From a bacon-lovers perspective, preserving this fat-laden meat is a Doing the Stuff skill “worth it’s weight in salt.” However, if you believe the Big Fat Lie, go ahead and brace yourself for some disturbing news…
Your grandparents had it right… bacon fat won’t kill you. You need healthy fat in your diet.
Whether for health concerns or just to build a self-reliant skill, making bacon is a simple process anyone can do.
The recipe I used was given to me by Brian Manning, my instructor at The Pathfinder School. He made a video called “Hog and Hominy” where he carves up a side of his dry cured bacon to fry over an open fire. I had to make my own.
I asked and he shared his recipe in the description box under his video. Be sure to check out his channel – Snow Walker Bushcraft – for some great tutorials and 18th century living skills.
I also found a helpful video by Steve Davis on his channel, “woodcrafter76“.
Here’s what you’ll need for makin’ your own bacon to cure what ails you…
The Bacon Cure
Find a fresh pork belly, pasture raised if possible. I bought mine at a health-food grocery store called Earth Fare. Your local butcher shop may have fresh pork belly or can order it for you. Of course, the freshest route is to butcher a hog yourself. My pork belly weighed 12.6 pounds and was on sale, half-price!
Buy salt and brown sugar. Lots of it. Three pound boxes of course salt. I used about 12 pounds of salt and 12 pounds of brown sugar. I’d probably use less on my next batch of bacon.
Step 1 of Makin’ Bacon
In a large container, combine equal amounts of salt and brown sugar thoroughly. In hindsight, I should have used a larger mixing container. Sugar ants made a visit to our kitchen because of the spillage from my smaller container. You can never clean all those tiny granules off the cabinets and floor.
Step 2 of Makin’ Bacon
Rub the pork belly with the cure. Make sure you don’t miss any of the crevices on the flesh side. It’s like applying a rub on a pork butt for smoking… rub it good and cover it all! These little hidden hideaways need cure applied to prevent moisture build up. Moisture is your bacon’s enemy. (continue reading)