Saturday, July 25, 2009

BLT Challenge | The Bacon


This is my fourth batch of bacon. I’m indebted to Kevin Weeks of Seriously Good for posting about Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn a couple of years ago.  I’ve greatly enjoyed making my own sausages, pate, peperone, and bacon.



Brown sugar, kosher salt, and pink salt.



My husband and I prefer the more savory pancetta seasonings for our bacon rather than sweeter maple type. There are juniper berries, black peppercorns and bay leaves in the processor. I ground the pepper in a mill last year, and even though it was a Magnum, it took forever. I figure as long as the peppercorns are cracked it’ll be ok.



As I’m curing 36 lbs. of pork belly this time, it takes 30 cloves of garlic.



All buzzed up and ready to go.



Lovely Niman Ranch pork bellies.



My husband experimented with lots of thyme from the garden for one belly.



I lurve the full width meat/produce drawer in the bottom of my Viking fridge. I fit four pork bellies in there!



After ten days curing it’s a beautiful color. Washing off the spices is the worst part of the whole process. I felt I was wallowing in raw pig juice. I washed down the kitchen with Lysol in a 10’ radius around the sink after I was finished and then took a shower.



Drying in the fridge overnight with a garbage bag drip-guard. I’ve learned that if I want to feel flush enough to give away some of this awesome bacon, I need to make a lot of it.



Hot smoking with hickory chunks in the Weber Smoky Mountain Smoker Cooker (or the “Bullet”).



My husband fried some of the smoked pig skin for a snack.


Pancetta Style Bacon-09162007_06

My husband slices while I vacuum seal.

Pancetta Style Bacon-09162007_04

It keeps very well in the freezer.


  1. Carol,
    Beautiful and well done. I need to make bacon again. (My last charcuterie effort was a double batch of duck confit.)

  2. Thanks Kevin, for the nice comment (my first). I still haven't made the duck confit; your's looks so good I need to put it next on the list.

  3. Duck confit!? I will have to sick my wife on that.