Steph’s Bacon Makin’ Blitz: Bacon Making for the Home Processor

Sausage Making Class, Smoking

A step-by-step guide for homemade bacon

Welcome to Steph’s bacon-makin’ blitz! If you’re ready to dive into the world of homemade bacon with a blast of flavors, you’re in the right place. Follow along for a step-by-step guide to crafting your own mouthwatering bacon creations.

Step 1: Prep

First things first! Before you embark on your bacon-making journey, make sure you have all the necessary supplies and tools at hand. Here’s what you’ll need:

Must-Have Tools:

Nice-to-Have Tools:

Once you’ve gathered your tools, it’s time to decide on the flavors you want to infuse into your bacon. Steph experimented with various flavors, and here are the ingredients you’ll need to follow along:

Ingredients to Make All of Steph’s Profiles:

  • Brown Sugar
  • Dark Rum
  • Pineapple Juice
  • Coconut Flakes
  • Club House Seasoning
  • Garlic Powder
  • Onion Powder
  • Korean Chili Flakes
  • Korean Powder
  • Mexican Oregano
  • Basil
  • Lime Powder
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Blueberry Juice
  • Instant Coffee
  • Black Pepper (Butcher Grind)

Pro Tip: Flavor profiles are optional and can be adjusted to taste.

Download Our List of Items

Step 2: Curing

Now that you have your supplies ready, it’s time to start the curing process. Follow these steps:

Prep the Pork Bellies: Using a large knife, cut each pork belly into 2 or 3 slabs. For example, if you have 20 pork bellies, you’ll end up with approximately 47 slabs that are around 2 kilograms each.

Apply Cure and Brown Sugar: Weigh the slabs of pork belly and apply the curing mixture. Steph also rubbed brown sugar into 24 of the slabs, at a ratio of around 50g per kilogram. Ensure that both the curing mixture and brown sugar are evenly coated on all sides of the slabs.

Vacuum Packaging and Labeling: Once the slabs are cured and flavored, vacuum-package them and label each package with the flavor, weight, and date. This helps you keep track of your bacon creations and ensures freshness.

Pro Tip: Curing time will increase if the pork rind is left on. Always refer to package directions when curing meat.

Refrigerate: Cured and packaged slabs should be refrigerated for approximately 5 days. This allows the flavors to develop and the curing process to complete, resulting in delicious homemade bacon.

Step 3: Rinsing & Soaking

Now that your pork bellies have completed the curing process, it’s time to move on to the next step: rinsing and soaking.

Rinsing Off the Cure: Carefully remove the cured pork bellies from their packaging and rinse off any excess curing mixture and brown sugar under cool running water.

Soaking: Once rinsed, place the pork bellies in a container filled with cool water. Allow them to soak for about 2 hours.

Pat Dry: After soaking, remove the pork bellies from the water and pat them dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel. Make sure to remove any excess moisture from the surface of the bacon.

Step 4: Flavor Profiles (Optional)

Marinating: For this batch, Steph experimented with marinating certain bacon slabs to infuse them with rich and complex flavors. The marinated flavors included Pina colada, whisky & brown sugar, blueberry & brown sugar, and coffee & brown sugar. These marinated bacon slabs were left to marinate for 1 week, allowing them to soak in their flavorful concoctions.

homemade bacon with high caliber dry rub and cure

Dry Rub: Alternatively, Steph opted to use dry rubs on other bacon slabs, applying the seasonings directly to the outside of the bellies for a burst of flavor in every bite. Here are some of the dry rub flavors used:

Peppered, Pepper & Brown Sugar, Mexican, Sriracha Lime Seasoning, Gochujang (Korean Chili Paste) Seasoning, Pumpkin Pie & Brown Sugar, Coffee & Brown Sugar, Tanjin, Dill & Garlic

Pro Tip: To add an extra layer of flavor and texture, 4 slabs had coconut flakes incorporated into the dry rub.

Step 5: Smoking

Now that your bacon is flavored and ready to go, it’s time to infuse it with that irresistible smoky goodness. Follow these steps to smoke your bacon to perfection:

Hang the Bacon: Arrange the pork slabs on racks or hang them in the smokehouse using Bacon Hangers. Properly spacing the slabs ensures that they smoke evenly and allows for adequate airflow around each piece.

Smoke the Bacon: Fire up your smoker and add hickory smoke for that classic bacon flavor. Let the bacon smoke for 1-2 hours, allowing it to absorb the rich smoky aroma. Monitor the temperature closely, aiming for a smoker temperature around 127°F.

Let It Cool: Once the bacon has reached the desired temperature, carefully remove it from the smoker and place it on a rack to cool. Allowing the bacon to cool helps to set the flavors and firm up the texture. After cooling, transfer the bacon to a container and place it in the cooler to further firm up.

Step 6: Slicing & Packaging (aka Slicing Party)

Freeze Slightly: To make slicing easier, transfer the cooled bacon slabs to the freezer until they are slightly firm but not frozen solid. This usually involves allowing ice crystals to form on the surface.

Onto Slicing: Once the bacon is ready, it’s time to start slicing! Steph used a 10″ slicer to slice the bacon into perfect, uniform strips.

Shingle the Bacon: As the bacon is sliced, arrange the slices in a shingled or laid-flat manner over sheets of patty paper.

Vacuum Seal: Using a vacuum sealer, such as the Eurodib Chinook 14, seal each batch of bacon slices in vacuum bags. This helps to maintain freshness and extend the shelf life of your homemade bacon.

Weigh and Label: Steph used the Kilotech LE3K Scale to print professional-looking labels for each flavor, along with the package weight. This not only adds a touch of professionalism but also helps you keep track of your bacon varieties.

Step 7: Cook & Enjoy!

Cooling Rack Method: Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Grab a cooking rack or grill, a baking sheet, and some aluminum foil.

Pro Tip: Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place the rack on top. This method achieves even cooking and contains grease.

Ready to Cook: Arrange your bacon slices on the prepared rack, ensuring that each strip has plenty of space and avoiding overlap. This allows the bacon to cook evenly and become deliciously crispy.

Set Your Timer: Bake your bacon in the preheated oven for 10-20 minutes. We recommend checking after 10 minutes and cooking to your desired crispness, which may vary depending on the thickness of your bacon slices.

Let It Cool: Once your bacon is cooked to your desired level of crispness, remove it from the oven and transfer it to a cooling rack to rest for a few minutes.

Pro Tip: For easy serving, transfer the cooled bacon to a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any excess grease.

Now that your bacon is cooked to perfection, it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the mouthwatering aroma and irresistible flavor of your homemade creation.

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