How To Smoke Bacon The Old-Fashioned Way

Smoking Guru
By Smoking Guru January 30, 2018 09:13

How To Smoke Bacon The Old-Fashioned Way

This article has first appeared on Smoking Meat Forums.

No weighing,no calculator, just a simple recipe that works quite well, from a man I have known all my life. Pops owned a store and was very highly regarded for his smoked and cured products. There are lots of ways to make bacon. This is what I use.

Real Simple Curing Brine.

 For every 1 gallon of water, add:

  • 1/3 – 1 cup sea salt (depending if you’re on a lo-salt diet)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar or Splenda®
  • 1 cup brown sugar or Splenda® brown sugar mix
  • 1 tbsp cure no. 1 pink salt

how to smoke bacon4

Stir thoroughly until clear amber color, pour over meat, inject if necessary to cure from inside-out as well as outside-in.

Weight down with a partially filled 1 qt or 1 gal. Ziploc bag or bags to keep meat immersed.

Curing times vary with meat, but generally overnight to 2-3 days for chickens and turkeys, 8-10 days buckboard bacon, 10-14 days belly bacon, pork shoulder, whole butts, 3-4 weeks whole hams, 10-20 days corned beef (fresh beef roasts, briskets, rolled rib roasts, etc.)   If whole muscle is more than 2″ thick, then inject so it can cure i/o as well as o/i, and/or in and around bone structures, etc.

Related: How to Build a Smokehouse In Your Backyard (with Pictures)

You can add any other flavorings you’d like, this is just the basic curing brine. 1 heaping tablespoon of cure is about 1 ounce.  The maximum concentration allowed safely is 3.84 ounces per 1 gallon of brine (24 lbs.per 100 gallons: 16 oz. x 24 = 384 ounces, 1/100th is 3.84 ounces).  You can experiment with different concentrations as long as you keep it between those parameters.

I add pepper,onion, garlic, old bay.

My buddy and I split a 4 bellie case a few weeks ago. Cut them up and put them in a bucket with the cure mix…then into the spare fridge for 15 days. No specific reason for 15 just worked out that way.

how to smoke bacon6

Rinsed and put back in the fridge with a generous coating of pepper onion and garlic on half. Added a thick coat of Slap Ya Mama on the other half.

Two days later they got 34 hours of pecan dust smoke using 2 amazens. Sliced off the skins with ease using my Granpas steel filet knife.. Skin side down cutting like skinning fish.

Back into the fridge for a couple days. Used my awesome Berkel commercial slicer and had 22 pounds sliced and 2 pounds of ends in no time.

how to smoke bacon 2

how to smoke bacon5

Vacuum packed using Lisa Bs superb to smoke bacon 3

Try it you will like to smoke bacon 1

how to smoke bacon7

This article has first appeared on Smoking Meat Forums.

You may also like:

How To Make Ash Cakes; The Ultimate Pioneer Food

10 Things Cowboys Carried With Them in the Wild West to Survive (Video)

How To Make Beef Jerky

No Gas, No Electricity… How To Cook Indoors Without Smoke

DIY Stove Made From Used Tire Rims

Smoking Guru
By Smoking Guru January 30, 2018 09:13
Write a comment


  1. Iszmeme January 30, 17:24

    I love your articles! I’m not a Dooms Day Prophet, but I am CERTAINLY preparing for what’s to come. When my government fails me, and it’s not IF it’s WHEN, then I am slowly preparing to be self sufficient for myself and family, including neighbors. I have almost three acres, so hothouse, root cellar, smoker and adobe hut with supplies, just to name a few. Also, I have a 6 thousand gallon bladder to store water, also, underground. I’ve come by these things slowly over the last two years. It’s do-able, especially with articles like yours. I’m a 61 year old disabled woman. If I can do it, ANYONE can!

    Reply to this comment
  2. Me January 30, 17:52

    How can you use chemical sweetners? Splenda is poison. If you’re going to eat and make bacon, do it right,

    Reply to this comment
  3. tj January 30, 19:19

    You have 4 ingredient of which the last is “1 tbsp cure no. 1 pink salt” Exactly what is it and where do you get it?

    Reply to this comment
    • Doc January 30, 20:19

      you can get it under the name pink curing salt on amazon or any spice outlet

      Reply to this comment
      • tj January 30, 23:17

        Thanks for the info. But exactly what is it? Never heard of it before and where would they get it 150years ago? Just curious

        Reply to this comment
        • andy January 31, 22:40

          Pink CURING salt mixture of sodium chloride, or table salt, and sodium nitrite. Sodium nitrate is a naturally occurring mineral, Chile has some of the largest deposits. In the early 20th century, it was figured out how to make it chemically.

          Reply to this comment
  4. Meme January 30, 19:48

    Dad used blackstrap molasses when I was a child. I watched and got to lick the molasses cup.
    He was of Pennsylvania Dutch heritage. No idea of his recipe.

    Reply to this comment
  5. PB- dave January 30, 20:36

    Well written and informative .
    Thanks !

    Reply to this comment
  6. Billabong January 30, 20:38

    What is cure#1 pink salt & what is a heaping tablespoon of cure.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Neen January 31, 01:52

    How long will this cured meat last for and it has to still be refered after curing correct?

    Reply to this comment
    • andy January 31, 23:07

      Yes…it has to be frozen or refrigerated after curing/smoking. We actually can ours after curing, it lasts at least a year….can’t say for more than that because we are always out by the time the next pig is ready to kill.

      Reply to this comment
  8. Wannabe January 31, 16:02

    Would love to do this just not cost effective unless you have your own pigs or trap hogs. My local meat market is over four bucks a pound for pork bellies and the come in 14-16 pound slabs. So that is about sixty bucks just for the meat. Then pay for spices. Then ten day curing time in fridge. Then smoke it then chill it for another 24 hours. Then cut it and package it. So, cost of meat, electricity, water used, packaging contents, and not to mention a minimum of twelve days to do it. I think I will go to the grocery store every couple weeks and buy an extra pound of bacon and stick it in the freezer. Cost of bacon at store would be about the same per pound as if I did it myself and all I have to do is reach down and get one extra package because I am there anyway.

    Reply to this comment
    • Big Boy in MO March 30, 13:45

      You might not be able to run down to the nearest store and buy your pound of bacon anytime you what to. I think your missing the true reason for the article, information for SHTF. Refrigeration not required, pressure can it.
      Thank you for the info Smoking Guru!!

      Reply to this comment
  9. lc65 January 31, 23:25

    What exactly does this mean in ” never made this stuff ” terms….”…Two days later they got 34 hours of pecan dust smoke using 2 amazens….”
    I assume you mean you smoked it for 34 hrs, using pecan sawdust for the smoke source, what is an ” amazen ” ?

    Reply to this comment
  10. Ivy Mike February 1, 00:09

    Being from Texas I always think of a smoker as a big ol steel beast you fire with hardwood and a good slow smoke is 12-18 hours. Been learning about a whole other world of smoking and smokers on Youtube, never knew you could build a smoker out of cedar boards, never knew about the whole world of cold smoking up north. All these old time recipes are great, especially given the continuing decline in quality of everything commercially produced.

    Reply to this comment
  11. Alene February 2, 16:13

    Would like recipe for canning meat, if the power goes out for any length of time (Mt. Rainier blowing up is one scenario), I have a freezer full of meat to try to preserve.

    Reply to this comment
    • eric the red February 4, 16:55

      Get the “Ball Blue Book” “Guide to Preserving.”
      I picked up a new copy at the grocery store (Kroger) for $10. Have recipes for caning everything from beef to shrimp.

      Reply to this comment
  12. Tilfahr February 10, 14:48

    If you are using an electric smoker (as implied by the pictures), commercial curing salt, specialized “smoke dust” and storing by refrigeration… how is this “the old fashioned way”? I was hoping for a true old fashioned method, and you’ve disappointed me.

    Reply to this comment
  13. KDC May 17, 20:18

    Splenda is a POISON to the human body. It is NOT done thing you should use, ever!

    Reply to this comment
  14. MrRubombo December 28, 00:03

    Commercially made products have been deteriorating in quality for years, to the point now where a lot of it is almost inedible. If you make bacon like this yourself, the difference in taste is so vast that you might never go back to the bought product. I know I haven’t.

    Reply to this comment
    • Dex Rio June 27, 19:41

      Prepper or not. Doomsday or not! Splenda? Not because it’s poison, but sugar in your brine won’t drive your sugar numbers as a diabetic! (I’m a diabetic) I have made a large amount of bacon, it’s easy and fun! Peppered, Garlic heavy recipes, habanero. As a beginner just try it, a worst you will a good piece of pork to flavor beans! At best as Mr. Rubombo said “you won’t go back to commercial products!

      Reply to this comment
View comments

Write a comment