• Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User Kansas Dry Cured Sausage

    Cured and Sliced Bacon

    How to Make Bacon

    Meat Block

    Pork Belly


    For Injecting
    Blue Ribbon Maple Cure for Bacon
    Bacon Taste Booster
    For Pickling
    Country Brown Sugar Cure
    Bacon Taste Booster


    There are two popular ways to cure bellies at home, pickling which is also often mistakenly referred to as brining and injecting. Brining is using just salt, pickling is the correct term for using an actual cure.

    Before you prepare your injection there are a few things we need to point out about the water you are going to use. At the time of mixing the water needs to be between 40 and 45°, it cannot be hard water and must be potable so very low microbial levels. If you can aerate the water that is preferable, if not then put the water in a cooler and hold it overnight.

    To prepare your injection you are going to dissolve 2 lb of Blue Ribbon Maple Bacon Cure and 6 ounces of bacon taste booster in a gallon of water. Bacon Taste booster helps impart the classic bacon taste while using modern curing techniques and it helps fight off rancidity in the freezer. Then you want to pump the bellies to 10 % of their green weight. Green weight is simply what the bellies weighed before you injected them.

    Since the Blue Ribbon Maple Cure for Bacon has Sodium Erythorbate in it you only need to hold this product overnight in a cooler at 38° before moving them to the smokehouse. While you are holding them you want to cover them in a 50% strength solution of the pickle you used. The easiest way to do this is to take the remaining pickle that you did not inject, weight it and add that amount of water to the pickle.

    Next hang your bacon on 9-inch bacon hangers, making sure that there is sufficient flesh above the hooks to prevent them ripping through the top of the belly and hang them in the smokehouse.

    If you want to pickle we recommend you use country brown sugar cure, you just have to modify the usage a little to get the correct parts per million. You will want to use 1.52 pounds of the cure to a gallon of water to get 120 PPM of ingoing nitrite. Fill the container with the cure before you put the bellies in, this will allow the bacon to suspend and cure evenly. Make sure to stack the bellies meat side to meat side and fat to fat. Once your bellies are covered move them to a cooler at 38° degrees and hold for 3-5 days. After it has sat for 3-5 days fill a meat lug with clean cold water, let the bacon sit in that for 20 minutes, empty that and fill it up with more cold water and let it sit for another 20 minutes to rinse off any excess salt. If you try and skip this step your bacon is going to be WAY too salty. If you are wanting a less salty product then repeat this step a 3rd time.


    The smoke schedule is the same for Pickling as it is for Injecting.

    Thermal Processing & Smoking

    Stage 1 - 120° for an hour with no smoke
    Stage 2 - 135° for an hour with smoke
    Stage 3 - 150° for an hour with smoke
    Stage 4 - 165° for an hour with smoke
    Stage 5 - 180° with no smoke until internal temperature reaches 138°


    If your smokehouse has a shower cycle you should run it for 20 minutes with no heat and no smoke. If you do not have a shower cycle in your smoker then fill a meat lug with ice and water and leave it in there for 15-20 minutes to bring down the internal temperature. Allow your bacon to sit out at room temperature for 2 hours.

    Wrap up

    Bacon is one of the most commonly cured meats in America, being able to make it at home is really not very hard but it is a little time-consuming. One of the nice things about making bacon is all you need is the Cure a Meat Lug a cooler and a Smoker!

    Additional Tips

    • If injecting, make sure you inject evenly throughout the bacon.
    • If pickling make sure you add the pickle before adding the bellies.

    Other Notes

    For either pickle or injection make sure your water is 40°-45°F, it can not be hard water and aerate it or hold in a cooler overnight.

    What Is Bacon?

    Bacon is classically a pork belly that has been cured by smoking, salting or pickling. After curing it can be cooked by pan frying, boiling, baking, microwaving or smoking. In American cuisine, it is typically eaten for breakfast or added to other dishes to add a savory flavor.

    Watch WaltonsTV: How To Make Homemade Bacon

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Injectors

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Meat Lugs

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Bacon Taste Booster

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Bacon Hangers

  • Yearling

    i need help with bacon so i tried to make bacon out of a wild boar it was a small one so i figured i would be ok because the rest of the meat teats good but when i tried to make the bacon it did not turn out i injected it as even as i could then let it sit over night in refrigerator in a haft brine then next morning i cooked using the walts cook time to 145 internal and then cooled in a ice bath till internal got to under 100 then let it sit out for 2hrs and when i cooked it , it turned out bad it had right color but very salty and fat did not cook out ether what did i do wrong? does it mater what cut of meat i use? did i miss a step please let me no if you can help

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User Kansas Dry Cured Sausage

    KARLHEIDOLPH What cure and how much of it did you use? What was the weight of the belly before you injected it? It could be a combination of any of these things. From what else you said your process sounds good so I dont think it was anything to do with that. There can be some problems when making bacon from wild hogs as they rarely have enough fat content to make proper bacon, so that might have been an issue as well.

    Let me know about the cure and I will see what I can figure out!

  • Yearling

    I used the maple bacon cure and the bacon booster I used 1 pound to a gallon of water it distilled and I used 3oz of booster the water was at frigerator temperature the start weight was 4 lb and I injected it till it got 8 pounds or very close to it it wieghed 7.5 lb when I let it sit overnight I did like they said and I covered it up with the left over solution I am wandering it it was that there was not enuff fat like you said let me now if that sounds s right

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User Kansas Dry Cured Sausage

    KARLHEIDOLPH That’s the issue, if your bacon was 4 lb you should have pumped it to 4.4 lb and it sounds like you added almost 3.5 lb to the belly. I am surprised you got the belly to take that much of the solution without it all leaking back out. The rest of your process sounds like it was correct but just injected too much cure into it!

    Let us know if you need anything else.

  • can i use the blue ribbon maple bacon cure in a brine “pickling” situation in a vac tumbler?

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User Kansas Dry Cured Sausage

    bart Yes, you can use Blue Ribbon Maple Bacon Cure if you are vacuum tumbling, it is formulated for tumbling or injecting. Since it has sodium erythorbate included you do not need to add any, and you can go directly from Vacuum Tumbling to the smokehouse. If you want to hold it overnight that is fine as well but straight to the smokehouse after tumbling will work.

    When Vacuum Tumbling I would recommend you use Bacon Taste Booster as it helps impart an old world taste when using modern curing methods.

  • Is this bacon on the salty side? If not and I want to make it a bit saltier what would you change and also do you also have instructions on how to make a nice maple Canadian bacon?

  • Yearling

    I swear I purchased some bacon cure from you a few years ago, that I need now… that you don’t use water. I thought you put the cure on the bacon, let it sit for a few days then wash it off and smoke. Does this not exist anymore?

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User Kansas Dry Cured Sausage

    lilbitinnd Absolutely, it is Dry Rub Bacon Cure and you can buy it in 5 lb bags. If you need any instructions the “how to” video is here https://meatgistics.waltonsinc.com/topic/800/cured-whole-muscle-meat-104-bacon-basics

  • Yearling

    Hi. First time i tried to make the imitation bacon recipe and it turned out really brittle after smoking it. I used 50% venison and 50% pork butt. I let it cure 24 hours before smoking it. I smoked it at 150 for 2 hours then 180 for 4 hours until an internal temperature of 160 was reached. The only step I missed was adding water to the meat. The taste is TERRIFIC though! Is there any other suggestions you might have so it doesn’t turn out so brittle. It practically falls apart into bits when I slice it.
    Thank you.
    Ken Sigurdson

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User Kansas Dry Cured Sausage

    Siggy Yeah, if you didn’t add any water and you used 50/50 pork to venison then I can see that happening. Your fat content was probably 15% at best and the lack of water would make it brittle. Next time try adding more pork fat and add some water plus a binder like Carrot Fiber or even better Sure Gel and those should fix your issues! Also, if you can’t find just pork fat you will still be okay with the 50/50 mix but it is on the low end of fat so it does need that water.

  • Yearling

    Thank you for the tips! I can’t wait to try it on the next batch!

  • Yearling

    About how much carrot fiber or sure gel should I use for every 10 lbs?

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User Kansas Dry Cured Sausage

    Siggy https://meatgistics.waltonsinc.com/topic/811/additive-conversion-chart has brealkdowns for both of those in 1 and 5 lb batches Sure gel will get a better bind but it is more expensive.

  • Team Orange Masterbuilt Big Green Egg Dry Cured Sausage Sous Vide Canning Power User

    Siggy I agree with Jonathan about using Sure Gel. I haven’t used carrot fiber in imitation bacon, but have made it with and without sure gel and binder products. Sure gel gets my products.

  • I purchased a hog from a butcher and they delivered ‘fresh side’ which was belly cut into strips, uncured, unprocessed. I would like to turn this into bacon but find very little info on how to brine belly that has already been cut into strips, turning it into bacon. I have smokers, dehydrators, press, mixer, everything needed but the ‘know how’ Help please.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User Kansas Dry Cured Sausage

    How thick are the strips? It is going to make a difference in how long you let it cure for as it won’t have as much meat to go through.

  • The strips are about 1/8 in.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User Kansas Dry Cured Sausage

    ratman6 Oof that’s gonna be fast curing. Figure 1/2 inch of penetration per 24 hours on whole muscle cuts and you’ve got 1/4 of that so figure 12 maybe 15 hours?

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