Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Curing Bacon at Home

Over a year ago I had bought some pork belly at Nature's Harmony Farm.  Unsure what to do with it, I kept it in the freezer all this time.  Recently I had the motivation to figure out how to cure it, with our own pork ready to be brought home in a few days.  So I researched recipes online and used them as a basis to create my own homemade bacon cure.

The ingredients:
1/2 c. kosher salt
1 1/2 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed
2 small sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 sprig of fresh thyme, crumbled to remove leaves
1 bay leaf
10 juniper berries
fresh ground pepper

I hand ground the garlic and herbs with a mortar and pestle, then blended them with the salt.

Some recipes use glass or plastic containers; others use ziploc bags.  I chose the container method for my bacon.  I cut a new plastic sink liner in pieces and used a piece to raise the bacon up out of any liquid that would drain out during the curing process.

Next I rubbed the curing salt all over the pork belly and into any crevices, then closed the container and put it in the fridge.

Two days later I drained off the small amount of fluid that had collected in the bottom of the container and reapplied the curing salt.

After five days I could see that no more liquid was draining out, and the bacon was quite a bit firmer than it had been at first.  The final step was to thoroughly rinse the bacon, pat it dry, and smoke it for 2 hours with hickory chips.

A few days later when Herb came home for Thanksgiving, he cooked the bacon for breakfast.

We learned a few things from this experiment:
(1) The ideal time for curing the bacon is 3 to 5 days;
(2) one hour is long enough to smoke it, and
(3) it was truly delicious, and we can't wait to taste our own bacon!


  1. Thanks for all the yummy breakfasts you cook Dad! That bacon was delicious! Thanks for feeding the pigs with all those acorns!

  2. Who ever thought acorns would go so well with eggs? :) Yes, Dad does cook a mean breakfast!


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