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How to make your own tasty home cured bacon without a smoker

Photo: Home cured streaky bacon

Photo: Home cured streaky bacon

It’s often said that some of the best discoveries are made by mistake. This discovery was made through laziness.

We have stuck rigidly to our low salt bacon cure for over a year now. When Tessa of chiminea fame came back from a trip to Cornwall she brought news.
“We discovered some home cured molasses bacon in a small family butcher’s shop. The bacon was much darker than ours. It was so delicious that we’re going to add more molasses to our recipe.”

So I added two more heaped teaspoons of molasses to our cure. We usually smoke the bacon after three days but when the time came I just didn’t have the energy to build and tend a fire. So I left the bacon in the wet cure for four days. Then we smoked it and it was the best bacon that we’d made to date.

The next week I cured another belly of pork joint for four days and laziness prompted us to skip the smoking stage completely.
“We can always put it up the chimney tonight if it doesn’t taste good.” Soothed Danny.

It was excellent. Not quite as good as the smoked joint but– a hundred times better than even the best supermarket bacon for a fraction of the price. So if you fancy trying your hand at curing your own bacon why not try our low salt recipe?

A loin joint will produce back bacon and a belly of pork joint will produce streaky bacon and pancetta. This bacon is eaten fairly quickly at the cottage. As the salt cure isn’t strong it will not last for weeks in the fridge. If we are not going to eat it within a few days we slice it and freeze it, in long bags with each slice separated. The bacon can be grilled from frozen.

Best wet cure recipe for back and streaky bacon


  1. A joint of either loin or belly of pork
  2. 900ml of cold water
  3. 100g of cooking salt
  4. 4 heaped teaspoonfuls of dark treacle or molasses


  1. Mix the salt and treacle with the water.
  2. Place the joint in the water and submerge it with a small plate. Leave to soak in the fridge for four days.
  3. Remove the joint from the curing mixture and dry with a clean tea towel. Leave the joint to chill in the fridge for an hour or so – this makes slicing easier.
  4. Place the joint skin side down on a chopping board and slice.
  5. Store in greaseproof paper in the fridge or slice and store in the freezer.

  Leave a reply


  1. Once cured how long is the bacon good for?

  2. How big is the join you use?

    Just so I can work out ratios for smaller joints/cuts

  3. Stu Masterton

    This is not bacon, I’m afraid. Nor is it ‘cured’. It’s merely salted pork. ‘Bacon’ needs to be ‘cured’ using sodium nitrite, commonly found in the form of Prague Powder No1. It is the nitrite that both lends the pink colour and prohibits the formation of dangerous bacteria. Delicious this recipe may be, but it is NOT bacon 😉

    • Darby

      Salt is a method for which to cure things, so it is in fact “cured”. Also, even if they had added sodium nitrate to the recipe, it still wouldn’t technically be bacon. It would need to be smoked in order to really be “bacon”. That said, im sure it is delicious!

  4. Hi, Fiona!

    This recipe looks excellent! Can’t wait to try it out! Unfortunately, I live in the Philippines, and I have no idea what a “joint” stands for. Please do pardon my lack of familiarity with this term of measurement. How many kilos would the equivalent be?

    I’d really like to know!

    Best regards,

  5. What an absolutely fantastic recipe. We love it. I’m particularly impressed with the simplicity. Our first batch is a big success and I can’t wait to do the next one. Thinking of trying the same method for salt beef/turkey as well…hmmm lots of possibilities. Thank you, thank you, thank you

  6. Stephen Glastonbury

    I have been making my own Bacon at home for years and started with wet cure I now use dry rub to cure my pork.
    1cup coshes salt, 1 cup dark brown sugar, 2 tea spoons ground Ginger.
    worked in to the belly or loin of pork placed in a zip lock bag and stored in the refrige for seven to ten days. rinse of any salt that remains place uncovered for 24 hours to allow to dry out and then in to the smoker for 4 to 6 hours.

  7. Hi

    Hope someone can help me. I put my pork in the mix in the fridge 6 days ago and promptly forgot about it!! I took it out this morning and it’s a very dark colour (which doesn’t bother me) but am wondering if it is still safe to slice and cook. I kind of think that the salt content has acted as a preserver so should be ok, but was wondering if anyone else has left theirs that long and what their results were. I am loath to throw out a good size piece of pork!!!

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