This week I decided to make my own bacon, I've been wanting to do this for a long time and now was the time.
So what do we need...
Time, about one week but just small amounts of work each day.
Pork, I went to a butcher and asked for a mid loin cut. Basically a piece of pork from the saddle down to the belly. About 4 kg in total.
Cold smoker, I used a UFO smoker.
There are cold smoker units available from https://ufocooker.co.nz/product/ufo-cold-smoke-creator/ at $129 they are pretty good value. If you don't want to get one of these you can just as easily set up a smoking box using wood chips over a burner with bowls of ice cubes to keep the temperature down.
Salt, I use a natural salt flake, basically any salt that doesn't have iodine in it.
Raw sugar, juniper berries, peppercorns, bayleaves.
Salt your pork,
Combine equal amounts of salt to raw sugar together with about a tbsp of juniper berries, peppercorns and bayleaves. Rub all over the pork ensuring the ends have be coated.
Place into the fridge over night. Removing the next day, washing off the salt and repeating.
Remove the pork from the salt and wash off excess salt and hang in fridge now for two days to dry. It is important that the meat is dry before it goes into the smoker otherwise the smoke won't stick.
Smoking time! a cold smoker would always work better for this long smoking process as the lower temperatures allows you to smoke for longer periods safer. I use manuka wood chips for this however, I believe fruit woods like plum and apple wood could work as well. I guess its down to experimenting over time as to which will suit best your taste!
I would try and leave your bacon on the smoker for at least 6 hours, more if you want a really smokey bacon. At this point I would pop your bacon into the frezzer to firm up the meat. Making the bacon easier to slice and portion up.
One thing to note as we haven't used any preservatives, its best to freeze your bacon and just pull it out as you need it.