Using these gorgeous pieces of Kunekune pork belly, we’re sharing the process for you to easily make your own bacon at home. It’s a lot easier than you think, and only takes about 30 minutes. This is a wet cure method. You can also dry cure with just salt, sugar and spices- and leave out the prague powder, but that’s a much longer process. This is simple and excellent to start with.
Here’s what you need: Kosher Salt, Dark Brown Sugar, Dark Maple Syrup, Black ground pepper, Prague powder #1 (optional, but provides more traditional bacon taste), and water.
After thawing the pork bellies for several days, I removed the skin carefully and with a very sharp knife.
I used vacuum seal bags, but you could just use gallon zip lock bags.
For 8 lbs pork belly I used:
9 tsp kosher salt
9 tsp black pepper
6 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tsp prague powder #1
1 cup dark maple syrup
1.5 cups water
Mix thoroughly and add to your pork belly in the bag. Distribute evenly and either vacuum seal on the gentle/moist setting, or try to get as much air out of your gallon zip loc bag as possible.
We’ll cure this for 3-4 days in the refrigerator, and then move on to the smoking process. Every day I’ll redistribute the cure within the bag to make sure it all cures evenly.
If you don’t have access to a smoker, you can cook your bacon low & slow in your oven with the addition of some liquid smoke for flavor. While this is curing, I’ll decide what type of wood I’d like to smoke it with. Pecan or Cherrywood sounds nice, but so does Applewood and Hickory! We’ll be smoking this in our cabinet smoker.