Natural Homemade Bacon

Prep Time: 4 days  |  Cook Time: 20 minutes
Recipe via Neo-Homesteading

Natural Homemade Bacon

Credit: Neo-Homesteading

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 8 ounces molasses
  • 4 quarts of water
  • Pork Belly, 11lb portion, skin-on
  • 1/4 cup fresh black pepper

Preparation: 

  1. In a large pot combine half of the water with the salt and sugar. Bring to a boil and whisk to dissolve. Remove from heat and combine with remaining water. If you use extra cold water/and or ice it will cool the solution  much faster.
  2.  Cut pork belly in half to make it more manageable. Rub pepper liberally onto all sides of the meat.
  3. Place into a large zip lock bag. Pour brine over top of the pork belly and remove any excess air from the container. Allow to brine for 3-4 days. Flip them over once each night.
  4. Before smoking remove the brined bellies and pat them dry. Set them on a baking rack to dry out for 4 hours or so.
  5. Prepare your smoker, If your using a charcoal grill or other standard hot smoker you will prepare the hot coals and soak wood chips. Place wood chips onto the hot coals. If possible monitor the temperature. Ideally you want it to be under 200 degrees at all times, but not below 140. (140 and below is cold smoking) Smoke bellies 3-4 hours. If your smoker/grill drops too low in temperature you can finish them off in an 180- 200 degree oven. The internal temperature should be about 160 degrees.
  6. Refrigerate Until Fully Cooled, Once cooled you can freeze for 15-30 minutes.  Remove skin and excess fat. Slice to desired thickness. Achieving perfect thin slices with a knife is near impossible, the best thing you can do is keep it cold. If you have a deli slicer or mandoline this is incredibly useful.