Homemade Bacon
Ingredients
  • 4 lb fresh pork belly
  • 45 grams coarse sea salt (3½ tablespoons)
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 3 cloves of garlic smashed and left in skin
  • 4 sprigs of rosemary
  • Optional: 1½ teaspoons celery juice powder(I used this celery juice powder) you could also use pink salt if you wish
  • hickory wood chips if smoking
Instructions
  1. Rinse and pat dry pork belly. In a small bowl combine salt, optional sugar, and optional celery juice powder or optional pink salt and mix well. Place the pork belly in a 2 gallon zip lock bag and coat all over and thoroughly rub with mixture. Bruise the rosemary sprigs and place all over pork belly along with garlic. Place the cure rubbed pork belly in the fridge for 7 days.
  2. Once the pork belly has cured rinse it off thoroughly with water.
Smoking it with a grill:
  1. Soak wood 4 cups of wood chips in water for 30 mintutes. Fill 1-2 smoker boxes with ½ cup of soaked chips and a small handful of dry chips and reserve the rest of the soaked chips for later use. Remove one of the sides of the grates of the grill so that you can place the smoker boxes directly on the heating element. Preheat one side of the grill to medium heat keeping the opposite side completely off until the smoker boxes begin to smoke then reduce the heat to low, place the pork belly on the wire rack onto the unlit side and close the lid (see the image in my post for how I set mine up). Try to stabilize the heat at around 200 degrees and smoke the pork belly for 3½-4 hours adding more soaked chipped every 45 minutes or so; until the internal temperature of the pork belly registers 150 degrees. If you want more smoke without having to increase the temperature just add a small handful of dry woodchips along with the soaked.
If you don't own a grill or smoker or don't want it smoked:
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and place the pork belly on a wire rack on top of a baking sheet. Roast the bacon until the internal temperature of the pork belly registers 150 degrees.
Once your bacon is finished smoking or roasting:
  1. Allow to cool completely then refrigerate for at least 3 hours or up to overnight to harden the fat. With a sharp and long knife slice the bacon into desired thickness and store in the fridge for a few days or in the freezer for 6-12 months.
  2. Congratulations you have made your very own bacon.
Notes
For the sugar:This is completely optional yet I chose to use coconut sugar in my recipe because the cure is washed off before it's smoked or placed in the oven which leaves insignificant and minimal quantities. If you still do not want to use the coconut sugar then your bacon will taste a bit more salty because the sugar is in place to help contrast and tone down the saltiness.
For the use of celery juice powder or pink salt: This is also optional but I chose to use celery juice powder and explained why in this post. If you don't want to use the celery juice powder or the pink salt don't worry because it's completely optional. The only difference is that your bacon might turn brown or grey after it is cured and lack the distinct piquant cured taste. If you want to learn more about the use of nitrates in cured meats and why I do not fear them Chris Kresser and Michael Ruhlman both have great articles on it.
If you have a different weight of pork belly than specified: Michael Ruhlman Recommends you get the weight of the pork belly in grams and then multiply by .025 and the result of that is the amount of salt you should use in grams. This method only works if you have a food scale at home though.
If you own a smoker: I do not have a smoker so I didn't try making it with one but I would imagine if you do and wanted to smoke it like that you would simply smoke it at 200 degrees away from the fire to avoid any flare ups until the pork belly internal temperature registers 150 degrees.
Recipe by Slim Palate at https://slimpalate.com/homemade-bacon/