Last time I posted I laid out what I needed to do to make some bacon.

I managed to head to Island Bay Butchery and pick up around 1.5KG of pork belly. It was a bit thin for my liking but it was the best I could find on short notice.

With the bacon in my hands it was time to prep & cure the meat.

Pork Belly with the skin cut off

My recipie for the cure came from AmazingRibs.com. This suits for a 1.5kg (3lb) pork belly.

  • 4 1/2 teaspoons salt (I used Morton’s kosher salt)
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of Prague Powder #1
  1. Remove the skin of the pork belly. This can be hard, so make sure your knife is sharp!
  2. Add all the ingredients except the pork into a plastic zip-lock bag. Shake it to ensure the powder is mixed through until it’s a brine.
  3. Add the pork to the bag and massage the brine into the pork evenly.
  4. Put the bag on a plate and into a fridge.
  5. Turn the pork every day to ensure the brine covers all of the pork.

During this process some liquid will come out of the pork, so its important to have a plate under the bag to catch leaks. After 4-5 days of brining the pork it should be quite firm. It’s now ready to smoke. Give it a wash to clean off any excess pepper and brine, and let it cool in the fridge for a bit before smoking.

  Pork Belly in the bag with the brine

I’ll explain how to smoke to the pork in Part 3.