Wet-Cured Nitrate-Free Bacon

We show you how to cure and smoke your own wet-cured nitrate-free bacon.

Why would you make your own wet-cured nitrate-free bacon? It’s quite simple, really: because it tastes better!


  • 100g of coarse sea salt
  • 1 litre of water
4kg piece of boned-out pork middle, including loin



Find a container large enough to hold pork bellies. Place enough water to cover pork bellies, add salt, stirring to dissolve.

Place the pork in this brine and weigh it down to ensure it stays below the surface of the liquid. Cover, place in a cool dark place (about 12C) and leave in the brine – allowing one day per kilogram of meat, more if it’s fatty pork.

Leave in the fridge.

Wet-Cured Nitrate-Free Bacon recipe


Remove from brine and cold or hot smoke.

There are a many different ways to smoke meat. I recommend researching it well. It is important to get it right. We borrowed a friend’s Weber BBQ with a smoking attachment which is basically a small methylated spirits burner with a tray on it for wood chips.

Light fire, place chips on the tray and rack on top. Place pork bellies on the rack and smoke for about 4 hours. Depending on method of smoking.

Remove, slice and eat. We sliced all of our wet-cured nitrate-free bacon up and froze the extra.

Recipe from ‘The Gourmet Farmer Deli Book’ by Matthew Evans, Nick Haddow, Ross O’Meara ( 2012, Murdoch Books Pty Ltd).

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