Hey there guys welcome to the carrylaws shop. I’M very excited to make this episode for you, because in this episode, i’m going to show you how to make bacon, probably the best cured meat that comes off the pig. Arguably anyways and it’s dead simple. It’S once you learn how to make this bacon. You might never buy store bacon again, because it’s that easy and it’s that much better – it’s a dry, cured bacon and we’re going to get right into it right away.
Okay, here we go guys on how to make bacon so, like i mentioned earlier in the intro, i’m going to show you how to make dry cured bacon. Um there’s three kinds of bacon today, we’ll do dry cured and, in my opinion, it’s the easiest. You guys don’t need a whole lot of tools and you get the best quality out of dry cured bacon, the other two kinds of bacon i’ll go over the equipment and things you need to it. It’S dead, simple um, but the other two kinds of bacon or three total. The other two are brined bacon and pump and tumbled bacon, uh.
So i’ll just cover them real quickly. I’Ll, maybe do them in another video another time, but the brined bacon is basically you whip up a solution. So in water you mix, brown, sugar, salt cure and cure accelerator, and you take the belly and you brine it. You leave it in there in the refrigerator. For a couple of days until the cure penetrates from the brine into the belly, then you smoke it and slice it.
It’S also pretty good bacon. That’S probably the second best option. It’S also quite easy um, then you have the pump and tumbled bacon. So that’s the stuff you get in the grocery stores and with pump and tumbled bacon. It’S the same idea kind of as the brine.
They make up a solution with the same four ingredients: salt brown, sugar, cure cure accelerator, but they usually add phosphates and what phosphates do is they help water stick to the meat? So they take that solution with the phosphate in it and they pump it into the belly at 15 percent, so you’re paying they get to sell you water for the price of bacon, and that’s why you start with a piece in the frying pan and it shrinks Up all that water evaporates in your pan, so those are the three kinds of bacon, but we’re going to do dry, cured bacon, the easiest and best so equipment. You need it’s pretty simple, just a little work area. You don’t need a meat shop like this. You can do it on your kitchen counter a little tub or big plastic bag to hold your belly in a little something to weigh your spices out in.
You will need a gram scale if you’re doing the spice mixing the way. I do it. Um you’re going to need, i don’t know if you can see these. We got salt, golden brown, sugar cured and a cure accelerator, and in this case i’m using sodium erythrobate. You can use a sorbic acid, um and there’s all sorts of different food grade cure accelerators, but probably the most common two are sodium erythrobate and ascorbic acid, um and you’ll need a gram scale.
So i weighed these bellies out ahead of time and they weighed 14 and a half kilograms, which is 32 pounds, so i’m gon na do three bellies here for you and they’re 14 and a half kilograms total. The reason i have these weighed out salt and brown sugar here and sodium erythrobate is because i do everything i do all my recipes in grams per kilogram. So i’m going to give you my dry cured bacon recipe. I will link it or tag it in the description below four ingredients. You can get them at any.
We can get the salt and brown sugar anywheres and then you can get cure and a cure accelerator at any butcher supply shop. But we’re going to use salt at 25 grams per kilogram brown sugar at 20 grams per kilogram cure. Now, when it comes to the cure um, some recipes call for sodium nitrate or sodium nitrite, which is cure number one or sorry. So the sodium nitrate that should be more clear, is cure. Number two and uh sodium nitrite is cure number one, and basically the difference is if you were doing something like a salami or a capicola, or something like that.
You would want to be using cure number two, because it takes a long time for the curing process to happen. Now. Lots of recipes will call for sodium nitrate, so the difference is ate or ite. Sodium nitrate cure number two: it’s for a long, slow cure, sodium nitrite, which is for curing stuff quickly. You can use either on this.
I have done it with both sodium nitrite works and i’ll talk about the curing time a little further in the video. But you want to use cure at 2.4 grams per kilogram and a cure accelerator at 3.5 grams per kilogram um. So basically, i took the 14 and a half kilograms and multiplied it by all those things, and i got weighted out in my gram scale because you don’t i don’t like using the recipes.
That say, you know, add a tablespoon of this add a a cup of salt, because, if different salts have different densities, they have different weights, if you’re, using sea salt or, if you’re, using kosher salt, if you’re using fine table salt rock salt, whatever a cup of One does not necessarily weigh the same as another, so weighing your spices out gives you the most consistent product and i’ll do a video on how to formulate recipes. In fact, it might be linked somewhere. So we weighed all that up. This is brown sugar, salt cure mixture and we’re going to apply it to our bacons um. So you need those ingredients.
You obviously need some bellies. You need a gram scale to weigh them out in and you’re going to need a smoker eventually. So that’s the equipment. You’Ll need a knife place to work: salt brown, sugar, cure, sodium erythrobate or a cure accelerator, and a couple mixing bowls, pretty simple, so we’ll dive into it. Now i’ve weighed them out, and you can pick these up anywhere as your local butcher will have pork bellies for sure you can get them at costco wholesale food places, as always.
One thing to make note of, though, is: when you buy your belly for dry cured bacon. The dry curing process does take a little while that’s one of the one of the features of it. I guess you could say so when i was talking about those other curing processes like a brine and a pump a pump and tumble they can cure those in 45 minutes this one’s going to take about a week, the reason being without moisture it that salt, our Our spice mixture is going to penetrate slowly through the meat, and the rule of thumb is one inch per week, so when you’re buying your bellies, the reason i bring this up now is when you’re buying your bellies. If you get them from your butcher, they may be skin on, and the salt and brown sugar and cure doesn’t really penetrate through the skin. If it does, it penetrates so slow, it doesn’t count now.
These guys here are skinned bellies. You can tell because this side here this is the white fat side. It would be on the outside of the the carcass and this side in here you can see where the ribs were pull that up there a little closer for you, you can see where the ribs were. This is on the inside of the carcass, so it is skin. There is no pork skin on this side.
So that means, when i put my cure mixture on it, is going to have salt cure sugar solution penetrating from this side and this side. So technically you could probably do it in about five days, because it’s only about you know just over an inch thick but give it seven days as a rule of thumb per inch. So that makes sense if this had a. If this was two inches thick you’d want to give it 14 days. Since it’s skinned, you could probably get away with 10 But if this had, if this side had a skin on it still – and it was two inches thick, you would definitely need to give it 14 days because it’d be only coming from one side, also, if they’re really fatty bellies the cure penetrates slower through fat.
So you maybe want to just assess your belly and you know: there’s no harm really giving it a couple extra days. You usually get away with seven if they’re, skinned and they’re, you know not overly fatty, if they’re a little bit fatty, give them 10 you’re going to store them in your refrigerator the whole time. So you shouldn’t have too much bacteria growth. You shouldn’t run into spoilage problems. Get these guys unwrapped.
These guys just wrap lots of times they come cryovac. These guys are cold. Cold is good. Cold meat is good, so this process, here guys, is really simple. Like i said i took my recipe.
Excuse me: 25 grams of salt, 20 grams of brown, sugar, 2.4 grams of cure, and today i’m using cure number 1 sodium, nitrite and 3 5 3.5 grams of sodium erythrobate and to expand on that cure cure number one versus cure number, two, just a little bit more. Basically the difference between sodium nitrate and nitrite. The sodium nitrate is just kind of one step further down the chemical reaction process to cured meats, so it goes basically sodium nitrate reacts with bacteria and things in the meat uh, the hemoglobin and myoglobin, and then it it creates a little bit of acidity.
That’S naturally in meat it creates nitrite, so sodium nitrate will create nitrite sodium nitrite uh forms uh, nitric oxide, which reacts with the myoglobin in the meat and it forms nitrocymoglobins. So that and that’s what pink cured meat is not really relevant to the home butcher. But that’s basically what it is nitrates just one step further away, so you can get away with sodium nitrate. Don’T get too hung up on the cure if you’re number one or cure number two prague powder number one preg powder number: two: it will work. So we weigh that out using that recipe.
We got it here and all you do is you want to make sure you use this whole thing up on these bellies? You guys can’t see that one got three bellies here and this recipe i have tuned in relatively well. It’S it’s pretty well received it’s not too salty, it’s not too sugary, and you basically want to make sure you use all this up. One reason being you want to make sure you use all this up is because the usda and the cfia only want you to have 120 parts per million of cure in your in your bacon, because you fry it and supposedly it causes carcinogens when you fry sodium Nitrites cures supposedly so this will give you that number for homemaking it doesn’t matter. If you actually running a butcher store, they will come in and check your formulas, and this one will keep you safe.
So basically yeah you just dead simple big, handfuls spread it on nice and even you can pat the bellies down a little bit if they’re really wet if they got a lot of uh, the myoglobin and blood and stuff in it from the vacuum package bag. These guys aren’t bad so enough to pat them down, but also that little bit of moisture doesn’t hurt because it helps the salt and sugar and cure penetrate into the into the belly. You don’t want to miss the sides here, see that oh yeah, so you want to get the sides [ Music, ] and, like i said guys, the rule of thumb is an inch per week. So these guys are like right at an inch. So these guys will be – i will give them seven days, but since their skin, that cure will be coming in from both sides.
So really technically you’d be pretty darn close at three and a half days four days, but it doesn’t hurt just give them that weak delay of gratification. It’S worth it, i usually pat it in a bit and that it’s going to cure a little bit slower from this fat side. And if you guys had these weren’t skinned say you picked them up from a butcher store and they still had the rhine on and by the way guys. The pork belly basically comes uh. They break it between the third and fourth, the fourth and fifth rib.
On the pig and it goes kind of down to right below where the leg starts, it includes kind of down the side here and that’s the belly. It’S the diaphragm. They use it for breathing lots and stuff. So that’s why it’s sliced relatively thin? Okay, you flip them over and give them a good healthy, shot again on the bottom side, so that the cure penetrates from both sides, and we have an even salt sugar cure, cure accelerator distribution on our pieces of meat and like we’re one third of the way Done making bacon already it’s dead, simple salt brown sugar cure cure accelerator pick some nice bellies from somewhere, as you trust, and the other thing guys is.
I forgot to even mention up until this point how much cheaper this is. You guys are gon na make the stuff that they sell for ten dollars a pound, and you can buy bellies for like you can buy like the top quality bellies for like 450 550. A pound up here in canada, of course, everywhere, is going to be a little bit different, but uh but uh. You can pick pork bellies up, but costs go on sale, sometimes for like two dollars a pound and you can dry cure them and then you’re eating that nice bacon that they’re selling for like ten dollars a pound. Okay, so make sure i get all that salt on there give it a little pat down again now, if you guys don’t have a walk-in cooler like me or don’t you don’t want to store, so you don’t have an extra fridge to store this in because that’s We’Re going to put the bellies in today, you can put them in zip, lock bags and keep them in your crisper.
You can cut them in half at this point and fold them it’s not going to affect your end product. If you have a vacuum packager the vacuum packager actually accelerates the curing process, because when you vacuum it, it kind of opens up between the fibers. If the pores of the meat, if you will – and it will help the salt go through a little bit quicker. But the easiest we’re just going to do it as easy as possible, so we rub them down and i just store them in here and make sure i don’t miss any of this cure and stuff. It’S not going to make it too salty.
Guys. Trust me: it’s a pretty good recipe, i’ll link it below, like, i said, make sure that gets on there and also, if you want during the crewing process you don’t really have to, but that bottom one this is, the salt is going to pull moisture out of The bacon and you’re going to get a salty sugary bloody. Well, it’s actually myoglobin and hemoglobin solution at the bottom of your little pan or at the bottom of your ziploc bag. And if you were like really concerned, you can take that bottom belly and swap it out with the top belly or flip your belly over if you’re only doing one. But it’s it’s i you know i i don’t do that anymore, because i really don’t find it makes a big difference in the end product.
I mean it’s, this stuff is so simple guys. It’S just rub this solution on it and leave it alone for seven days. Okay, so now i’m gon na pop this in the cooler i’ll write the date on it. When i cured it and uh wait seven days, so i will see you guys in seven days on smoking. The bacon part two one third done.
Second, third, coming up: okay, guys with the magic power of editing a week has gone by and these bellies have been curing for a week. Um i decided to do. I got a bunch of other bellies on the go, so we got your bellies in here, along with a couple other ones we’re gon na smoke them all. At the same time, um i have mine on racks. You can do yours on sticks, uh.
They have such things as bacon hooks, so it’s basically a hook. I don’t have one to show you, unfortunately, but it’s kind of like a meat hook like this except there’s, multiple. I focus on the meat hook, there’s multiple hooks and you basically push them into the belly, and then you hang them, and air circulates all around them. Uh, the pro to that is you kind of get more air circulation around it and it dries out quicker for doing big batches. But if you’re doing this at home, you’re, probably only gon na be doing like one to three to maybe five bellies at a time.
Anyways, so a rack like this isn’t gon na affect your end product. The the key is well we’ll go over the smoking steps, but before we get to that um when you pulled it out, i have one left here: it’s at the bottom of the solution. So it’s kind of it’s you can see it dripping there, because the uh, the salt and stuff has pulled moisture out of the meat, but the top couple or if you’re, only doing one. You might find there’s just a little bit of residual salt and brown sugar off, and if you find that all you have to do, if you even find it is just get a little cold water and just rinse that excess salt off and you’re good to go. You want to make sure when you rinse them that in your smoking process, you give them adequate drying time, because smoke adheres to a like a tacky, not completely dry dry, but like a tacky surface much better than if i was to stick this into a smoking.
Smokehouse right now the smoke wouldn’t apply to the outside of the bacon as much so i know you guys are probably thinking like well, i don’t got a big smoke house like this. This smokehouse has some features, so i kept one belly out. I’M going to do it on the tragger for you guys, because it’s going to be more relatable, but the process is the same. There’S basically, three steps to smoking bacon, one you’re gon na dry it off, because there’s gon na be a little bit of moisture and stuff on the outside, so you wanted to dry it until it becomes tacky and we do that at a real low temperature um. This smokehouse the lowest it goes, is 150 degrees fahrenheit.
So basically you can do that or put a fan on it until it dries, and that takes about an hour. So i’m going to do my first step is going to be 150 degrees fahrenheit. With the fan on dampers open for an hour, then i’m going to apply smoke for another hour at about 155. I start creeping the temperature up. What type of smoke are you using duncan i’m using hickory?
I like hickory, the best it works, it’s the most versatile for everything i do in the shop, but you. If you’ve got other stuff at home, you can experiment away. You can use apple. You can use pecan, you can use cherry um, you don’t want to use like the super aggressive woods like oak or you can use maple maples another good one uh i found well. It depends on how you, like your bacon, maybe like really smoky bacon and and use some of that aggressive stuff then, but hickory is what i’m using today so step.
One dry 150 for an hour step two smoke uh, i usually smoke. The smoking process takes about an hour and a half uh once once my pan’s empty there. I got a little smoke pan in the bottom, so it’s about an hour and a half of hickory, and then i probe them. This has a little. My smokehouse has a little attached probe, if not you’re, going to want to have a thermometer.
I think i forgot that and the things you’ll need less so you’ll need a thermometer, um and you’ll probe the largest belly in the thickest part, because you want to bring it up to 150 or sorry, 135 internal temperature, and i’m usually doing that at 175 to 180, because i don’t want you – don’t want to smoke bacon hot hot, like 200 you’re gon na start, rendering some of the fat out and you’re going to have grease pile up in the bottom, your smokehouse! You want to keep that in in the bacon. That’S flavor! You that bacon fat flavor is it’s good man, you don’t want to be, don’t be having that drip out. So you take your probe insert into the thickest belly at the thickest point until it hits an internal temperature of 135 135 activates that sodium nitrate that cure that nitrocymoglobins, that we we that occurred during the curing process over the last week and it kills parasites.
It’S gon na be really, i believe, 135 is the number that gets rid of trigonosis. If you have an outdoor pig, so we will start that process now, thickest belly, thickest part, and if, if you have a big small house like this, you want to pick the cool spot. My smokehouse cool spots off to this side minor detail. If you’re doing three or four bellies at home so dry about an hour until it’s tacky on the outside then smoke, i smoke mine for about an hour and a half two hours with hickory at about 155. Then the final step is cook.
We cook to an internal temperature of 135 at about 175 to 180 degrees fahrenheit, because we don’t want to render the fatto and i’ll show you guys what each one of those steps look like on the traeger, because it’ll probably be more relatable for what you’re doing At home, okay, guys one last little treat for you here before i go to the traeger and show you how to do it there. So this is one of the bellies that’s been in the fridge for seven days. I should have mentioned the temperature range you want to store them between zero degrees celsius and five degrees celsius, 32 degrees fahrenheit at 40 degrees fahrenheit for seven days uh, so he’s been in there seven days, we’re about to take him to the tragger and uh. This is something you guys can do to your bellies. It’S really kind of cool, so this is just going to be a dry cured bacon in the end, simple, nothing to it.
But what you can do is i’m going to cut this guy in half because it’s not going to affect my end product, i’m going to show you guys the two different products in the end. But if you want to you can flavor your bacons, you don’t want to be adding any salt to it, though, at this point, because it’s got enough salt in it. So i have. Can you see that black pepper this is gon na i’m gon na make a peppered bacon, so you basically just uh sprinkle it over your bacon and i use. When i make peppered bacon, i use kind of a little bit coarser crack.
You don’t want like a real fine mesh, otherwise this is kind of kind of hot down other side, nice good, even coat, and that’s how easy it is to make peppered bacon. So we got dry cured bacon and then you just add pepper to it right before you smoke, not during the curing process, not during the curing process. Just before you smoke there you go now we got peppered bacon and dry cured bacon. Now i’m gon na throw these on the tragger okay there guys, if you’re doing this at home. This might be something that you were more used to doing or more used to using.
Maybe it’s a bradley little chamber smoker, but the idea is still going to be the same. The first step is going to be kind of a lower temperature dry. Then you’re going to do a smoke and then you do a cook. I just realized. My trigger only goes down to 165 So we’re using a traeger do it at 165, but if you can do it like a little bit lower than that 150 for the drying step and then uh, i’m not too worried about it, though, because uh it’s gon na take a while for it to come Up temperature and you can pat your bellies dry before you get them loaded uh, so that smoke adheres to them so i’ll, just fire it up.
I got my bellies padded off and i’ll pop them in here and i’ll come check on them. After about two hours. You don’t need to mess them or anything like that. These are not making pork belly burnt, ends we’re making bacon so pop them in and come check on them in two hours. Okay, guys so two hours has gone by the traeger is rolling smoke.
I’M not sure if you can see get smoking there. I got it set at 165, which was as low as it could go. The internal temperature of the belly is 115 We’Re gon na shoot for 135 in the end, but it’s been two hours just gon na look at him here and if you can avoid opening the lid too much uh, that’s good, but we’ll just have a quick look at them here. So the color is starting to come on. Them looks really good.
There’S the peppered guy and i’m gon na bump the temperature up, and they should get a little bit of that darker smoked color, a little more brown hickory looking, so i’m just going to close them back up, so that was our first two stages dry and then Smoke now we’re just going to bring it up two well that went up quick to 180. It’S because it seems to be about five degrees behind so now it’s gon na i’m gon na cook it at 180 until that internal temperature hits 135 and we’ll go check on the ones in the smokehouse in the meat shop too. Okay, there guys i’m back in the meat shop. We just checked the traeger one and it’s the same process uh. These have been in for two hours, we’re just starting the smoke.
I don’t usually open this one. I know how to the process works with this one. Quite well, so i don’t have to check on it but i’ll open up and show it for you guys, uh. There should be smoke rolling right now because uh we’re at the end of the second hour, so the hickory should be smoking still, and the color of the belly should be going from that kind of pale raw meat look to starting to brown up uh, like bacon, Starting to that smoke starting to adhere so we’ll just check this quick, i don’t know if you guys can be able to see that i’ll bring it in a little closer for you getting smoked out but see they’re starting to take on that little bit. A hickory or smoke is starting to get on these guys here too, so now we’re just going to bump it up getting smoked out here, guys we’re just going to bump it up to about 180 until we get that internal temperature of 135.
Okay, guys update it is done it’s at 137, so it’s 2 degrees over 135, which isn’t a big deal, even if you guys get it up to 140. It’S not a big deal, so we’ll just open these up and have a look at them. Yeah! That’S a nice dark, smoky color, there’s our peppered one probe’s in the deepest part of the biggest bacon. So now i’m just going to pull these off guys and put them on a clean, we’re going to clean tote in the cooler overnight and we’ll slice them tomorrow.
Stay tuned for that all right guys, my smokehouse alarm just went off, so here’s the the bellies from the smokehouse that got the same steps uh they dried at 150 for about an hour, got smoked at 155 for about uh. Let’S get that to focus, got smoked at about 155 for about an hour and a half, i cranked them up to 180 and they got that nice. Yet they got went from that kind of pale to mahogany color same as the ones that come off the trigger same process, so it doesn’t really matter what you’re using process is the same now same as the traeger bacon. I will take this pop it in the cooler to cool down overnight and we will slice it for step three of three tomorrow, all right, we are at the third and final step. I have the bacons.
I pulled off the traeger yesterday from yesterday that we smoked cooled them down in the fridge overnight. One thing i should have mentioned: is you don’t want to stack these on top of one another when you’re cooling them, because the space that isn’t going to get the air circulation is going to have a bit of discoloration on it? You don’t want to stack them on weather like that, because the middle part won’t cool down in time. But you see here we got that nice mahogany color on them from yesterday got a good smoke on them that nice dark tan, color mahogany, and today all you got to do easy enough. You just need a cutting board.
Here’S our peppered bacon from yesterday is slice them slice them and package them um. If you have a meat slicer, it’s way easier, you’re going to get a way more consistent product. I have one in the back there, but we’ll cut these by hand, and only these knives are make it a lot easier. A bigger knife, but you can get away with these, and all you want to do – is just cut it into whatever size bacon you like, if you like, a thick cut, cut it a little thicker. Let’S give you do a couple slices off this peppered, one to show you guys what kind of product we have made all right.
Oh there, it is guys the dry cured bacon. One thing when you’re slicing into this you want to look for. Is you want to make sure that it is pink all the way through? If you have little gray spots or green spots, they call them. That means you didn’t give your ham or your bacon quite enough time to cure.
It probably needed one or two more days, but it’s not it’s not going to kill you. It’S not a big deal, just fry your bacon, so we cooked this to 135 yesterday. So that means this is only a partially cooked product. So you can’t eat this raw. We can, i guess, if you want, but it should be cooked, so this is something you fry in the frying pan or what have you now with your eggs and pancakes or, however, you guys eat your bacon, but yeah.
All that we do now is just slice. However, thick you want your bacon and it looks like we. We give it enough time. There’S no gray spots in this, so salt brown sugar cure sodium erythrobate. Seven days did the trick so i’ll slice this stuff all up here, guys and uh we’ll go over the steps, real quick when i’m done all right.
So here we go the final product, here’s all our sliced bacon slice it up for you guys. These are in piles here so, and this is all the bacon off one belly. So this is our end product. I backpacked a little bit up here for you guys to give you an idea how you can package them or you guys can stick them in zip, lock bags suck them up real tight, but back packaging in them gets you the longest shelf life for sure. Since it’s a dry cured bacon, it’s probably 35 to 45 days, depending on how clean your setup is in a vacuum package fresh in the fridge unopened or probably a year and a half in the freezer, so long as the seal doesn’t break on the vacuum packages.
But here it is guys beautiful. All of it’s cured all the way through looks real good and so i’ll just go over the the steps one more time with you. So we did it in kind of three parts: one was seasoning, the bacon two was smoking and three was slicing and packaging. So the important parts for seasoning you use that spice recipe. I’M gon na link down below uh.
You give it an inch per week when we’re doing a dry rub because we’re not adding any moisture. In fact, we probably would have sucked a little bit of moisture out of these. I’M not sure if i made point of this in part one but you’re not going to find it’s not going to shrink very much compared to the stored bacon, because we pulled some moisture out with that dry cure that salt solution pulled it out of the meat. So yeah apply our spice mix, wait, probably seven days or 10, depending on the thickness two step. Two.
We smoke it 150 for about an hour to dry it. Then we put smoke on it for an hour and a half at a minimum up to. However many hours you want four hours, if you want really smoky bacon and as when we slowly bring the temperature up of the smokehouse to i do about 185 to at the highest until our internal temperature hits 135. If you go over a little bit, it doesn’t really matter, but you want to hit at least 135 and we’ll take them out cool them in the in the refrigerator, between 0 and 5, 32 and 40 overnight, making sure that they’re not stacked one. On top of the other, so the air can circulate around them and cool them right down.
It helps get keep that nice color that smoky mahogany tan color on the outside, then we slice package and enjoy you guys. Don’T need me to tell you how to cook bacon, i’m sure. So. Hopefully you guys, like this video, i’m going to share the information down below give it a thumbs up subscribe share with some friends or facebook page hope you guys enjoyed i’m sure you’ll enjoy the bacon. That’S it for this one.