Unless you are a vegetarian, you love bacon. 2017 was the first year my husband and I decided to raise pigs with some friends. After butchering we had 20-25 lbs of potential bacon. So I decided to give it a go and see if I could come up with the perfect bacon recipe. On my 10th attempt, I think I did it. Maybe not perfect but really, really good. There is always room for tinkering with recipes.
1.5-2 lbs squared off bacon
1/4 cup salt
3 Tbs molasses
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup black pepper
2 tsp of curing salt (optional) * I did not notice a difference in taste or texture between bacon with curing salt and bacon without.
- I cut my bacon into manageable chunks of 1-1.5lbs, a serving size for my family over the course of a weekend. Cut into 1lb chunks the bacon are easier to handle and fit into my container.
2. For bacon, you use a ‘dry’ rub. Mix the salt, molasses, maple syrup, pepper, and curing salt (if including it) in small bowl to form a paste. Rub liberally on ALL sides of the bacon including the edges.
Put rubbed bacon into a small container with a closed lid or plastic ziplock and put it in the fridge. I’d suggest marking it with the date if you are forgetful like me. Turn the bacon twice a day for a total of 48 hours. The bacon will turn dark because of the molasses.
After 48 hours, you can see that quite a bit of liquid has come out of the bacon. Rinse the bacon lightly under cold water to get the outside rub off. The bacon should feel slightly stiff, not stiff like jerky, but not floppy like normal bacon. Rinse out the container well and place the bacon back in, elevating the bacon from the bottom of the container for air flow, I use small spice jar lids to elevate the bacon, keep the lid of the container cracked for air flow.
Place the rinsed and elevated bacon back in the refrigerator for 24 hours to form a pellicle. A pellicle is a dry, tacky, shiny skin on the surface of the bacon that will allow the smoke to stick to it.
Crack fresh black pepper onto the top of your bacon. Place your bacon in your smoker on the racks. Smoke for about 8 hours and then remove. For more information on building a smoker check out our DIY Home Smoker
Slice your bacon, a large bread knife works great, parallel to the muscle grain in your preferred thickness. I like mine extra thick.
Cook away or freeze for a later date. Bacon has a high-fat content and I think it stays fresher longer if you use a vacuum sealer before placing it in the freezer. Enjoy!