I absolutely love bacon. It’s always been one of my favourite foods and as I’ve recently been getting more and more into traditional American style BBQ I figured why not have a go at making my own bacon?
I originally got the idea from the Facebook group I’m apart of: NZ Barbecue Pitmasters. Someone has posted a picture of their own bacon they has just finished making, along with a link to instructions from AmazingRibs.com. I had a read and it seems remarkably simple.
Basically making bacon is a 4 step process:
- Prepare. Get a piece of Pork Belly from your local butcher, and remove the skin.
- Cure. Cure the bacon with Prague Powder (nitrites), salt and other flavourings.
- Smoke. Smoke the meat to give it that classic bacon flavour.
- Cut. Cut the bacon into any size you like. (Prefab thickness anyone?)
Prague Powder is a mixture of Sodium nitrite and salt. There are generally two types of Prague Powder which have differing ratios of the two ingredients. I’m using Prague Powder #1 for this, which contains 6.25% Sodium nitrite and 93.75% salt.
The nitrites in Prague Powder are what kills bacteria, cures the meat and can keep the ‘red’ colour that you see in a lot of store bought bacon. You can make bacon without nitrites, but because of food safety reasons it’s always safer to use nitrites, especially when you’re inexperienced, so thats what I’ll be doing for my first time.
I found some Prague Powder #1 on Trade Me for $6 so I ordered that today and it should arrive this week.
Once the Prague Powder has arrived, I’ll head down to a butcher and get the best pork belly I can grab my hands on.
I’ll make another post on this blog once I’ve started the curing process of the pork.