BushcraftOz | The Australian Bushcraft Forum

This is a sample guest message. Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox!

Making Bacon

Aussie123

Never Alone In The Bush
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 16, 2011
Messages
5,510
Reaction score
747
Location
Melbourne, Victoria
Having been inspired by Havamal's dry cured bacon, I'm pleased that makin' bacon has become a semi regular affair at my place.
http://bushcraftoz.com/forums/showthread.php?9534-Dry-cured-bacon

I start with pork belly from a wholesale-to-public butcher.
I always ask for a "lean" piece with minimum bone, and always have the same discussion about port belly being a fatty, bony cut ... none the less it pays to ask for a belly with a thin fat layer under the skin.

I remove any ribs and the skin. The ribs get fried up for a snack and the skin goes into the freezer to make crackling at some later stage. No waste.
20180609_111716 (Medium).jpg

Weighing the de-boned and skinned belly:
20180609_114053 (Medium).jpg 20180609_114104 (Medium).jpg

Next I measure out 4% to 5% salt by weight.
Using this method ensures that there is enough salt to preserve the meat, but the meat does not become over salted:
20180609_114343 (Medium).jpg

I put the belly into a bag and sprinkle ALL the salt over the meat and spread it as best I can:
(It is also an option to add some flavouring elements at this stage. Pepper, chili, thyme, smoked paprika, juniper, sugar .... whatever you like.
The amount you add is not critical and the flavour will infuse. I've experimented with a few options)
20180609_115107 (Medium).jpg

The bag gets sealed and put in the fridge for about 3 to 4 weeks, massaging occasionally to ensure the salt is spread about.
Here are 4 pork bellies, ready for the fridge:
20180609_122156 (Medium).jpg

After about 3 weeks I'll open the packs then rinse and dry the belly.

Then thinly slice the bacon, then put it into new packs in "serving size quantities" (about 6 rashers).
These can go into the freezer for storage until they are needed.

The alternative to slicing and putting in the fridge is to dry the belly (before its sliced), but I like slicing and freezing so its ready and easy, for use

I'm not smoking the bacon; if I wanted to smoke the bacon, then it would usually be done before its sliced and packed.

I need to do a bit more work on smoking. I will make a smoker, then work on what sort of wood, how long etc etc ... but I quite like it as is



If anyone has any expertise on smoking, I'd love to hear more about it ?
Thanks
 

Aussie123

Never Alone In The Bush
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 16, 2011
Messages
5,510
Reaction score
747
Location
Melbourne, Victoria
why a lean piece Aussie? is it to do with the curing?

Its not the curing, its just personal choice.

Some fatty pieces seem to be (guess) 2/3 fat; where as "lean" pieces are more like 2/3 meat, and I like more a meaty bacon .... but don't worry there is still plenty of fat even in the lean bits !

I saw a youtuber who actively selects pure fatty pieces, because that's what he likes (I think the "pure" fat "bacon" has a particular name but I can't recall what it is ...)
 

Kindliing

Ray Mears
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Messages
414
Reaction score
539
Just found a little smoker at the second hand dealer shop 25 bucks and never been used , didn’t know too much about it , that’s what’s good about those shops too you get what you don’t expect.
have been trying to learn online about good woods to use in Australia before this , didn’t even know these little portable smokers existed .
It came with a bag of shavings in it , so cooked up some pork belly , sliced it into strips a bit under an inch .thanks for this old thread Aussie .
Amazing how quickly it cooked with the little metho cooker filled up was enough and let it sit without opening for about another 10 mins , am really impressed ! What a terrific simple thing . And tasted great .A4E3A6DD-1F55-4ED7-8566-FD5189302376.jpeg
 

beast

Russell Coight
Joined
Jan 30, 2021
Messages
15
Reaction score
13
Thanks for showing that process. Curious, have you ever tried making bacon from wild pork?
 
Top