How to Make Bacon at Home
Bringing home the bacon doesn't have to involve picking up a vacuum-sealed bag from the back of the supermarket. Chances are those slabs of pork belly have been injected with a liquid brine of salt, sugar, liquid smoke, and various sodium compounds. While this can cut the curing times from a week to a couple of hours, it's worth considering the alternative—making your own bacon from scratch.
Michael Ruhlman, author of Charcuterie, spells out the steps for curing pork belly into bacon within the confines of your kitchen. It turns out that you don't need a smoker or liquid applewood smoke—although his recipe involves nitrites and a week's patience.
Illustration by National Live Stock and Meat Board (via Leona Meat Plant)