How to Make Homemade Dry Rub Bacon - Recipe

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Homemade Bacon

    How to Make Homemade Dry Rub Bacon

    Learn how to make Bacon with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.

    What Is Dry Rub Bacon?

    Bacon is classically a pork belly that has been cured by smoking, salting or pickling, these are accomplished with either a cover pickle, an injection or a dry rub. The Dry Rub Cure is rubbed all over the surface of the bacon and then put in a cooler for 5-7 days to allow for the cure to fully penetrate the pork belly.

    Meat Block

    Pork Belly


    5 lb bag of Dry Rub Bacon


    Fully coat both sides of the pork belly with the dry rub cure, you need to make sure there are no portions that are not coated but shake off any excess. Lay the bellies in a meat lug making sure to stack them fat side to fat side and meat side to meat side. Hold in a cooler for 5-7 days at 38°. At the end of the curing time, you will need to rinse off the bellies by filling a container with cold water and letting the bellies soak in that for 20 minutes, then empty the water, refill it with water and let that sink for 20 more minutes. This is to remove the excess salt, if you skip this step you will end up with an overly salty bacon.

    Hang your bacon on hooks and move to your smoker.


    Pin through the flank end when hanging, this will give you a better looking finished product.

    Thermal Processing & Smoking

    Stage 1 - 120° for 1 hour with no smoke
    Stage 2 - 120° for 1 hour with smoke
    Stage 3 - 135° for 1 hour with smoke
    Stage 4 - 150° for 1 hour with smoke
    Stage 5 - 165° for 77 minutes with no smoke
    Stage 6 - 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

    • Hold 2 hours at room temperature before moving to cooler.
    • Maker sure your cooler does not go below 32° F or the cure will not work

    Other Notes

    Some people will rub the outside of the bacon with an extra coating of a spice before smoking. This is becoming more popular but we decided to go with a traditional bacon. If you do decide to do this make sure that you do not use a spice or seasoning that has any cure or has a very high salt content.

    Watch WaltonsTV: MSG and Umami | What Is Monosodium Glutamate?

    Shop for PK 100 Smoker

    Shop for Dry Rub Bacon Cure

    Shop for Bacon Taste Booster

    Shop for Digital Thermometers

  • Can you use the equilibrium method instead of the Waltons recommended guide? If so what ratio would it be for the dry rub.

  • Would it be 2.5% of the weight of the bacon considering the dry cure is premixed?

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    darren McLaren You would have to know the exact amount of salt in the cure and that is not something Excalibur is going to share with anyone, even us. They can give us a range but that range is usually about 10% and I would be fearful that it would be ruined if it was off by that much. I apologize for taking 4 days to respond to this, hope the lack of the response didn’t jam you up too badly!

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    This post is deleted!

  • What about cold smoked bacon?

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    jramey We haven’t done that but we will eventually have a meatgistics university video on it as it’s something people have been wanting information on. For now you will want to make sure that your smoker is able to offset so the heat source stays away from the bacon. A lot of people cold smoke for 8 hours then rest it overnight and then do it for 8 more hours and again rest if overnight. That process can be repeated a few more times. In general, it is a lot of work!

  • Thank you for the information. I’m not sure why I want to cold smoke instead of hot smoke. I guess that’s because it’s what we all buy in the store. Is there a flavor, texture, or consistency difference between the two once pan fried? And, is one method safer than the next?

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    jramey I haven’t every noticed a difference other than a cold-smoked one might have a strong smoke flavor as it has generally spent a few days being smoked. There are some purists though who would insist that they can absolutely tell the difference and they might be right. My pallet just isn’t that sophisticated I guess!

  • Power User Canning Team Orange Regular Contributors Veteran Masterbuilt

    Jonathon have you ever made the beef bacon we talked about?

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    craigrice Not yet no. Things are stacking up but that is going to be a Meatgistics University Cured Whole Muscle Meats video.

  • Okay yesterday I tried smoking the bacon from the hog that I butchered the other day, and I followed the recipe but it took forever for the temps to get to 138 degrees and now they are so dark and they look cooked. Why do they need to be smoked to 138 degrees when they are just going to be cooked in the end? Didn’t help that I am using a Oklahoma Joes smoker, it was by far the most difficult smoker I have ever used to keep temps where I wanted them. Should have spent the money on a Traeger or something similar.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    cu_hunting One of the reason is to add a smoke flavor to it, you stop at 140 ish because you don’t want the fat to render out which will happen if you go above 140°. It also is used to make the bacon easier to slice thin and so it can stored easier.

  • Jonathon I just tried the bacon and OMG wayyyy too salty. I even had the water running over it for a good 45 minutes in the meat lug, and it’s tough as shoe leather. Can barely cut through it… now I have 22lbs of tough salty bacon that I can’t eat. Now I am scared about my hams being too salty. I have yet to smoke them. Right as I type this I am soaking them in tap water. What did I do wrong?

  • Jonathon but why 138 degrees? Why couldn’t I just stop smoking at 100 degrees or even 80 degrees?

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

    cu_hunting just curious. Did you soak the belly before smoking? If you did a dry rub, you need to wash off the rub and soak/rinse the belly.

    What was your smoke schedule? Did you have an alternative way to monitor the smoker temp? If using the smoker thermometer did you calibrate it if possible. You may have over cooked the belly if the temp’s got to high.

    I am a bit a**l about temp’s and temp measuring equipment. Trust but verify.

  • YooperDog I took both bellies put them in a meat lug from Waltons, rinsed them good for about 10 min then emptied that water, then let the water run into the meat lug with water pouring out of it for a period of 45 minutes. Each belly was 11.xx pounds and I used the cure for a 10 pound belly so I thought that would be weak enough. I have a 4 probe thermometer and I also use a hand held digital thermometer to verify the temps. All I know is this was a complete bust.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    cu_hunting 140 gets you out of the danger zone, if you pull at 138° it is going to dwell (cook past when you pull it) for at least 5 degrees. Nothing wrong with pulling it at 100° but it might not have as good of a smoke and might be harder to slice and keep safe.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Cabelas90 What do you guys do?

  • Team Blue

    cu_hunting If you can cold smoke them and keep your temp out of the Danger zone you do you. But your temp has nothing to do with the saltiness or it being tough. If you in fact stopped at 138-142.
    Jonathon We smoke to 145deg.
    We use our bacon to wrap filets and at 145 we have supporting documents to make it “safe” if a customer was to only cook there filet to 130.
    At 145 USDA considers Bacon a Heat treated not fully cooked product and ITS SAFE. Even at this Point USDA requires safe handling on the product for the consumer.
    cu_hunting the issues with salt you have are 100% going to come down to you experimenting with the amount of cure and time of cure and even if you get it 100% once its hard to duplicate for a consistent product. I would Highly recommend going to an EQ cure as it is way more consistent and repeatable not to mention can be just as good if not better IMO. I would also guess that a overly salty bellie would be tough just like an over dried jerky get tough and salty.

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