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British Bacon -- Back Bacon

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi there.  This is my first post so please go easy on me!


So I've been smoking for the past two years using an electric masterbuilt mostly doing ribs, briskets, and chickens.  My fiancee is from England and one thing she really misses is British bacon (back bacon) so I'd really like to give it a try.  I'm having troulbe finding recipes for both spices and curing agents.  I have Curing Salt #1 and other salts.


Any advice on whether to wet cure or dry cure?  Salt ratios? Other ingredients?  Smoking temps/times? Type of wood?


Again, I apologize if I'm asking too much.  It's just my first real go at curing and I'd really like it to come out decent.  Thank you all in advance.

post #2 of 7

Hello.  I just want to point you in the right direction.  The info is here you just don't know how to find it because you have no reference point.  From Texas; now living in England the past 15 years.  Married to an English gal 13 years.  What she wants is cured pork loin bacon OR "Canadian" bacon.  The BAD news is I'm pretty sure she doesn't want it smoked.  You haven't said where you are but try to find an unsmoked Canadian bacon and let her try that.  IF unavailable then try a smoked Canadian bacon.  Bet her eyes will light up.  She may very well prefer unsmoked.  That seems to be the preference here.  Once you understand what she wants, the recipes are here for all to read.


Don't they talk funny??  And spelling and dates are all over the place.   :icon_lol:  Wish you two all the best and I hope you spend the next hundred years together.  If we can help further don't hesitate to ask.  Keep Smokin!


post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the quick response, Danny.  I truly appreciate it.  The only problem I've run into (beside proposing to an English gal!) is that Canadian bacon cuts and British bacon cuts are different in not only look but taste.  I hadn't had Canadian bacon in years so after your suggestion I went out and purchased a pack (unsmoked and smoked).  After trying both I realized they are both quite different from British bacon in fat content, taste, and look/shape.  After doing even more research I was able to find out that British bacon is from the back cut of the loin which also contains some of the side cut as opposed to the center cut (Canadian bacon perhaps?) and this is the reason for the bit of fat on the British cut.  Anyway, I guess I'll just keep searching until I find the right cut and recipe.


And the fact that my lady is from the north (just outside Manchester), she has a ridiculous accent.  Though not as bad as a scouse or Geordie accent or any of that nonsense :)  Where about do you live?  When I lived there I was in Northampton in the midlands.  Not the best town but it was a great experience.  I will be heading back over to visit her family in July for a couple weeks again.  The UK is such an awesome place but could use an upgrade in weather.  Pub life is what I miss most, though!  Oh well.  Ra Ra 'Mericuh!

post #4 of 7

Hi.  Yes back bacon is from some sort of loin cut.  I didn't realise you had lived here.  Tell ya what.  I'll ask my butcher.  Maybe he will shed some light.  Good guy.  He has some knowlege of the U.S. stuff and when I tell him what I am after he usually turns up with it.  He gets smoked treats for his efforts.


Will PM you a funny TRUE story.  You and fiance will LOVE it!


We live north of Nottingham and west of Lincoln.  Newark-on-Trent.


Will see what I can find out.  Keep Smokin!


post #5 of 7

Hi, I'm sorta new on here but had some great results following the advice of the guru's on here (Pop, Danny et al)

I'm from the UK, and if you want to make traditional 'back bacon' you have to use the loin joint.

I suggest you use Pop's dry brine rub. I cant find a direct link so will post his reply to me from a couple of months ago. I've been using his cures and have had fantastic results....ill never buy bacon or ham again!!!!

I suggest you cure your loin skin off.

regarding smoking, its down to personal taste if you cold smoke it or leave it green, personally, I always cold smoke

Hope this helps....all credit to Pops


Russ, good morning...... Pork belly as recommended by the USDA/FDA...... Bear with me on this.... I think everyone should know how to calculate ingoing additives to meats when curing... so I run through a tutorial to at least give them some idea on the way the government mandates stuff when curing meats.... Notice there is no nitrate in the calculations... In the US, nitrate is not allowed in bacon and hams and a few other products if you are a commercial manufacturer......

The simple addition of cure #1 is 1 level tsp. per 5#'s of meat... most folks use that when making sausage... 156 Ppm nitrite allowed.... folks use it for bacon, ham and all sorts of curing.... fortunately, being home made foods, you have the option of how to prepare your table fare and whether or not you subscribe to government regulations...

Skinless... 120 Ppm nitrite
Skin on... 108 Ppm nitrite
When using a brine/sugar/water curing solution

Using a dry rub mix....
200 Ppm skinless
180 Ppm skin off

Those numbers have been generated, because the USDA/FDA determines the skin does not absorb nitrite ..... therefore the meat would have too much nitrite for their maximums allowable nitrite ingoing to the meat.....

How to calculate ingoing nitrite....

1000 grams of meat and water/salt/sugar at 120 Ppm nitrite...... 1000 x 0.000120 (Ppm) = 0.12 grams nitrite / 0.0625 (6.25% nitrite in salt Prague Powder #1) = 1.92 grams Prague Powder in 1000 grams of meat and water/salt/sugar.... or 0.19% of the total weight of meat/salt/sugar/water....

1000 grams of meat at 200 Ppm dry rub... 1000 x 0.000200 (200 Ppm) = 0.200 grams nitrite/ 0.0625 = 3.2 grams Prague Powder #1... or 0.32% of the weight of meat/salt/sugar.....

More examples to un muddy the numbers..... hopefully.....

Brining... 2000 grams meat + 2.5% salt + 1.5% sugar + 0.19% cure +1000 grams water......
3000 grams x 0.0.025 = 75 grams salt
3000 grams x 0.015 = 45 grams sugar
3000 grams x 0.0019 = 5.7 grams Prague Powder

Dissolve the salt/sugar/cure in the water and soak the belly for 15+ days in the refer... turning and massaging every couple days at 38 deg. F. +/-.....

Dry rub skinless.... 2000 grams meat + 2.5% salt + 1.5% sugar + 0.32% Cure...
2000 grams meat x 0.025 = 50 grams salt...
2000 grams meat x 0.015 = 30 grams sugar....
2000 grams meat x 0.0032 = 6.4 grams cure....

There you have it.... bacon made many ways according the USDA/FDA..... I do my best to follow those regs... especially because I feed it to my grandkids....

post #6 of 7

Hello.  well there you go!  AND Pop's is from Texas. He's "THA MAN!"  :icon_biggrin:  Serious now.  THE IMPORTANT PART AS I READ IT.  I am pretty new to curing so I hope if I am wrong someone will correct me.  READ THIS CAREFULLY!  Pops mentions nitrite and nitrate.  Two different animals.  Make sure you READ and UNDERSTAND the PPM and the difference between the two.  I'm sure I don't need to tell you this but food safety is paramount on this site.  If you are having ANY trouble figuring things out just PM Pops ( I'm sure you won't mind Pops ).  He's a GREAT guy and has forgotten more knowledge than most of us could hope to learn.  He can explain things to ya.  Keep Smokin!


post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for your advice!  I will surely give your recommendations a try and will update you as soon as I get results.  If you come across any new info, please don't hesitate to share with me.

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