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
(optional)
gm
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.


These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • email
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Posterous
  • Reddit
  • Technorati
  • Twitter
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks

There are 60 comments

Dave

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
Phil

I’m pleased that you like it.

Phil

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

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
Phil

There are online suppliers of sodium ascorbate such as:
http://www.jgsupplements.com/products/so..

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
Rod

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

Rod, - 13-11-’11 17:24
Gary

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
Phil

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 forum.sausagemaking.org 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
Gary

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
TonyB

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
Phil

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 http://www.sausagemaking.org forum.

Phil

Phil, - 17-10-’13 13:55
Darren

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
Phil

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
Phil

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:

http://overthegate.myfreeforum.org/about..

Hope this helps

Phil, - 19-05-’14 12:24
Vimi

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
Phil

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
Phil

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
ricky

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

ricky, - 11-11-’14 05:01
Phil

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

With pork: http://forum.sausagemaking.org/viewtopic..

With chicken: http://forum.sausagemaking.org/viewtopic..

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

Norman Christie, - 12-11-’14 19:01
Phil

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
Phil

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 sausagemaking.org forum.

http://forum.sausagemaking.org/

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
Phil

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 https://www.facebook.com/WinewoodSmokehouse Your produce looks fantastic.

Phil, - 10-02-’15 19:11
Ben

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
Phil

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

Phil,
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.
Superb!
Tomorrow I am making some more ‘everyday’ sausages.

Norman Christie, - 17-03-’15 21:06
Phil

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
Phil

Thanks Karen,

I’m glad that you found the calculators helpful.

Phil, (URL) - 01-06-’15 21:47
Andy

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?

regards

Andy

Andy, - 13-06-’15 18:23
Phil

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
Andy

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.

thanks

Andy

Andy, - 03-07-’15 19:39
Phil

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
Bill

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
Gus

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
Phil

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
Phil

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

Phil, - 25-08-’15 11:24
James

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
Phil

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
Phil

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
Phil

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
Phil

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:

http://wedlinydomowe.pl/index.php

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

http://www.wedlinydomowe.pl/en/

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
Adam

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
Phil

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
Chris

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
Phil

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

Phil, - 16-02-’17 16:52
NeilE

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
Neil

NeilE, - 18-03-’17 10:31
Phil

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
NeilE

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

Hope you’re well
Neil

NeilE, (URL) - 13-04-’17 17:10
Phil

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
Phil

I’m glad you enjoyed it.

Phil, - 09-07-’17 13:15

One or more comments are waiting for approval by an editor.

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

(optional field)
(optional field)

You need to enter the first 3 letters of food in lowercase type for your comment to be allowed


Comment moderation is enabled on this site. This means that your comment will not be visible until it has been approved by an editor.

Remember personal info?
Small print: All html tags except <b> and <i> will be removed from your comment. You can make links by just typing the url or mail-address.