Homemade Bacon Recipe with low sodium and no preservatives. A nitrate free, salt reduced way to enjoy bacon; plus you can add flavours like maple, pepper, brown sugar, honey and spices to make your own individual version.
I’ve been making this Homemade bacon recipe using fresh, uncured pork belly for quite some time now and have several different versions of it that I love. Previously, I was a little reluctant to share this method because bacon can illicit strong reactions from, “It’s the best thing on earth.” to”How can you eat that salty, preservative filled junk?”
Well, I am of the opinion that there are no evil foods per se, but there can be an over indulgence in them for sure. A moderate amount of any indulgent food is always good advice. Although I love bacon,probably more than most, I do not like the idea of huge amounts of salt or nitrates used in the curing and preserving during its production. More recently, I’ve turned to using fresh pork belly which can be very enjoyable as bacon without all the additives. Yes I do add salt, it’s pretty necessary to the flavour of bacon but I am the one who controls the amount.
So many people enjoy the salty-sweet flavour combination and I think one of the things it comes together best in, is bacon; I think that’s why maple bacon is so popular…but again, many bands use artificial maple flavourings which I intensely dislike. One of my favourite versions of this recipe, and the one I’m highlighting today with advice for variation, is maple bacon with pepper and smoked salt. That one is my absolute favourite version of this recipe with sweet, salty and smoky coming together in perfect balance.
Be sure to see the notes in this recipe for other suggestions of flavourful additions to this recipe. This recipe also uses a 2 stage cooking method but once baked in the oven, the bacon can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge to be fried in smaller batches throughout the week or frozen in individual portions to be thawed and fried at any time you like…and wait until you try it to replace regular bacon on burgers! Now that’s a delicious addition to make your homemade burgers even more special!
For one unique version, try brown sugar with a sprinkle of our Smokin’ Summer Spice Dry Rub!
- 1 lb to 2 of fresh pork belly the outside rind should be removed. Look for pre-sliced.
- tbsp few maple syrup
- freshly ground black pepper
- sea salt or smoked sea salt like the smoked salt best
Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F
Slice the pork belly to the thickness you like. I prefer thick sliced bacon but if you want it thinner, you may want to ask your butcher to slice it for you. It takes a very sharp knife and a string steady hand to do it well. Pre-sliced fresh pork belly is also often available. If slicing it yourself, cut the pork belly slab in half to make shorter slices which are much easier to cut.
Line an aluminum cookie sheet with parchment paper and lay the slices of pork belly on the paper.
Brush the maple syrup on one side of the pork belly slices and sprinkle on a pinch or two each of salt and pepper. You are in control of the amounts here.
Turn all of the pork belly slices over and repeat the brushing of maple syrup and the sprinkling of salt and pepper
Bake in the preheated oven for 1 1/2 hours for thick sliced bacon and about an hour for thinner sliced bacon. This will fully cook the meat and soften it considerably. Turn the bacon once or twice during the cooking time.
At this stage you can let it cool to room temperature before storing it in an airtight container in the fridge for later use.
To serve the bacon heat a cast iron pan over medium low heat and add whatever amount of bacon you wish to serve.
You do not want to cook this bacon over high heat. The lower temperature the better is advised for two reasons. First the sugar content of the maple syrup can burn on too high a heat and second, the slower it is cooked, the more fat will render out and the crispier your bacon will be. Thick sliced bacon can fry for 15 minutes or longer under well controlled heat.
When crispy, drain on paper towels before serving.
There are many variations you can make with this recipe. Substitute a sprinkle of brown sugar or brush on honey in place of the maple syrup.
Spice up the bacon however you like. Smoked paprika, chili powder, cajun spice rub or Bbq spice rub can all be used to make you own unique version.