This is my second attempt at making my own bacon. The first batch I did, turned out great, but I didn’t use the beer. This time around I chose 2 beers to use in the wet cure.
My main resource for the project comes from amazingribs.com which has whole section on making your own bacon. I modified their recipe for my use.
Choosing your Beer
The best advice I can give you is choose a low IBU beer. When cooking with beer, I ( and many others) have found that even a little bitterness can become very pronounced, which is not normally what you want in your food. I’m not sure what would happen in the case of using a hoppy IPA in a wet cure… so perhaps I’ll try that in the future. For now I would aim for beers under 25ibu if possible.
Another point I found after making the bacon: pick beer you like, and would like your bacon to taste like. You can actually taste certain aspects of the beer in the bacon.
I choose Innis & Gunn Barrel aged Ale, & from Moon Under Water, Creepy Uncle Dunkle. I hadn’t had either of these beers in a while, and after trying them both, I realized I would of probably pick something else next time for the bacon. ( Both are still really good beers)
For Each Slab:
- 1lb Pork Belly
- 1.5 tsp Kosher Salt
- .5 tsp Pink Salt #1
- 1.5 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tbsp Coconut Sugar
- 250ml of Beer
I combined all the ingredients in a freezer bag and gave it a good mix to ensure even distribution. Then Popped her in the fridge for 7 days. I made sure to flip the bag every day to ensure an even cure. You can find Pink Salt on Amazon.ca, or check your local butcher shop, but don’t confuse it with Himalayan Pink salt.
After 7 days your bacon will look much more red and less pink, with a firmer feel to it. Take it out of the fridge, give it a good rinse and take it to your smoker or BQQ.
Use any kind of wood chip you like, I think I used Cheery ? Also don’t pre-soak them, it doesn’t do anything. See Here. I put my mine in a tin-foil pouch and place it over the flame. The pork belly is placed away from the flame, so it is cooked indirectly.
I tried to keep my BBQ between 200-250 degrees F until an internal temp of 150F. I used by Thermoworks Chef Alarm thermometer in case anyone is wondering – it’s the shit.
Your Done! The bacon should last in the fridge for around a week. Cut, fry, and enjoy.
Was it worth it?
I’m not sure. The bacon was good, but not as good as the bacon made without the beer. Perhaps the beer spoils (oxidizes) and contributes to funny flavours, or perhaps I used the wrong beers. Either way, I’m trying again with different beers, and I’ll post my results here.