How to Make Your Own Bacon, From Scratch

Check out our recipes for Traditional, Maple Bourbon, and Espresso Maple Bacon. This is the lowdown on the very basic steps that you need to make any bacon, from scratch:

What you'll need:

  • Pork belly
  • Brine ingredients (salt, sugar, spices)
  • Glaze ingredients, if glazing along with a brush for doing so
  • Vacuum Sealer & bag
  • Meat Smoker & wood chips
  • Meat Slicer
  • Baking sheet (if baking) or skillet (if frying)

Step One | Marinate
Place the pork belly into a Vacuum Sealer Bag. Mix together the brine ingredients until the sugar, salt, and spices are dissolved in the  liquid ingredients, then pour into the bag with the pork belly. Seal and allow to cure 3-7 days.

Step Two | Smoke
For smoker tips, check out our article: 10 Tips for Smoker Success.
Preheat your smoker to 200 degrees with the water bowl filled. Soak your wood chips for at least 30 minutes. Once preheated, place the chips into the smoker box and put the pork belly onto a smoker rack. Smoke the pork belly 2 hours or until the internal temperature is 130°. Just two hours will give you a perfect, mild smoky flavor that allows the marinated flavors to pop without being overshadowed. For a smokier flavor, smoke at 120-150° for 3-4 hours. When the temperature gets to 120° (check the temperature after an hour, when you change out the wood chips), use a basting brush to slather the glaze, if any, all over the outside of the bacon. If you're making a peppered or otherwise coated bacon, sprinkle on at the 120 mark as well.

Step Three | Rest
Once smoked, allow to rest for an hour (until cooled), then seal it in a vacuum sealer bag and refrigerate overnight.

Step Four: Slice
Remove from the bag and use a Meat Slicer to slice the bacon as thickly or thinly as you like.

Step Five: Store for Later or Cook
At this point, it's ready to cook! You can refrigerate or freeze for later use, fry it in a skillet, or put it in the oven at 400° for 15 minutes (my personal favorite way).

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