar Cure to one gallon of ice cold water.
Then pump the ham to a 10% ratio.
Example: If the raw ham weighs 20 lbs., you would pump 2 lbs. of the brine solution into the ham with an injector
(similar to a hypodermic needle - you can usually find these needles at hardware or farm stores). So the ham would weigh 22 lbs. and now be ready to put in the cooler/frig to cure.
When Curing of bacon depends upon natural conditions for refrigeration, pork bellies should be placed in cure during December through February.
The risk of spoilage is greater during the warmer seasons of fall and spring. We HIGHLY recommend using some type of electrical refrigeration for curing your bacons at home.
Fresh Pork Bellies - The Raw Product
To successfully home cure bacon, begin with fresh bellies that have been chilled to about 42 degrees F within 24 to 30 hours after slaughter.
If the fresh bellies are purchased from a commercial source, they have been properly chilled. If the source is farm slaughter, take care to chill them rapidly.
Do not stack warm bellies during the chilling process.
Trim the bellies to desired shape and apply cure within 48 hours after slaughter.
Bellies prepared from skinned carcasses may be cured successfully in the same manner as those from scalded carcasses - but the skinned bellies will shrink more during the curing and smoking process.
Salt is the primary ingredient. Sugar is added to offset some of the salt's harshness. Here at our Meat Processing Plant, we use
Newly Weds Foods Complete Sugar Cure to cure our bacon.
We sell the Complete Sugar Cure in 5 Lb. bags. This is enough to cure approximately 75 Lbs. of pork bellies.
A 5 lb. bag of Sugar Cure is ONLY $24.97 - And
Shipped FREE in the U.S.!
Apply the Sugar Cure at rate of 1 ounce per pound fresh belly.
If you cannot weigh the ingredients and bellies, you can put the Sugar Cure on by sprinkling the skin side and by rubbing the sides and inside well with the cure.
Hold the belly on edge and tap gently on table to remove excess cure.
Stack the bellies rind side down (if they are not skinned bellies).
Place them on top of some type of rack so the moisture can drain away from the bellies while they are curing.
An old refrigerator that you can use exclusively for curing works fantastically.
Allow the bellies to cure for
4 to 7 days.
Preparing the Cured Bellies for Smoking
Remove the bellies from the refrigerator and soak the bellies in cold water for 1 hour.
Then place the bellies in very warm water and soak for another hour.
Then briskly scrub the bellies while in the warm water with a stiff bristled brush. This helps remove any excess salt on the exterior of the bellies.
"Stick" the bellies on bacon hangers to hang them in the smokehouse.
We use Stainless Steel, 8 Prong Bacon Hangers.
2 Bacon Hangers are ONLY $27.97
and Shipped FREE in the U.S. Buy MORE and SAVE. 4 Bacon
Hangers are $47.98!
Get the LOWEST Price by Buying 10 Bacon Hangers for ONLY $99.88
Bacon Smoking Process
We start by hanging the bellies in the smokehouse with the air temperature set at 125 degrees, damper completely open for maximum airflow for drying and no smoke yet.
(The meat will not take smoke until the surface is dry. If the meat is smoked when still damp, the smoke will be smudgy and the meat will not taste as good.)
We keep this routine for the first 2 hours.
After this, we raise the air temperature to 140 degrees, close the damper on the smokehouse to ½ closed, and add
Hickory Sawdust to begin the smoking.
(The bacons should be dry enough now to start the smoking.)
We keep this routine for the next 2 hours.
Next, we raise the air temperature to 150 degrees, keep the damper at ½ closed, and continue smoking.
We keep this routine for the next 2 hours.
The bacons have been in the smokehouse for
6 hours now. Our next step is to raise the smokehouse air temperature to
140 to 160 degrees,
close the damper to ¾ close and keep applying the Hickory Smoke until the internal temperature of the bacons reach 138 degrees.
Sawdust in 2 Lb. Bags for
ONLY $12.97! Shipped FREE!
This is the same hickory sawdust that we use in all of our smoking of pork hams, bacons, and shoulders .
Use the sawdust that the professionals use!
A smokehouse may be constructed using three pieces of tempered masonite, stove pipe, a 30-gallon drum and frame lumber.
The outside dimensions are about 2 feet wide, 4 feet deep and 8 feet tall. This will smoke the bacons and jowls from five hogs.
Smoke from burning Hickory Sawdust in the drum is vented into a lower corner of the smokehouse, then vented out the opposite corner near the top of a flue.
The drum should lay on a metal base with about 2 feet of 3- or 4-inch vent pipe to the smokehouse. Air vents should be made in the drum on the side opposite the vent pipe and about one-fourth the distance up from the bottom. Cut a hole in the top to allow filling with Hickory Sawdust.
Start the smoke generator by putting crumpled paper in the lower vents, piling sawdust on the paper and lighting the paper. Leave enough room for air to get in as the Hickory Sawdust burns. The sawdust should smolder and give off smoke. If it flames, dampen the sawdust with water.
You can purchase a high quality smokehouse made for home use from the Sausage Maker.com. Click here to check out their Home Smokers available in Galvanized Tin and Stainless Steel.
After Smoking Instructions
Bacon cured and smoked in this fashion is perishable and needs to be frozen or stored in a refrigerator until eaten.
Remove the rind if it is not removed during slaughter, slice, wrap in freezer paper and freeze.
The sliced bacon will retain its quality 2 to 3 months in freezer storage.
If more bacon was cured than the family will eat in two to three months, wrap and freeze in chunks.
Bacon will keep its fresh flavor longer during freezer storage if it is not sliced.