We eat a moderate amount of bacon, not a huge amount like some low carbers, or paleo, as I am worried about the amount of preservatives, nitrates and nitrites in bacon. Then there is the sugar, additives, and preservatives. The biggest concern with bacon is the nitrate/ite content. This is sometimes called preservative 250, as bacon manufacturers know you won’t buy bacon with nitrite on the label. But should we fear nitrates and nitrites?
The original studies which caused the fear of ham and bacon stating they cause cancer, have since been reviewed and discredited. Many studies did not distinguish between highly processed hotdogs and chips, with something as simple as cured salami or roast meat from the bone. In many studies it was more than likely the hot chips fried in oxidised processed oils that were more at fault than the meat that was served along side it.
With all processed meats, always choose meat that is as close to their natural state, the least processing involved and the fewest ingredients. I buy roast meat off the bone, ham off the bone and nitrate/ite free bacon. As a family we don’t eat copious amounts of anything, variety and quality are key.
To make homemade bacon, is pretty easy. You only need 2 things – pork and salt! Regular iodised table salt or your choice of sea salt, kosher salt, Himalayan salt. Use pork belly/loin and choose a size that will fit into a container you have to store it in the fridge while it cures.
If you want to get creative though, then add any flavourings you would like.
- Ground black peppercorns
- Bay leaves
Some recipes call for you to slowly bake the pork afterwards, I didn’t do this and really can’t be bothered to go to that trouble. If I am going to roast it, I’ll have a simple roast pork instead and cut our the curing part.
Homemade Bacon - sugar, wheat, preservative free.
- pork loin/belly
- choice of flavourings
- If you are flavouring your bacon, mix the seasonings together.
- Rub the salt +/- seasoning all over the pork belly.
- Using a container that has a lid, place the bacon on an upturned saucer so it does not sit in its own liquid. Drain the liquid each day.
- Place in the fridge for 4 days, turn it daily so the pork cures evenly, and pour off the liquid which is drawn out.
- After 4 days, wash the cured pork and slice! That's it!