Homemade Bacon !!!!

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve made some homemade bacon.

One of the problems is the time.  It takes a week to “cure” the pork belly in the fridge (yes, that really is rather simple),  but because of the time it takes to smoke the bacon, it doesn’t take much to screw up the schedule at home and not have the time !!!

Well, that was certainly the case this time.

I had plenty of time off during the recent holidays but it was way too cold and wet for me to go outside and smoke.

So, instead I just did it inside in the oven.

As my daughter said, this was the best bacon so far !

Two things were done differently.

Obviously doing it in the oven gave me far better and consistent temperature control  and also, I left the pork belly uncovered in the fridge overnight to get completely dry.

I also ended up making over six pounds of bacon, quite a bit of which I gave to some special people at work.  You know you’re special if I share my bacon or ammo !!


Homemade Butter

Butter is one of the best words in the English language because it starts with “B”. (Think for yourself all of the greatest things on the planet that starts with “B”.)

I saw a recipe in the newspaper for making homemade butter. Really pretty simple. Pour cream into a food processor, turn it on until it turns to butter. No one could screw that up, right????
The recipe suggests using “Heavy cream without stabilizers (agar or carrageenan). The stabilizers are often used in “Ultra-pasteurized” heavy cream and gives the butter a flat taste. Now in America, the Storm Trooper Food Police make almost all dairy products be super dooper pasteurized (for our own protection). I did not have time to look around for non ultra-pasteurized cream so I bought what I could at the local grocery store.


Again, pretty simple, just two items.

The recipe said one quart of cream would make one pound of butter, so I poured all of the cream in.

Do you see the “Liquid Max Fill” line on the food processor???
I never knew there was such !!
Apparently most people only notice that fill line until after it has been over filled.
I was too busy cleaning up to take a picture of it. I removed about half of the cream and did two batches.

There it is !
The liquid that separated would be considered buttermilk.
I used the buttermilk in the mashed potatoes that I made on Thanksgiving

If you have only ever had industrially manufactured butter, this might look kind of funky.


I made a patty out of each batch and pressed it in cheese cloth to remove most of the liquid.

Well, there it is. Pretty simple indeed and I learned about the “Max fill” line.

From what I was told, the butter tasted good. (Except for putting one patty in the mashed potatoes, I did not eat the butter or even taste it plain.)
Unless you want to make a special compound or flavored butter, I don’t think there is any need to make your own butter. The quart of cream I bought was almost $8.00 and the day before, I bought a pound of butter for $3.00.
But, this was kind of like a cool science experiment and I think I will do it again !!!

Making Bacon

For a number of years, I had watched several TV cooking shows that used pork belly and the recipes all looked great.  My  grocery store does not carry pork belly and when I asked, they couldn’t even order it (Unless I wanted to buy a pallet of it !!)

But a small local store near me was able to order a 3 pound piece of pork belly for me.


So I picked picked up my pork belly.  I had never purchased pork belly before but $3.20 a pound seemed to be a fine price.


I had looked at a number of online directions for homemade bacon, and they all seemed to be about the same.



Black Pepper

Coarse salt


All the ingredients get rubbed on to the pork belly.


The seasoned pork belly goes into a zip style plastic bag.


The pork belly stayed in the bag and in the fridge for seven days, and was turned over once a day.

I rinsed the pork belly off in the sink and patted it dry.


The oven was heated to 200 degrees and cooked until the internal temperature was 150 degrees.


Once fully cooled, I moved it to the cutting board.


Skin side up.


You can see how thick the skin was.

The skin was removed and used later in making soup.


The pork belly gets wrapped in wax paper and refrigerated.


I actually waited a day before I attempted to cut it and cook it.

I was surprised with my patience !!


So nice thick slabs of fresh, homemade bacon !!!


Into the cast iron frying pan.


Hey, it looks like bacon !!!

But that’s were the disappointment hit me.

It didn’t taste like bacon at all.  It just tasted like salted pork


So, I cut a few more slabs.


Into the frying pan again and it still didn’t taste like bacon.


I even tossed some of it on the grill and it just tasted like pork.


That’s what was left.


I cubed it up and into the frying pan.


This ended up going into my split pea soup and it was very good.  But it didn’t taste like bacon !!

OK, so what did I do wrong or what do I need to do different to make it the next time and make it taste like bacon??