My Favourite Bacon

Back bacon rashers

I recently posted a bacon tutorial that I wrote for the sausage making forum. The recipe used was an amalgamation of a few already posted by myself and others, as such it was a compromise. Whilst it makes very nice bacon, it is a little sweet for me. The recipe I use most regularly differs in that it's more salty and has less sugar. The method and other instructions are exactly the same as in the bacon and dry curing tutorial.

For 1kg of meat use:

22gm Salt
8gm Sugar
2.5gm Cure #1
0.5gm Sodium ascorbate (optional)
You can add any herbs and spices you fancy. I generally add a minimum of a sprinkle of black pepper and thyme.

Use the cure pro rata for other weights of meat adding whatever herbs and spices you like.

To aid calculation you can use this cure calculator:

Bacon Cure Calculator
Weight of Meat in grams gm
Salt gm
Sugar gm
UK Cure #1 (5.88%) gm
Sodium Ascorbate/Erythorbate
Total Amount gm
If using US Cure #1 use:
US Cure #1 (6.25%) gm

You can add any herbs and spices you fancy. I generally add a minimum of a sprinkle of black pepper and thyme.

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There are 97 comments


Hi Phil,
The first results for the Bacon i have just finished dry curing as to this mixture has turned out magnificent. Not to salty or too sweet. Thanks Phil for your help. Dave %-)

Dave, (Email ) - 05-12-’10 21:19

I’m pleased that you like it.


Phil, (Email ) (URL) - 07-12-’10 17:02

Hi Phil,

In your bacon receipe you use sodium ascorbate, if I can’t find it, can I use vitamin C powder, or is it the same thing anway?
cheers Rod

rod, - 12-11-’11 11:21

There are online suppliers of sodium ascorbate such as:

However, you can use vitamin C powder (ascorbic acid). I believe that the usage rate is slightly different – use a maximum of 0.45gm per kg meat (less than 450mg/kg).

Phil, (Email ) (URL) - 12-11-’11 21:21

Thanks Phil, will use your link to purchase the sodium ascorbate,

Rod, - 13-11-’11 17:24

Hi Phil. Just completed this bacon cure on a bit of pork loin. Only a small bit, 700grm. Followed the recipe to the letter apart from the sodium adsorbate. Left it for 5 days, and 1 day to dry in fridge. Cant say the bacon flavour was very developed. It was also very grey coloured on the first few slices? Any clues? Should I experiment with longer cure times , more salt, more cure no 1? Any help gratefully received. Regards Gary.

Gary, - 03-10-’12 18:00

Hi Gary

That’s an odd one! It’s not a strongly salted bacon at 2.2%, but it should taste of bacon! I can’t understand the grey colour, sometimes the outside isn’t a red colour, but it’s usually just the surface. Did you rub the cure into all parts of the meat? I usually do loins for 7 days followed by 3 or 4 days (or more) drying in the fridge – but I don’t think that the difference in time-scale is the problem here. See how you go on your next bit and if the problem persists it may be worth asking at to see if anyone else has had the same problems (although no-one’s raised it as an issue to my knowledge). Many of them use this (or a similar) recipe as the tutorial on the forum is similar (I know ‘cos I wrote it!).
I’m sorry that I don’t have a simple answer to your problem – if you want it more salty, increase the salt or reduce the sugar. However, don’t mess with the cure #1 – that’s at the correct level, I can guarantee that.
I hope this at least helps a little.

Phil, - 04-10-’12 18:20

Thanks Phil, As I sliced further in it was a nice bacon colour. I also grilled the first slices, not the same in my opinion as frying. Frying seams to give move of the flavour. As for the grey coloured first slices???? Maybe some slight oxidising. It was just a piece of loin from morrisons, and having being a meat manager there my self some years ago, all the boneless loins come in vac-pac. So freshness was maybe an issue. Great blog Phil!!!

Gary, - 06-10-’12 10:39

Hi, i’ve used the above cure and for the first time have noticed small red spots primarily on the bacon fat and occasionally on the meat. Other than that the bacon appears fine , nice white fact and pink meat. Have struggled to find any real info as to cause and prevention on the web . Any advice appreciated . Cheers Tony .

TonyB, - 14-10-’13 22:04

Hi, sorry for the delay in replying.

I’ve had something that I think was similar in the past. I don’t know exactly what it is. Might I suggest that you post about it at the forum.


Phil, - 17-10-’13 13:55

I’ve been using this method for a while now and its awesome!! Living in Japan means that we don’t get real bacon, its all imitation, ham-like bacon……also its only ever streaky, no back bacon. This has been a god-send and I now currently have 2 joints of pork (1 belly, 1 loin) happily making their way over to bacon as we speak. Thanks very much

Darren, - 12-05-’14 09:14

I’m glad to hear that you like it Darren. A lot of people who live abroad use it to make bacon like they’re used to back home.

Phil, - 14-05-’14 17:14
Ricky Nash

I live in the Philippine’s and have been using your Bacon and Sausage calculator for nearly 3 years now, It’s brill, it never fails, I’ve got my own pigs and my bacon and sausage have never tasted better, wished I knew about you when I lived in England. Do you have a recipe to make black pudding ?

Ricky Nash, - 18-05-’14 04:20

Thanks for the comments Ricky.

I don’t make black pudding myself, but came across this recipe from the person that I got the ‘base’ for one of the faggot recipes here from:

Hope this helps

Phil, - 19-05-’14 12:24

Hi Phil,
I live in Spain and am interested in dry curing my own bacon, although there are many recipes online quite similar to one another, no one explains the ratio of sodium nitrate to salt for 2.5 gram of cure #1, can you help please. Thank you

Vimi, - 06-09-’14 11:15

Cure #1 is generally 6.25% Sodium Nitrite and 93.75% salt. However, some UK cure #1 is only 6% nitrite. The usage rate of 2.5gm per kg meat ensures that the cure falls withing the 150mg/kg limit that applies (to commercial curing) in the EU – 6% of 2.5gm being 0.15gm per kg which is 150mg/kg.

I hope this helps.

Phil, - 06-09-’14 14:03
Norman Christie

Phil, what type of salt do you use in your recipes? I’ve been reading the River Cottage book on meat curing. They use pure vacuum but it is only available in 50 kg sacks which is a bit too much for domestic use!

Norman Christie, - 01-11-’14 20:31

Hi Norman,

I’m with Maynard Davies on this one. PDV’s the last salt I’d use for curing. Keep it for clearing ice off your drive!

I’m not precious about it and have used whatever’s available in the past, but at the moment I’m using French sea salt as I bought a 10kg bag of it. I’ve used Israeli sea salt in the past, but if money was no object, I’d use something like Maldon or Cornish sea salt. My last choice would be his recommendation.

Have you thought of asking HFW why he recommends PDV salt?

Phil, - 02-11-’14 01:03

Hi Phil, as I said before your bacon and sausage calculator are spot on, never fail. but just wondering if you know a site to make pork and mushroom sausage.


ricky, - 11-11-’14 05:01

It’s not something that I make myself, but there’s some recipes on the forum. Here’s couple for starters

With pork:

With chicken:

I hope this helps.

Phil, - 12-11-’14 00:55
Norman Christie

The PDV dilemma.
Thanks for your advice. The debate seems to turn around pollutants in sea water. PDV is a product made from rock salt brine and then crystallised into standardised cuboids so the weight/volume is predictable.
To be fair to River Cottage, they don’t use ‘curing’ products so they are dependenton the salt to thoroughly cure the meat. They are curing for commercial use.
I agree with you and will go for Maldon after all, we don’t use that much on a 4 or 5 kg piece of free-range pork middle!


Norman Christie, - 12-11-’14 19:01

I’m sure that the River Cottage team would be happy to tell you why they recommend the PDV Norman. It may be worth posting on their forum.

Phil, - 14-11-’14 17:29
Liam Cashman

Hey Phil

This is merely a comment on how great your site is. There are a few of us here who make our own bacon and I have recommended your site to all of them. It is the quality of the information that I find outstanding so a great big thank you from West Australia. I have been using your site for a few years now and have simply been to slack to inform you how grateful me and several ex pats like me can have real bacon at last. Thanks again

Liam Cashman, - 18-11-’14 04:04

Thanks Liam, I’m glad it’s of use.

I started the curing/sausage side of it to save having to answer the questions that crop[ up again and again and the forum.

Phil, - 18-11-’14 16:11
Phil Kerney

The salt thing is a consideration for sure, just make sure your salt is free of non salt addidives. ie Anti-caking, iodine etc.
Especially true for pickled vegetables, but I have never had better results with bacon since I switched to pure NaCl salt, called Flossy Salt here in Australia, and our Curing salt is 12.5% Nitrite. Your calculator has really cemented the knowledge I’ve gained so now my nitrite mini mystery has a good basis in science calculation.
Good work!!!
Phil Kerney Winewood Smokehouse Orange, Australia

Phil Kerney, - 09-02-’15 02:03

Hi Phil
Thanks for the kind comments about the calculator. I’ve come across various strengths of curing salts used by you guys in Australia – 12.5% is the highest so far!
I’ve just found your Facebook page Your produce looks fantastic.

Phil, - 10-02-’15 19:11

Hello, I’m pretty new to making bacon, I recently did a pig in a day course at river cottage which was a fantastic day. Steve did say to use PDV but I think your right in saying it’s because they use it on a big scale. What do you think about adding maple syrup to the curing mix? I’m thinking about using smoked maldon sea salt to see the effects, do you have any experience of using these ingredients?

Ben, - 03-03-’15 07:14

I’ll not comment further about PDV salt, save to say that its supporters haven’t to date produced any evidence to support their claims and that good quality sea salt is preferred by many expert and craft curers.

Maple syrup’s fine, either during, or post curing. Maple sugar’s even better, if you can source it without ‘breaking the bank’!

I’ve never used smoked salt; I just cold smoke the bacon. I’m guessing that the effect would be minimal, but that doesn’t mean that it’s not worth trying. Liquid or powdered smoke may be another option. Please let me know the outcome if you do try it.

Phil, - 04-03-’15 16:52
Norman Christie

I’ve just tasted my batch of smoked ‘Perfect Bacon’ – wonderful.
I made it with 4kg of free range pork, cure as per your recipe plus natural molasses, bay leaf, Rosemary and black pepper.
Marinated for ten days, I split the middle into back and streaky and air-dried for five days.
I then smoked the two pieces in my smoker for nine hours. I used the ProQ filled with a little oak but mostly apple and hickory wood dust.
Result, a nice juicy rasher not over smoked.
Tomorrow I am making some more ‘everyday’ sausages.

Norman Christie, - 17-03-’15 21:06

That sounds like a combo to give maple syrup a run for its money!

The combination of the sweet molasses and apple smoke sounds great.

Phil, - 20-03-’15 23:27
Karen Blake

Hi Phil, I just have to say WOW!! After making my own sausage for the past 3 years, using your brilliant recipes (Thurlaston being my favourite) I fancied the idea of making bacon. After following your recipe for your favourite bacon, and using the excellent calculator on here, it turned out absolutely fantastic! I just felt I had to say a massive thank you to you for sharing your recipes and for all the advice you offer.

Karen Blake, - 27-05-’15 19:00

Thanks Karen,

I’m glad that you found the calculators helpful.

Phil, (URL) - 01-06-’15 21:47

Hi may i firstly say what a great site so many products to try, now at the risk of appearing stupid would you set my mind at rest regarding the curing time relation to size when it comes to dry curing Bacon, i have a piece of loin i wish to cure that measures 5 inch long and 3 inch in depth, do i base my time on 1/2 inch per day using the depth or length?



Andy, - 13-06-’15 18:23

Sorry for the delay in reply. If doing it that way, it’s the width you go on.

But with these recipes time isn’t an issue – longer won’t hurt. I tend to leave most bacon 7 – 10 days regardless.

Phil, - 17-06-’15 00:24

Hi Phil love this recipe came out a treat, one question should i expect shrinkage somewhere i set off with 2 kg and seem to have lost 300g somewhere i did end up with a scraggy lump perhaps due to my slicing expertise! but thats accounted for in my end weight.



Andy, - 03-07-’15 19:39

Hi Andy

300gm loss seems to be one heck of a lot if that was just during the curing process, as against both curing and drying? I lose around 10% when cured and dried for a couple of weeks, but this really makes for better bacon so I don’t mind.

You will end up with a lump after slicing the bacon. I use this in pieces in casseroles, soups and bean dishes like Boston Baked Beans or Cassoulet.

Phil, - 09-07-’15 16:48

Hi Phil, How long can I leave the cured bacon to dry in the fridge for before smoking, and also how long will it keep in the fridge for? Brilliant site.

Bill, - 06-08-’15 10:55

Very nice thanks Phil,
Am hoping I haven’t overdone it with the paprika that “fell in” the bag at the last moment, ..ah well there won’t be any evidence left over it’s been curing away with a bit of mixed her,b himalayan salt, & black pepper, the mix of which reminds me somewhat of Worcestershire sauce, ..not that I recall putting that in there.

Hmm reminds me I haven’t tried marmite as a curing flavouring with any bacon yet! ..must correct that!

Gus, - 08-08-’15 15:26

Hi Gus,

Sorry for the delay in reply. As you probably know, I’m laid up in bed at the moment. I’m sure that you’ll come up with some far mor imaginative types of bacon than I ever could – at least if what you’ve manage to smoke is anything to go by.

Keep me posted and best regards. Phil

Phil, - 25-08-’15 11:17

Hi Bill,

I generally give it a day or two to dry before cold-smoking.

It’ll keep well but I’ve never had any left after a couple or three weeks. For long term storage, vacuum pack and freeze it.

Hope this helps


Phil, - 25-08-’15 11:24

Just tried this calculator for a piece of relatively cheap belly pork from our local supermarket. Replaced the sugar with maple sugar at the same weight, cured for about 8 days in a vacuum bag, removed, rinsed, dried for a couple of days in the fridge, smoked twice overnight over beech wood sawdust using my CSG. Waited as long as I could and had to try it today in a bacon butty. Superb, is about all I can say about the bacon recipe. Thanks Phil! Have the next bit of belly pork in the cure as I type although I suspect the first batch will not last until that is finished!

James, - 20-11-’15 13:28

Hi James,

I don’t know what to say really; I’m so pleased that you enjoyed it.

You mention maple sugar. Are you somewhere that you can buy this at a reasonable cost? Maybe Canada, or the northern US? It’s an horrific price here. A friend brings it from Canada for me, but I sometimes wonder why we don’t place the same value on local honey-cured products as we do maple?

That said, my family love bacon made with maple sugar – the only reason I’ve never written about it online is because I didn’t think that it was readily available at reasonable cost?

Beech is a great wood for smoking. The bacon I have smoking at the moment using the ProQ has a base of beech with apple on top; I have high hopes that it will be very good.

Phil, - 22-11-’15 00:47
Peter h

Have to comment that this is the best calculator for bacon out there!! It really take the guess work out the formula! I have been using maple syrup as well and it is well worth the cost…of course here we can pick it up for $13 cdn per litre…love the site and going to use the white pudding calculator today!!

Peter h, - 22-11-’15 12:29

Thanks Peter.
I hope you like the white pudding; it’s one of those ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’ types of food!

Phil, - 23-11-’15 21:55
Henry Marks

Hi Phil,
like others have said, great site!

I cured a nice middle white belly following your calculator to the dot (bar the Sodium Ascorbate/Erythorbate). after a 5 day cure, i sampled it and it was easily the yummiest bacon i’ve made so far.

i then hung it in our door well (coolest, draftiest place in the house) in muslin for 6 days. took it down yesterday and I“m pretty sure its now got a funny taste..need to test it on my wife when she’s back but i’ve got a feeling it going to be a throw away…

is this mix/method designed to use for dry hanging ie. enough salt/mix etc.. ???

Henry Marks, - 15-04-’16 12:07

Hi Henry
I’m glad that you liked the bacon, but sorry to hear that it’s not stored well. The mix is not designed for storing above fridge/drying room temperatures. As I say in the tutorial:

“This is not ‘old style traditional bacon’ that can be hung in the rafters all winter. Keep it in the fridge for up to a few weeks, or for longer storage freeze it whole, or in slices, for 1 to 2 months. If you Vac-Pac it, you can keep it longer but it must be kept it under 5°C or frozen.”

Phil, - 15-04-’16 17:12
phil wright

hi all, i live in varna Bulgaria. does anyone know if i can get prague powder over here and if so where, also what is it called in bulgaski language

phil wright, - 14-11-’16 16:29

Most curing salt in Europe is about 1/10th of the strength of Prague Powder/Cure #1. I’m afraid I don’t know the name of it bulaski.

It’s the sort of thing that they’d know on this Polish forum:

The site’s US based with an English speaking section:

I hope this helps.

Phil, - 25-11-’16 14:26
phil wright

cheers for the info, luckily my wife had to go to the uk and so brought me some Prague powder back. i’m currently making some back bacon and corned beef. wish me luck. by the way that polish site looks brill, looking forward to making some polish sausage. cheers from Bulgaria

phil wright, - 28-11-’16 17:25

Hi just had my 1st go at home cute bacon, that bacon has came out a dark red colour almost like beef, I should have left it for 4 days plus 2 but had to work away at the last minute so it’s been left for almost 8 days! Would this matter? Also I used treacle for the sugar thanks for your help

Adam, - 21-01-’17 13:50

Hi Adam,
The delay won’t matter at all. The colour will be due to the use of treacle. It’s nothing to worry about. Enjoy your bacon.

Phil, - 21-01-’17 16:21

Hi, I’m a bit confused having read your dry cure tutorial and then clicked this link for your favourite style. The dry cure recommends 22.5gm of salt for 1kg of meat and 8gm of sugar. Your favourite cure recommends 22gm of salt and 8gm of sugar but you say this is more salty and uses less sugar? Isn’t that using less salt and exactly the same amount of sugar?

Chris, - 16-02-’17 09:52

What the tutorial actually says is: “For My Favourite Bacon – the moderately salted bacon that’s featured above.”

The tutorial recipe should be the same as this one – oops!

Either will be fine, but this is my favourite. I’ll amend the other. Many thanks for pointing this out.


Phil, - 16-02-’17 16:52

Hi Phil
Just a little note to say a big thank you for the bacon calculator which I used last week to cure my 2nd slab of bacon. After my first attempt last year with brine, I took your advice and went to dry cure and it worked out superbly! I had a 920g piece of belly pork and did the ingredients as per the calc, ( 20.2g salt, 7.36g sugar, 2.21g US cure#1) but my seasonings were
approx 5 crushed blades of mace
black pepper 10 twists on a grinder
thyme approx 1/2 tsp
nutmeg a sprinkle
6 crushed juniper berries
and a sprinkle of allspice.
I used soft brown sugar.

I gave it 7days in the bag and 3 days hanging

Sorry about the Heath Robinson measurements but they did gave a wonderful flavour. Thanks again, dry cure is definitely the way to go!

Cheers Phil
Best regards

NeilE, - 18-03-’17 10:31

Hi Neil.

It’s post like yours that make it worth getting up in the morning.

Kindest regards. Enjoy making bacon!

Phil, - 20-03-’17 00:25

Hi Phil,
I sent you an email some weeks ago(march 21), did it ever turn up?

Hope you’re well

NeilE, (URL) - 13-04-’17 17:10

Neil, I’ve emailed you just now.

Phil, - 15-04-’17 22:28
Peter Giblin

I used your calculator for my latest batch. I used treacle instead of the sugar. Smoked it with oak and peat for 12 hours, then left it hanging in the fridge for four days. Sliced it last night and had a couple of rashers for breakfast.
Outstanding! Definitely a keeper.

Thanks for putting up this page. Very useful

Peter Giblin, - 23-06-’17 07:59

I’m glad you enjoyed it.

Phil, - 09-07-’17 13:15

hi phil
So sorry to hear that you’re incapacitated. Nothing too serious I hope I am in country South Australia about 250 KM from Adelaide.
I have been making my own ham and bacon for probably maybe seven or eight years, but I only ever used a wet cure, and if I were to blow my own trumpet, I have made some really beautiful ham and bacon, which was all hot smoked.
About a month ago I started on the journey of cold smoked salmon, and again it came out extremely well and I have a side in the fridge waiting to be sliced.
BUt in order to do this I bought a cold smoker which actually can be used with my masterbuilt smoker, and I think, is far better than the amazin pellet smoker, which I tried several times in the masterbuilt, but it either kept going out or created too much heat so that my cold smoking was becoming warm
The reason I’m telling you all this is because now I am for the first time, using your recipe making a gammmon bacon, which I have not had since I left England nearly 50 years ago. I have vacuum sealed it and it is in the fridge curing, so I think I will leave it there for maybe a week. I know the vacuum sealing speeds up the process, but you have said on more than one occasion that it’s okay to leave it for longer. Once it is cured I intend to let it dry for 2-3 days and then cold smoke it.
I can’t tell you how excited I am to have found your recipes, and this blog, all of which has been really enjoyable reading, but also very much a Learning curve.
I will tell you how it comes out after I have cold smoked it.
I have also made my own sausages, but I can’t say I’ve been truly successful with those, probably because I don’t use enough fat, but I’m going to go to your sausage making if I can find it and have another go following your recipes.
Well, that’s all I wanted to say, except thank you and talk soon
If anyone is interested this is the link to the Aussie smoke bloke smoker Hope you get better soon

Annie, - 13-08-’17 08:48

Hi Annie,
Thanks you for your kind wishes.
I hope that you enjoy the gammon ham. That smoker looks great. At a push, you can actually make one from a sieve:
I hope this helps.

Phil, - 18-08-’17 14:31

Hi Phil,
I do hope you’re doing well mate.
Im getting a hankering for some gammon I never got round to trying it with a wet cure and Ive had tremendous results with the dry cure and your calculator. So Ive come here :) In the bacon tutorial there are a few posts about gammon and it seems that its ok to use the bacon calculator to work out the ingredients.
2 weeks in a dry rub(apparently in a vacuum seal is better too) and a week (or longer) to equal out in the fridge. Would you recommend removing the bone? Ive not bought the meat yet.

this was your advice to Liz in that particular thread…
I can’t see any reason not to dry cure it but would use this cure:
Cure fresh meat for a minimum of 2 weeks in a fridge, plus 4 – 7 days hanging to ‘equalise’, or on a non-metal grid (also in the fridge). You may need to wrap it in waxed paper or greaseproof while it f dries to stop it going to far.

Good luck!

Phil, (URL) – 30-09-’11 20:27

Many thanks Phil.
Kindest Regards

PS Ive just finished eating my best bacon yet using the ingredients (as stated in my previous post above)that I have used before and it was absolutely divine! Thank you Sir!

NeilE, - 05-04-’18 15:32

Sorry for the delay Neil.
For gammon I’d cure it bone-out and use a combination of an injection and a dry cure. See

Hope this helps.

Phil, - 21-04-’18 18:42

Many thanks Phil, and no problem mate! Thank you for taking the time to reply , I’ll check out the thread you posted.
Best wishes and kind thoughts always!!!


NeilE, - 24-04-’18 18:51
Joe Alessi

Hello, great website, can’t wait to give it a try. Quick question, after curing, could I cold smoke it a little?
Best wishes

Joe Alessi, - 27-05-’18 12:11
Phil Young

Hi Joe

Of course you can.

What is bacon if not for smoking?

I tend to go a little more salty for smoked bacon.

Phil Young, - 27-05-’18 13:31
John Irvine

Hi Phil, Great site! I’m new to curing but have been smoking meats for some time. Having been scouring the web for recipes I see that many advise to smoke the bacon to an internal temp of 150F but I was expecting to cold smoke. Do you have any recommendations either way?

John Irvine, - 25-06-’18 07:17
Phil Young

Hi John,

UK bacon is nearly always cold smoked and then cooked prior to service. US bacon is often hot smoked; it is cooked further before service. It’s each to their own – but I prefer the UK way.

Phil Young, - 25-06-’18 15:28
John Irvine

Thanks bud, cold smoking it is!

John Irvine, - 26-06-’18 06:17

Hi Phil
I hope you are well or at least feeling better.
Here is an update to my Heath Robinson recipe. I, ofcourse, used your calculator for the salt and cure. The belly pork weight 1034g

Into to bag with the pork belly went….
kosher salt 22.75g
US cure 2.48g
white sugar 8.27g + 1 tsp mollasses (as I didnt have any brown sugar)

mace 1 tsp
black pepper 1/2 tsp
thyme 3/4 tsp
juniper berries 8
nutmeg 1/4 tsp
alspice 1/4 tsp

these were all ground up first
in the bag for a week, massaging every day. I think the word massaging is quite important as it imparts an essence of love into it too which I believe makes a difference.
I then washed it not quite thoroughly and left some residue on the outside, this makes a great flavour when frying.
It was hung for 1 day. I was a little surprised at this but it seemed like it would have been too dry if left any longer.

I then sliced it on my ‘new’ Hobart 110 (1939) that I got at a yard sale and it works a treat!!!
The flavour from this bacon it amazing!

Thank you Phil for all your knowledge and kindness in sharing it.
All the best

NeilE, - 28-06-’18 13:49
John Irvine

Hi Phil,

I’m curing my first lot of streaky at the moment. Should I add a heavy weight on top as suggested in some recipes?

John Irvine, - 30-06-’18 07:53
Phil Young

No. That’s not necessary with this method of curing.

Enjoy your bacon

Phil Young, - 30-06-’18 21:23
Phil Young


I’m glad you enjoyed the bacon. Hobarts are a good slicer and your recipe looks full of flavour.

Phil Young, - 30-06-’18 21:24
John Irvine

Hi Phil,
My first ever two batches of bacon have been curing for six days and the duration was calculated as one at seven days and one at eight days. Both have been vacuum packed but there is almost no liquid loss evident. Is the vacuum perhaps too much to allow moisture out of the meat? if so, should I repack the meat in Ziploc bags and extend the curing time or just move on to the air drying phase for a couple of days before cold smoking. Your thoughts on this would be appreciated.

John Irvine, - 06-07-’18 05:48

Hi John,

Don’t worry. Sometimes there’s not much liquid that comes out. Just dry it and smoke it in the normal way.
The vac-pac or ziploc discussion goes on regularly, with both sides defending their way. I take a middle approach and do a partial vacuum pack. It keeps things tidy in the fridge and ,makes the occasional rub/turn of the meat easy.
i hope you enjoy your bacon.

Phil, - 07-07-’18 11:59
John Irvine

Take a bow Phil! I have just test fried a couple of rashers prior to freezing and it is the tastiest I have had since skiing in the French Alps years ago. Breakfast tomorrow is looking good!
Cheers, John

John Irvine, - 11-07-’18 08:22
Phil Young

Thanks John
It’s always great to hear that the calculators are being used and that people are enjoying their home-made bacon.

Phil Young, - 11-07-’18 20:09
Richard parker

What does one level teaspoon of Prague no1 weigh in grams

Richard parker , - 13-09-’18 08:59
Phil Young

I think a teaspoon would be around 6gm, but it would depend on the producer and size of teaspoon. Even measuring spoons can vary between countries. That’s why a £10 set of digital scales is such a good investment.

Phil Young, - 20-09-’18 14:03
John Irvine

Hi Phil,
I would like to try a ‘Canadian’ style bacon using a dry brine on some pork loin. I would really like to use maple sugar or honey powder but can’t find any locally here in Thailand. I will pick up some next time I’m in UK but meantime I would like to use maple syrup. However, if I coat the syrup on the meat prior to the dry rub cure as suggested in some other recipes would this reduce penetration of the cure?

John Irvine, - 26-09-’18 10:29

This is from my good friend John Gower – he uses it commercially:

How to make Maple Sugar
You will need a jam making thermometer.
Pure maple syrup (light, not dark works best)
Pour the maple syrup into a heavy-bottomed saucepan and heat to medium high. As the syrup heats, it will begin to bubble. Stir with a wooden spoon if it gets too bubbly. Boil until the syrup reduces to about half its original volume and turns darker in colour and thicker in consistency and reaches 125°C to 128°C on a thermometer. This should take about 20 minutes. Once the syrup reaches the right temperature, remove the pan from the heat and start stirring hard with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring until the syrup lightens and thickens in texture and eventually becomes granulated and similar in look and feel to light brown sugar, about 5 minutes. This change happens really quite quickly to look out. Sieve the maple sugar through a metal strainer to remove the larger clumps, then toss those larger clumps into your food processor and whir until they become granulated. Then mix this back into the other sugar.
For cleaning up. Fill the pan with water and set it over medium heat. The warm water will turn the sugar back into its liquid state and easy to clean.

Phil, - 26-09-’18 15:14
John Irvine

Thanks Phil, I hadn’t thought of making it myself. The recipe should work for honey also.

John Irvine, - 27-09-’18 06:00
Richard parker

Hi Phil I’ve tried hot smoking and it seems a bit to strong on the flavour, if I cold smoke my shoulder witch weighs 4 kilos how long should l smoke it for and should I oven cook it to 150 after smoking or hang it for so long or just cut it into the usuall 1lb parks and freez it, ps i have just done the pork loin i think you call it green bacon when it’s not smoked or cooked and it was great gust a light hint of salt and I did not have to soak it just rinse. Thank you

Richard parker , - 08-10-’18 19:24
Phil Young

I’m sorry, I missed your comment. I guess it’s too late now. I always cold smoke bacon and ham. I use a ProQ smoke generator and run it for 3 or 4 sessions (around 12 hours each) with a break of a day or so in between. For ham, I then cook at 75-80°C to a temp of 72°C for 2 mins or 68° for about 10 mins. For bacon, no further cooking is necessary until it’s fried or grilled just before service. I hope this helps

Phil Young, - 21-10-’18 20:38
Ian Church

Hi Phil. Thanks for putting up such an excellent site. I regularly make the Thurlaston sausage, with the family eating them as fast as I can make them. Terrific. Do you have any advice on making beef sausages, please? I’ve made them using the pork recipe, but beef ain’t pork, so should I be using a different seasoning/recipe? Is it an opportunity to use the beef and ale combination that works so well in puddings and pies? Thanks.

Ian Church, - 05-11-’18 12:13
Phil Young

Beef sausage isn’t something I make. For a UK beef sausage I would suggest a starting point based on this Frank Gerrard recipe from 1951 of:

Beef and pork fat to give a 80/20 meat to fat ratio – 75%
Rusk 8%
Water 15.25%
Spices (see below for mix) 1.75%

For the spices, use the amount calculated above of this mix:
Salt 44g
WP 14g
Nutmeg 4g
Mace 2g
Mustard 2g
Ginger 1g
Cayenne 1g
Coriander 1g
Allspice 1g

I hope this helps.

Phil Young, - 09-11-’18 17:18
Tony Bartlett

Hi Phil, I have just come upon your site, and am very grateful. It really is very useful.
Please explain to me the purpose of the Sodium Ascorbate. How does it enhance the bacon, and can it be used for curing other meats?

Tony Bartlett, - 19-11-’18 12:41
Ian Church

Thanks, Phil. Sorry about the delay in getting back to you. I’ll try that beef sausage recipe next time and let you know how it goes. As you imply, you don’t see beef sausages in the shops, but when I was in my youth I worked in a butcher’s shop where they made their own sausages – don’t ask what went into them! – and they sold both pork and beef, which were equally popular. the fact is that you can’t beat a really nice pork sausage – preferably the Thurlaston or the “Every day”, both of which are great – and you know what’s in them! For convenience, I use the collagen skins, and I was interested and surprised to see in a TV programme on Heck sausages that they, too, use the collagen. Thanks again and a happy Christmas.

Ian Church, - 19-12-’18 11:18
Phil Young

Ian – a somewhat delayed thanks for your kind comments.

Tony – the sodium ascorbate helps the sodium nitrite work more efficiently a means less chance of any residual nitrite.


Phil Young, - 03-02-’19 18:45

It says on my packet of Cure #1 that it is not to be used for Dry Curing only Brining yet your recipes specify it.

Jeff, - 12-02-’19 19:55

I can think of no reason why they would say that, it’s widely used both home and commercial users of cures – have you asked the processor/seller why they say this?

Phil, - 13-02-’19 17:52

Hey Phil!
Just want to give you KUDOS for this fantastic site you have here. I recently did a “four slab” bacon YouTube video where I gave you all the credit. Username is “Oregon Patriot” if you want to see it.

The calculator takes all the guesswork out of it, and if you can’t get your slabs from the refrigerator in time, you don’t have to worry because it will not get overly salty.
One thing I did find was when I went “off the reservation”. I more than doubled the sugar (to cure my sweet tooth).
What I found was no matter how slow & low I cooked it, there was a burned taste in the background.
These days I ‘half again’ on the sugar.

My next adventure is to use all the trimmings from several pork bellies for some sort of sausage. Leaning towards a ‘summer sausage’ but still insure. I might have to get adventurous and try a long dry cure.
Thanks again Phil !!

Russell, - 03-03-’19 18:25
Ian Church

My apologies, Phil. You gave me a recipe for beef sausages and I promised feedback. As I come to make another batch, I realised I hadn’t got back to you. The recipe you gave me – a Frank Gerrard one from 1951 – went down a storm with the family to the extent that they are demanding more. I must confess that they didn’t do much for me – I don’t think you can beat pork – but we all have different tastes. I’d recommend people giving the beef a try, but it’s essential to give the mix a really thorough working so you don’t end up with a beefburger in a skin. The other downside is that beef is more expensive than pork, but if it gives a result you like, it’s worth it. Thanks again for all your help.

Ian Church, - 20-05-’19 09:59

Hello and thanks for this site. My question is in Canada the curing mixture is 1% sodium nitrite. Is there way for you to also provide a calculator for a EQ method using this percentage?

John, - 25-08-’19 18:33
Phil Young

The % nitrite can be adjusted using the big bacon calculator:

Hope this helps

Phil Young, - 01-09-’19 14:40

Hi Phil..long time! Tried using citric acid last night for the first time and in a few minutes of vac packing it started producing a white foam, so quick unpack and wash and started the cure again..all good so citric acid won’t work, ordered the usual stuff for next time and binned the acid/vitamin c
ATB Simon

Homeruk, - 19-11-’20 16:31
Phil Young

Hi Simon,
As you’ve found, citric acid isn’t used in curing bacon – did you mistake it for ascorbic acid which is a Vitamin C salt similar to sodium ascorbate/erythorbate?

Phil Young, - 19-11-’20 16:42

I'm somewhat incapacitated at present so replies may take some time. Please post urgent enquiries at the forum.

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