Bacon – Cured Pork Belly

Curing your own pork belly at home to make bacon is easy! Just follow these simple instructions and you'll be frying up your own bacon in no time! The recipe below is adapted from Michael Ruhlman's recipe from his popular book, Charcuterie.
1 week
2 hours
Show nutritional information
This is our estimate based on online research.
Fat:122 g
Carbohydrates:7 g
Protein:21 g
Calculated per serving.

Serves: 30

Serves: 30decrease servingsincrease servings



Note, these instructions are written assuming the standard serving size, since you have modified the number of servings, these steps may need to be modified for best results
  1. Combine salt, maple sugar, maple syrup, and spices together in a medium mixing bowl.
  2. Rub mixture all over the pork belly, and place into ziploc bags, add in a clove of garlic for each pound of belly.
  3. Refrigerate the belly for 7 days. Flip the bags daily to ensure even dry rub contact.
  4. After 7 days, remove the belly from the bags, and rinse the dry rub off under cold water. Pat the pork belly dry.
  5. Smoke the belly for 2 hours at 200-220 degrees. If you don't have a smoker, cook in an oven for 90 minutes at 200 degrees.
  6. Refrigerate for an additional 12 hours or freeze, then cook as you would any other bacon, and serve.


The pink salt or powdered celery juice is important for the nitrite content. This not only keeps the bacon "safe" for consumption, but it also allows the bacon to keep it's beautiful red color while cooking.

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  1. bb
    November 17, 2013

    Can I use pink Himalayan salt for the pink salt ?

  2. November 18, 2013

    Hi BB,

    No, you cannot use pink himalayan salt in place of the pink curing salt. They’re vastly different. Check out Ruhlman’s post on making bacon – I think you’ll find the post enlightening. Good luck!


  3. benjamin.foster4
    January 28, 2014

    Do you have concerns about the safety of using nitrates to cure meat? There are vast amounts of research indicating this is very detrimental to health. What are your thoughts? Is there any “healthy” alternative?

    1. January 28, 2014

      Hi Benjamin,

      No I don’t have any concerns, regarding the amounts spec’d in the recipe. You can cure bacon using celery salt which has natural nitrates (for what it’s worth, there is more naturally occurring nitrate in broccoli than most bacon). Here’s an article from the highly-respected Chris Kresser on Nitrates. http://chriskresser.com/the-nitrate-and-nitrite-myth-another-reason-not-to-fear-bacon

  4. creepycupcake
    February 10, 2014

    Yay! I’m gonna be makin’ bacon! Such a great recipe. Also, the info on the nitrates in broccoli surprised me! Thank you for sharing!

  5. Eyeris
    October 24, 2014

    Hi! Do you have any idea how long I can keep bacon in the fridge, unsealed?

    1. Kara McCartney
      Kara McCartney
      October 27, 2014

      Eyeris the bags should ALWAYS be sealed during the curing process.

  6. auntneen
    December 10, 2014

    I just got a whole side of pork belly and am so excited to make bacon! Mine came with the skin on, should I leave it on or remove it and if I remove it, can it be used for cracklins?

    1. December 12, 2014

      I’d recommend to remove it, because it will get REALLY hard during the whole curing and cooking process. I don’t like that. I’d try to remove and make some cracklins instead! Great instinct on that! -Bill

  7. Marelize
    October 31, 2015


    I used to make salted ribs or beef, using salt, sugar and salpetre. But I now have to change my diet due to Hashimoto’ thyroiditis.

    Can I use salpetre instead of pink curing salt?

  8. Dinghy
    June 14, 2021

    Can I substitute sugar substitute or entirely leave out the sugar when curing?

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