What is bacon made from?
You probably know bacon comes from pigs and has a certain flavour. But there’s a lot more to it than that. Bacon is made from two primal cuts of pork: the belly and the loin. The belly is a large rectangular piece of meat, and the loin is a long cylindrical cut of meat.
The front, side, or back is removed from the pig, as well as the belly or loin. This is done by removing the skin and the fat before chopping the meat into smaller pieces.
Remember those thick layers of fat in a freshly roasted pig’s belly? Bacon is removed from the body of the pig because it is considered to be the best part to remove.
The belly is very large compared to the loin, so you end up with more bacon from the belly of a pig compared to the whole loin section.
The belly meat of the pig is turned into two cuts: bacon side and bacon center. Bacon side is usually considered after bacon center because it’s often thinner but longer. Bacon center, on the other hand, is known to be fatter and shorter.
What do you need to make bacon at home?
Bacon has come a long way to become the most popular cured meat. Despite its popularity, a lot of people have never made it at home. There is something special about bacon that keeps people away from making it. The hassle, the time it takes and the potential to mess up a special preparation, make many individuals steer away from making their own bacon.
If you want to be the star of any brunch or gathering, then making your own bacon is the right thing to do. All it takes is a little bit of planning and, of course, time. Don’t expect to make a batch of bacon for a week’s worth of snacks with just one go. This is a process that takes some time.
If you are the first-timer, choose the easy way and pick out a dry rub recipe. Dry rub is very forgiving, it is rather safe, and the taste will be just fine. Soon you will get the hang of it and make a variety of types of bacon. You can also opt for a spice method, but a dry rub will help you avoid over-salty bacon.
Let’s take a look at the items you’ll need to make a batch of bacon:
Two sheets of heavy duty foil,
Making the dry cure
Before you smoke your bacon, you need to cure it. Traditionally, dry curing was called the “Dry Cure.” It involved injecting the cure ingredients into the pork belly, then placing it in a wooden barrel for a few days to a few weeks.
The quality of the flavors in bacon comes from the over-all recipe used. All the flavors are mixed together into a dry cure that is applied to the meat. The dry cure is mixed by adding 7 lbs of kosher salt into a gallon sized container.
This container is then filled with brown sugar. Then add in 2 oz of ground black pepper and 1 oz of ground bay leaf. Mix well.
Prepare your pork belly.
Start the prep by washing your pork belly under cold water and patting dry.
Remove the skin by slowly lifting it up and peeling it off with your hands. Using a sharp knife, slice the rind off the belly to expose the meat.
Slice the meat into even thickness pieces. Make sure you cut away gouges or areas where the fat has become hard.
Lay the meat in a tray with gently rubbing them dry with paper towels.
Score the pork belly using a sharp knife and mince garlic.
Take a roasting tin, and lay the pork belly inside it. Make sure the belly is laying flat.
Mix the oil, salt, pepper, the garlic pulp and the water and pour this mixture over the pork belly. Rub the oil and liquid mixture into the pork belly Rub the mixture on all sides of the belly.
Cover and keep in a refrigerator overnight. This will add flavor to the meat.
Apply the cure
Our recipe calls for only 1 tablespoon of Morton´s Tender Quick. Mix this thoroughly with all of the cure that you will be using. You will need 7 cups of water to dissolve all of this.
When it comes to bacon, the cure is the secret to the succulence. To make an optimum cure, you mix one part of kosher salt with one part each of sugar and pink salt (sodium nitrite).
Pink salt can be found in any good butcher shop. Mix them together and place them in a dry container that you can easily pour from.
For bacon, we are mixing approximately 1 pound per cup of cure mixture. The salt keeps the meat from rotting. The sugar helps to break up and dissolve the fat and protein fibers in the meat.
Pink salt helps to inhibit the growth of bacteria caused by the nitrite. Pink salt also gives the meat color and flavor. Use a meat thermometer to assure that the meat reaches the desired temperature.
We smoke our bacon in the oven. Since the oven sits higher, you need to use a rack. If you are smoking your bacon in the open air, you need to be extra careful because the American BACON Act stipulates a limit on the amount of phosphates in your meat.
Smoking your bacon
You only need a little patience and a willingness to get a little dirty while you’re doing it. First you have to buy the right equipment: a smoker or a deep pan that can hold in the smoke and the heat.
Either way, you are going to have to get creative with your space and time management to accommodate the extra space needed for the smoking job.
If you decide to pick a smoker, make sure it has the required features and that it’s big enough for you to be able to smoke large amounts of bacon. A decent smoker is one that can hold at least 20 pounds of meat at one time without any problem.
Next is the cooking process. Hook the smoker up to a gas source or light a fire using charcoal for fuel.
Another option is to use a gas appliance, but if you decide to do that, make sure you use only the type specified by the manufacturer.
Step three is the actual cooking process. Smoking the bacon depends on the size of the meat. So you will need to smoke it for a couple of hours. Most would recommend using the cold smoke method.
While you’re smoking the bacon, you’re going to need to keep an eye on the temperature and the meat.
Smoked bacon has a deep color and rich, smoky flavor that you are just not going to get with regular, oven-baked bacon.
Smoking bacon is also a great way to take a humble part of the pig and turn it into a star.
There is no better meat than pork belly for making bacon. It's high in fat (the good kind) and very tender, so it will give you a nice, crisp end product.
And, if you are not a fan of pork, you can substitute the belly with turkey or chicken – they both give you the same tasty and rich result.
Homemade Smoked Bacon
Delicious or Dangerous?
Bacon and Eggs have formed a small breakfast club that is known to be quite delicious to any American. The crispy and salty bacon compliments the fluffy and egg just right to create a breakfast that is hard to beat.
That crispy crispy bacon isn’t so easy to make, however. Not until there was a solution to make it right in your own home. And this solution is salting the pork meat. This allows the pork to naturally release fluids that slowly tenderize the pork. This takes hours to days.
But that's because salt is slow.
But in the end, you get what you want. You get bacon that can be slept on over night and fried up in the morning for breakfast.
Yes, it is simple, but it can be dangerous to your health. Everything you do to the meat can have an effect on your health as well.
Now, there are plenty of ways to make bacon at home. Let's explore three methods to get that perfect bacon.
- Natural hardwood sawdust pellets
- Natural hardwood chips
- Regular table salt
- Meat you want to smoke
- Nose cone and thermometer
- Smoke generator
You read that right! You can smoke your bacon at home at the lowest cost possible. And the bacon is way better than your monthly grocery store buy.
I am sure there have been days you’ve just wanted to kill someone for the amount they’ve spent on meat. Well, here comes the laziness to your rescue!
You know you are always told to buy stuff you want done, and do it yourself. It’s a good way to save money. And you can do that here. I am sure there are many of us who wonder how we get the bacon we love so much on our breakfast breakfast plate. Here’s how.
First of all, have a smoker! You would need a smoker before beginning. And I am sure that there will be no shortage of them in Craigslist and similar sites. Just make sure that it is being sold for cheap.
Bacon, unlike other food items, is cured, smoked and then cooked. Since you are doing the curing and smoking, you can choose how the bacon tastes.
You can decide on if it should be smoky or a little sweet. Use hickory or apple wood to smoke the bacon or charcoal for the extra aroma.
Best Knife for Slicing Brisket
Nothing is better than slice-to-perfection Sunday mornings pork cutting board by a local butcher.
I have a family that has me on my feet every Sunday morning slicing the best fresh cut bacon I can find. I have got it down to a science and all my friends are envious of the bacon I have.
The key to slicing the perfect piece of bacon is the knife I use. While any knife can cut through bacon, a professional butchering knife will perform like a hot knife through butter.
Try it for yourself to see what I mean. The Ginsu 12-Inch Double Bevel Slicing and Carving Knife is the number one rated knife to meet all you need.
In case you are wondering why I need a knife that sharp, it’s because I need to be able to slice both the side and the back of the bacon at a 30-degree angle.
You know, those diagonal rows of bacon that make the bacon look like a brick wall. The only way you can achieve that look is with the proper tool.
The cost is within reason, especially when you compare it to the cost of the food you are slicing. The Ginsu knife can easily be re-gifted for anyone on your list. This knife makes a great gift!