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Homemade Bacon

Homemade bacon – this post features a recipe, but more importantly, it is about tradition, family tradition passed down through generations.

homemade-bacon

As some of you know, my wife  Jody and I purchased her grandparents old home.  We very much enjoyed spending time with her grandparents in their later years, listening to their stories of life.  I enjoyed their recipes.  My wife’s grandpa was a butcher in his former life and he loved to process his own meat.  In fact even in his retirement years, he still loved working with pork, beef and wild game.  He had his own equipment, the highlight of these butchering tools was his smoker.

homemade-smoker

It is a simple smoker, built out of an old culvert with a door cut into the bottom and some sheet metal on the top.  It is not pretty, but it works and the results are yummy.

Before grandpa passed he “showed me the ropes”.  I was taught to make everything from smoked fish, ham and sausage.  But my favorite thing to make is….BACON.  Everyone loves bacon and it is not as hard to make as you might think.  Here is the recipe for old fashioned/old school smoked bacon.

Ingredients

1 pork belly (you can ask any butcher for this)

1/4-1/2 a cup of pink Himalayan sea salt

some chopped and split hardwood (I prefer apple and/or oak)

a match(s) (number of matches depends on how good of a boy scout you are)

home-smoked-bacon

First you get your belly.  You can get it with or without skin.  I prefer without the skin so the salt can absorb in better.  Next you salt the belly with all the salt.  Be liberal with your salt and ensure the belly has all been “kissed” by the salt.  Now let it sit in the fridge for 2-3 days. You need time for the salt to penetrate the belly all the way through.  After you feel the belly has soaked long enough you can light a fire.  I have an old culvert, but there are many many many homemade designs that can be found on google that are simple and cheap to make.  Now the trick is to light the fire and then “kill the fire”.  You don’t want heat, but you do want smoke.  I like to build the fire so it is crackling good and hot and then I place the lid on my smoker so it is starving from oxygen.  As a result it will smoke.  That is when you add the belly.  You can lay it down on a rack or hang it with hooks.  Now let it be, it should smoke for approx 2-3 hours.  Check the fire every 15 min to ensure it is still going and not too hot.

Making homemade bacon is something special that reminds me of my elders and family.  This also helps my wife remind her of our grandmother who also loved to do handwork.  “Grammy” claimed her hand work was her outlet and a pleasure for her.  She often made tea towels and dish cloths.  We have a nice collection at home, so for this post it only seamed fitting to feature one of her tea towels.  This post helped to remind me/us that our house is not just a house but a home.  And that makes this extra special it us.

Are you looking for some bacon recipes? Bacon Wrapped Tater Tot Cheese BombsBacon Tomato and Kale Quiche.

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trevor

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Comments

  1. wow, I’d really like to try this one day. Though, I don’t trust myself with the fire, perhaps I need an actual smoker. lol My friend has one and loves it.

  2. Elva Roberts says:

    I never knew that Bacon was so relatively easy to “make.’ I think it is wonderful that so many of the old traditional ways of preserving our food are being passed down and used by families. Kudos to people who do this delicious and useful work!

  3. This looks amazing, Trevor! Thanks for sharing the technique. I had no idea it would be that easy to make homemade bacon! This is something my better half would definitely love to try. He is a bbq/smoker guy, and loves his bacon. How wonderful that Jody’s grandfather taught you those skills. I think that is awesome. Love the added touch of the tea towel in the pic :)

  4. VERY impressive that you can make that and SO special that your skills have family history to them. I bet that bacon tastes AMAZING!

  5. This is something we want to try. I really dislike buying store bought bacon because of all the chemicals added. Great post.

  6. Lynda Cook says:

    My father owned his own butcher shop and homemade bacon is the best, what I miss the most is my dad’s homemade headcheese and pepperoni, mmmmm

  7. Angela @epicuremama says:

    I need to show my husband this so he can stop asking for an egg!

  8. amazing! Love that your family makes their own bacon – the flavour would be amazing – nothing better than something fresh.

  9. DARLENE W says:

    I don’t know if I could be that adventurous! Bravo to you for keeping up a family tradition

  10. This is very cool! I would love to try this. Thanks for sharing.

  11. I’ve never given thought to doing my own bacon. But it’s seems pretty straight forward…

    This was interest to read, thank you!

  12. That’s pretty neat! And to be able to share your memories now with your young ones will be something you can cherish forever. Btw, the fish that Trevor is holding is HUGE!!! So lucky for both!

  13. Bacon..is there anything better? Not sure I would trust myself to do this..but I really would love to try!

  14. I wouldn’t mind trying this, but with a smoker.

  15. Nena Sinclair says:

    I can only imagine how great this bacon would taste! Your hubby could start his own business just by selling this bacon! :)

  16. I so want to make this! Hubby has a huge electric smoker he uses for salmon but Id love me some pork belly! :D

  17. We had a smoker and my hubby gave it away when we moved. Now, I wish that he hadn’t! This would be awesome to make!

  18. That is awesome that you guys do this!! Maybe I can get the husband to smoke some for us!

  19. kelly young says:

    i have friends that smoke porkloin maybe i can ask them to do bacon yum

  20. nicolthepickle says:

    This is amazing! I would love to try this sometime. We hope to have a pig next year. This would be cool to try.
    This and homemade apple cider is going on my bucket list.

  21. kathy downey says:

    I love that you keep the traditions alive,it looks so good

  22. OH My! That is impressive, making your own bacon! Good for you guys!

  23. Wow this is fabulous, I bet it smelled great when it was in the smoker. My father use to have a smoke house for mackerel

  24. This is soo old school and yet so cool, i’d luv to be there and see it all in progress, i can smell it from here, thanks and keep it up!

  25. Kimberly B says:

    Yumm! This make me miss my home in the country so much. I loved having the ability to be pretty much self sustainable and the freedom that it gives. I could still do this in the backyard if I bought a smoker but I don’t think it would taste as good as doing it with the old-fashioned type.

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