Bacon is an all-time favorite American food; anyone who enjoys pork loves having fried bacon during breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Experimental chefs have even incorporated the dish into some famous desserts as well. Most people buy ready-made bacon from the store, and that works just fine. But some people want to try cooking challenging dishes and wish to experience the authentic process of making the food from scratch. Continue reading this article to learn about the process of cooking homemade bacon.
Ingredients: following are the ingredients needed to make homemade bacon. You can easily customize the proportion accordingly for a larger or lesser quantity.
· Five pounds of pork belly.
· One cup of brown sugar.
· Five tablespoons of kosher salt. If you don’t get kosher salt, you can also get any other type of non-iodized coarse salt.
· Two tablespoons of ground black pepper
· ½ tablespoon of curing salt.
The Process of Curing Bacon: The first step in making tasty bacon strips is curing the bacon. The curing process removes the germs that could be in the flesh of the pork belly. Therefore, this is a vital step that should not be missed.
· Carefully clean the pork belly with water and dry the same with paper towels.
· Now, take the dry ingredients (brown sugar, salt, paper, and curing salt) and mix them in a bowl. If you find store-bought meat saltier and want less salt in your bacon, feel free to reduce the salt content in your mix.
· Next, rub the mixture over the pork belly and massage the meat skin gently with your finger. The goal is to let the dry mix penetrate the skin and add flavor to the meat.
· After rubbing the mix for a couple of minutes, the meat inside a plastic bag and seal shut the same.
· Place the plastic bag into the freezer and keep it there for at least five days, after which check the meat by pressing the plastic skin to see if there is any tender spot left. If you still find the bacon soft, keep it in the freezer for a few days more.
Rinse The Meat: Once the first and the longest step is complete, it is time to clean the bacon again. Bring the meat out of the freezer and place it on the kitchen countertop. When the food comes to room temperature, rinse the skin well with cold water and dry the skin with a paper towel.
Smoke The Meat: Next, keep the bacon on a rack for about two to three hours to completely dry the meat. You’ll notice a sticky layer of fat will form on top of the pork skin. This fat helps retain the smoky flavor. Now put the bacon into the grill and let it absorb the smoke for about 2 hours. Check the internal temperature of the meat to find out if it is ready to be removed.
Cut The Meat: Cutting the meat in perfect slices is essential if you want those delicious-looking even slices of bacon in your patty. Place the smoked meat into the freezer and let it cool down. It will be easier to cut the bacon with a meat slicer if the item is cold. With a larger piece of pork belly, use a meat slicer instead of a knife for better results. Be sure to use protective gloves while handling the meat slicing machine.
Fry The Bacon: When you have evenly cut pieces of bacon ready, all you have to do is fry the bacon, and it’s ready to serve. While frying the bacon pieces, you can add additional spices to enhance the flavor of bacon. You can store the bacon grease in a bowl and use it later in savory dishes.