Sunday, December 15, 2013

Making Homemade Bacon, Yes We Did!!

Bacon. Reading or hearing that one word can make many people drool. There is just something about bacon that makes everything better. But store bacon can be so disappointing. Those packages of thinly sliced, mostly fat, strips of meat are bacon (I guess) but honestly, I prefer a nice butcher block bacon with a little more meat to it. We have started trying to source our meat from more ethical sources then those found in store bought meat, so when our pig was butchered, we decided to try our hand at making our own bacon. Not only was it easy to do, but the taste and quality, well, store bacon is history in our house.

So how does one make bacon? Well after doing some research and doing it ourselves, I am here to tell you how…. Or at least how we make bacon. We started with the belly of the pig that we got back from the butcher and a container of maple ham cure we purchased from The Sausage Maker website. They required no minimum order and have free shipping! We like free.

After trimming the fat off the ends of our belly, we cut it in half (so it would fit into zip lock bags.) We then rubbed the soon to be bacon down on both sides with the maple ham cure we had bought. The meat was then put into zip lock bags and spent the next week in our refrigerator. We flipped the packs over every day.

After a week the meat was removed from the bags and “scrubbed” down to remove the cure. Then we leeched the meat over night in water to help remove more of the salt. Then it was back in the fridge, this time uncovered for another 24 hours. This was to allow the meat to dry so it would be more receptive to being smoked. We then smoked the meat for about 4 hours using indirect heat. We were smoking the meat, not trying to cook it, so the temperature never went over 150 degrees. We used Hickory wood when we smoked our meat but you could use whatever wood you like.

After pulling the meat from the smoker we popped it back in the fridge for a bit. Why? Well to help it firm back up, making it easier to cut. We cut the bacon with a knife so not all the pieces were perfectly the same but I think that is the beauty of doing it yourself. It was nice to have the control over how thick the slices were. Remember, I said I liked butcher block style bacon. We divided up the meat in to family size packages and put them in the freezer. I must admit, every time I open the freezer, I do love looking at our homemade bacon. Mmmmm Bacon…… we made our own bacon!!!! And by the way…………so can you!


43 comments:

  1. Wow! That's impressive! Can't say I'm going to be trying my hand at this too soon but I will gladly accept an invitation for breakfast! !! Waiting....waiting. ... ;)

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    1. LOL ummm No. I might give you some of our homemade maple syrup but I covet the bacon LOL

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  2. That is so cool! Way to go I am really impressed! Love bacon :)

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    1. Yeah know it may have taken time to do but it really was easy and oh so yummy!

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  3. I was so proud of myself when I canned pickles for the first time. If I had a freezer full of homemade bacon I'd probably make special trips into the kitchen just to peek at it! lol

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  4. Now this is a skill more people should have! Shared with our FB followers at homesteadlady.com.

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    1. Awww Tessa, thanks for the share. It is an easy skill and I agree, more people should try it.... people should not be afraid of trying something new that is actually, well, the old way of doing it.

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  5. Very impressive. I never even thought about making my own bacon. Thanks for sharing on Backyard Farming Connection.

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  6. Neat! I think it's so cool that you made your own bacon. Someday, when we have a farm I want to try that.

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    1. Why wait? Find a good butcher and buy some belly.... all you need is a fridge and a grill.... don't need a farm for that!

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  7. We have been knocking around the idea of doing this ourselves. We have been buying our grass fed beef and pork locally for a while. But there no pre-cured bacon option. We can get pork belly, but just have not tried making our own. You have me intrigued. Good for you!

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    1. Do it!!! It is so easy and soooooooooooo yummy. Great now I am drooling for bacon again LOL

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  8. I had no idea it was that easy! I guess I thought it would take a more elaborate set up. Awesome! I've pinned this to my It's Bacon!!! board :)

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  9. I live close to Amish territory here in rural Michigan and have a friend who runs a beautiful organic hog farm. Thankfully, she makes the bacon for me. :) It looks easy enough, but I'm better at the cooking and eating part. I'll stick to free range kids, a grass fed steer, and some laying hens. Stopping by from the Blog Strut Owl Style.

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  10. I am truly impressed that you made your own bacon! Thanks for sharing at Food on Friday!

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    1. Don't be impressed, try it yourself!!! I know you could do it :)

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  11. I found your post at the Homestead Barn Hop. Thanks for the great read! My husband and I were JUST talking about how we might get a pig, but only if it was possible to make homemade bacon. So Thank you for getting me all excited about this!

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    1. We are also making country hams and just finished our own lard too! It is fun doing it yourself and suprisingly easy!

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  12. Hi, I was looking at other posts from Homestead Barn Hop and am very interested in yours. We will soon be butchering our own pigs and I can't wait for the yummy bacon. Thanks for posting.

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  13. Wow! I am very impressed. I'm sure it would be so much better than store bought. Thanks for linking up with "Try a New Recipe Tuesday." I hope you will be able to join us again this week. http://our4kiddos.blogspot.com/2013/12/try-new-recipe-tuesday-december-24.html Merry Christmas!

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  14. I believe this post would official raise you to the rank of "kitchen angel" in my family! YUMMY!

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    1. Kitchen Angel... I like that.... have to tell my family my new title! LOL

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  15. Thanks for linking up to Tapas Tuesday Social Happy Hour! Happy New Year :)

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    1. Thanks for hosting! Happy New Year to you too!

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  16. I'm not sure if I would be able to pull this off as I hate the smell of raw meat. Well done. Stopping by from Wednesday Wisdom.

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    1. You really don't handle it very much so the smell isn't really that big a deal. Wrap it and forget it!

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  17. We're raising pigs for the first time this year and there's nothing I look forward to more than home grown, homemade bacon. YUM!!

    Erin
    www.yellowbirchhobbyfarm.com

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    1. Keep drool because it is soooo gonna we worth the wait. Your gonna be in heaven!

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  18. How cool! It would be fun to try, but it's not likely too happen too soon here either! But I certainly like the idea that I could ;-)

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  19. Thanks for the advice. We have a big pig butchering session coming up in a month and we want to make bacon again. You have given me some more good ideas. Thanks for sharing with us at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

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  20. I'm amazed by this! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

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  21. Well done for making your own bacon! You are my featured pick this week for #wednesdayswisdom. have a great week.

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  22. I'm impressed! I've heard about making bacon, but still working up to actually trying it. Thanks for stopping by and sharing this on Five Friday Finds! I'm looking forward to what you share this week. :)

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