Home Cured & Sous Vide Bacon Recipe

Is there any food better than bacon?

Maybe just one—homemade bacon. It may sound like an intimidating proposal at first, but don't worry, we'll help walk you through the process with today's recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 10-pound Pork Belly
  • 1 tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Prague Powder #1
  • 4 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 4 oz Water
  • 4 oz Molasses
  • 14 oz Soy Sauce
  • 3 oz Liquid Smoke
  • 1 tbsp Black Pepper

Time

8 days, plus 1 hour

1 hour active

Yield

~8.5 pounds Bacon

Equipment

Circulator

Vacuum Sealer(Optional)


A few notes about the recipe:

Is home curing bacon safe?

Absolutely! The heavy dose of salt and the nitrites in the Prague Powder works just like the old days - it keeps harmful bacteria from growing and helps preserve the meat. Plus, if you have a vacuum sealer it will keep your bacon nice and tightly sealed during the curing process - if you don't, don't fret -- you'll be just fine using plastic zip up bags, just be sure to put a sheet pan underneath them in the refrigerator to catch any leaks.

Why sous vide instead of smoke?

Smoking the bacon is *delicious* - but some people who live in apartments, don't have a smoker, or don't have the know-how to smoke can benefit from this alternative.

Variations on the Bacon

Bacon is one of the most revered and delicious of all foods because it combines a wealth of complex and concentrated flavors -- but you can always have fun playing with those flavors. Instead of brown sugar and molasses you can use maple syrup for a Maple Bacon.

If spice is more your thing, add in some Sriracha or other hot sauce to help give it a potent kick.

Any way you slice it, this bacon is going to rock.


1. Make Curing Liquid

  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Prague Powder #1
  • 1 tbsp Black Pepper
  • 4 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 4 oz Water
  • 8 oz Soy Sauce
  • 2 oz Molasses

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine well.

2. Combine Curing Liquid with Pork Belly in a Bag

I cut the pork belly in half so it would fit into two separate bags, so pour half of the curing mix into each bag and seal your bags.

3. Cure for a Week

At minimum, cure for 5 days - but I've had better success with a whole week. Whether you're able to seal them in a vacuum sealer or you're using Zip-loc bags, you should put a sheet pan or tray underneath the bags just in case there's any leaking.

4. Rinse Thoroughly  Under Water

We don't want to cook the belly in the curing liquid, so after it's done rinse it thoroughly under cold running water to remove all of the salt and spices -- otherwise you'll be gulping water by the gallon when you eat it.

5. Create "Smoking" Liquid

  • 6 oz Soy Sauce
  • 3 oz Liquid Smoke
  • 2 oz Molasses

Combine the ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine. 

The combination of soy sauce, liquid smoke, and molasses tries to imitate the flavor you would get from smoking the bacon. I have and would recommend smoking your bacon at this point if you want that natural flavor -- but this process is effortless and 98% as good.

6. Re-bag the Belly

Again, using two bags for the belly, divide your "faux" smoking liquid into equally among the two bellies and seal, or Zip-loc.

7. Circulate the Belly

I've found that circulating at 145 F for 24 hours creates a great contrast in the final product - bacon that still has plenty of fat to render and create a crispy texture, while still being fall apart tender like pulled pork.

8. Chill & Slice

After it's finished circulating, you should chill your bacon completely so it's easier to slice and so it will cook evenly when you're ready to fry.

The thickness you cut your bacon is up to you -- certainly you can go thin for a more traditional slice of bacon, but my preference is to cut it about 3/4-inch thick to create the best BLTs. 

9. Serve Your Finished Product

Again, if turning into BLTs, you'll find a thicker cut creates a contrast in textures - at once crispy like traditional bacon but at the same time fall apart like pulled pork.

Other things I end up using my bacon for? One of my favorite uses is to cube it into 1/2-inch chunks and fry it and mix it into a creamy pasta or mac n' cheese.

Or -- grill it and put it on top of a burger. Seriously, you can find uses for your homemade bacon EVERYWHERE.