Homemade Cured Bacon

Home curing allows you to control the flavor profile of bacon, such as this Szechuan version.

10 servings

Time: 192 hrs

By Ethan Chlebowski

Everyone should learn how to home-cure bacon at least once in their lives. Here’s the version that I first made with my dad as documented in the original video.

Ethan Chlebowski

Ethan Chlebowski



  • Meat

    • pork belly
      , skin on
      1 slab
  • Cure

    • salt
    • celery powder
    • brown sugar
  • Added Spices

    • szechuan peppercorns
    • garlic
      , cloves


Step 1: Calculate the cure & spice weights

Using a food scale, weigh the pork belly.

Use this weight to calculate the remaining ingredient amounts. For example, if you have 1000 g of pork belly, 2% salt = 20 g.

Once you’ve weighed out the salt, celery powder, brown sugar, peppercorns, and garlic cloves, add them to a bowl and mix them all together.

Step 2: Cover & seal the pork belly

Cover the pig belly with the cure mixture until completely covered. Vacuum seal the belly in a bag and let cure for around 7 days in the fridge (36-40°F/2-5°C) until the meat has firmed up and deepened in color.

  • If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, you can cure the belly in freezer bags or a covered container. Just make sure the pork belly is well covered by the cure and rotate as needed to keep it covered by the cure.
  • It’s normal for the cure to draw out moisture and turn it into a syrupy consistency. For very large pork belly sections (more than 5 kg/10 lbs), the curing time should be longer and might take up to two weeks.

Step 3: Smoke the bacon

After curing, it is time to . Use an electric smoker, or a charcoal grill set up on indirect heat. Warm smoke the bacon somewhere between 73-104°F/22-40°C for at least 12 but up to 24 hours.

  • This “warm” smoking temperature imparts a smoky flavor and dehydrates the meat but does not cook the bacon.

After smoking, remove the skin and let it cool before slicing.

Step 4: Slice, store, & use

Slice the bacon as desired and cook when needed. Freeze & store extra slices.



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