I have been meaning to cure some pork loin and make back bacon for a long time but have never got round to it. After a long chat and with some fantastic instruction from Wade on the UK forum I decided to take the plunge and give it a go.
My pork loin was 2.6 Kg, so I used a dry cure of 58 grams of salt (2 1/2%), 58 grams of sugar (2 1/2%) 10 grams of fine black pepper (4%) and 7.5 grams of sodium nitrite number 1 cure at 180 parts per million.
Before mixing the cure mix I prepared the pork loin by washing it under cold water and then drying with paper towels.
I carefully weighed out all the ingredients and then thoroughly mixed them all together. Then I completely covered the pork loin in the cure mix, any additional cure was also placed in the bag, and then sealed the bag. I let the pork loin cure for 14 days, turning the bag over half a turn (180 degrees) daily to allow the curing process to work it's magic, during this time the pork loin will release fluid which is part of the curing process.
After a very long 14 days I removed the bacon from the bag and thoroughly rinsed off all the salt/pepper/sugar mixture, dried the bacon with paper towels and left the bacon uncovered in the fridge for 24 hours to air dry.
I must admit temptation got the better of me and I couldn't resist cutting a couple of slices off to made a bacon butty! My verdict was great bacon but something was missing.
After 24 hours air drying in the fridge my bacon was ready for smoking. I was going to cold smoke the bacon for 48 hours, but after 24 hours I tested the bacon (another bacon butty) and was more than happy with the flavour so discontinued smoking the bacon.
I smoked the bacon using Apple dust, and the end result was a great tasting bacon with a fantastic smokey apple flavour. I can honestly say it was the best bacon I have ever eaten. Wade & Steve were correct (as always) once you make your own bacon you will never go back to shop bought again.
Needless to say I have another pork loin in the fridge curing. If you have never tried making your own bacon you don't know what you are missing.
One of the members on the main forum has an app called ismokehog and the app works out all the calculations for your salt/sugar/nitrite, and is available from the Istore or the following link http://www.appszoom.com/iphone-app/ismokehog-owkoj.html
Edited by smokewood - 10/5/15 at 4:45pm