Making Ham and Bacon at Home, by Michele C.

I’m one of those ‘tin-foil hat’ weirdo preppers and proud of it; especially in light of the recent lockdown orders that many states have unconstitutionally ordered in light of COVID-19. When everyone was on a wild grab for toilet paper and other things they thought they needed, emptying store shelves of everything; my family and I were sitting home comfortable and unstressed.

I am always teaching myself new things to make everything I need or want including making cured meats – in case it would no longer be available on supermarket shelves or in a SHTF situation. In the past three years, I have also taught myself to make bacon and ham at home and it has only been home-cured since then.

Making ham and bacon at home is really easy, tasty and satisfying. For both, you do not need to use the traditional cuts of meat, pork belly for bacon and leg and butt for ham. You can use any cut of fresh pork you like. I personally always like my bacon more meaty than I can find in the grocery store – I used to spend lots of time checking every single package of bacon and never finding something I was really satisfied with. Making it myself, I can use meatier cuts for my bacon (like pork loin) and I buy fresh pork shoulder for my ham which is usually so much cheaper and once you’ve cured it, tastes just the same as leg or butt.

I’ve used our own pork shoulder from the pigs we raised a few years ago, but the meat processing place froze everything before we got it back. You are not supposed to use frozen/thawed meats – they say that it alters the cellular structure and doesn’t cure as well. When I used it frozen/thawed I just gave my shoulder hams a little more time to cure and they worked out just fine. I baked them and used them right away but did not put them back in the freezer after baking them. We didn’t eat the whole ham for dinner (we are a family of five) so I cut the leftovers in small pieces and canned them (adding a little water) in ½ pint jars. I thought this might be nice to add to other dishes such as beans, pea soup or scalloped potatoes. I think home-canned ham in small pieces is a great item to have in my long term storage.

Making Bacon

We’ll start with bacon. When my grandsons moved in with me a few years ago and I was homeschooling, this is one of the first projects I had them do. It is that easy and gave them a huge sense of satisfaction when we ate the bacon that they made.

For bacon, you do need to have or cut a thinner piece of meat about 1” to 2” thick. It can be longer and wider rectangular whatever fits in a Ziploc bag.

You will need:

1 to 2 lb. piece of fresh pork (cut to no thicker than about 2”)

I most often use a pork loin– it is really meaty!

Curing mixture:

  • 1/4c Kosher or canning salt (non-iodized salt)
  • 1/2c brown sugar

Optional ingredients:

  • ¼ c Maple syrup
  • ¼ c honey (or molasses – or a mixture of both)
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper
  • A few drops liquid smoke (natural smoke – not synthetic)
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • Or anything else you think would be delicious

Mix your salt and sugar together (and optional ingredients if desired). I personally use maple syrup and pepper most often – but have used several different mixtures and all have been delicious. Again this time I used canning salt, brown sugar, maple syrup and pepper.

Rub your curing mixture into all sides of your pork making sure to get into crevices, and then place seasoned pork in a Ziploc bag. (I also place the bag into a low sided pan – just in case my Ziploc bag leaks) and place it into your refrigerator which should be between just above freezing to 40 degrees.

Take out and flip to the opposite side daily and return immediately to the refrigerator. There will be liquid in the bag from the salt pulling the liquid from the meat – this is how it cures – DO NOT drain this liquid. If your meat is 1” thick or less, you need only to do this daily for a week. If it is closer to 2”, I would give it a few extra days – 10 days up to potentially 2 weeks. I have allowed my bacon to stay over two weeks in my curing mixture – lost track of time. It made no difference in the taste of my bacon.

When it is done curing, you then rinse it to take off the curing seasoning or soak it in cool water in the refrigerator for up to about an hour to reduce the salty taste (I never do, I love the salty flavor).

Now after your curing period you have two options:

A.) Plan to use immediately within about a week.


B.) Storing it in the refrigerator and when you want it, fry it up — cooking thoroughly. I usually just slice it when I am ready to cook it. It is much tastier than any bacon you will find in the supermarket.

Note: if using a meatier/less fatty piece of meat you will likely need a bit of fat or oil to fry your bacon. Also, you will likely find a sticky dark brown or black residue in your pan and on your bacon after cooking your bacon. That is a result of the sugar from your bacon caramelizing.

My husband does not like smoked meats very well, so we do not smoke it – we just slice and use it immediately. If you are making large amounts and not going to use it immediately or freeze it, you should smoke it or bake it.

To bake it: Roast the cured bacon in a 200 F / 93 C oven until the internal temperature reaches 150 F / 66 C. This should take about 2 hours, use a meat thermometer to be sure it is done and safe to eat. Store the bacon in a tightly sealed container or bag in the refrigerator for up to one month or in the freezer for up to one year.

To smoke it: After rinsing off the cure, place the bacon on a rack and let it air dry for 1 to 2 hours to form a pellicle (sticky surface layer that forms on the surface of the meat; the smoke will cling to the pellicle, resulting in more flavorful bacon). Smoke the cured, air-dried bacon at approximately 200 F until it reaches an internal temperature of 150 F / 66 C (again check with a meat thermometer), which should take between 1 and 2 hours.

To make ham

This is wet-cured ham, like the kind you find in the grocery stores, not an air-dried, cured ham, like Virginia ham. (I will work on learning to make that, next fall). This requires you having some Prague #1 curing or pink salt (NOT Himalayan salt).


A fresh 6-9 lb. pork leg or butt or shoulder

Curing ingredients:

  • 2-1/2 c Kosher or canning salt
  • 2c brown sugar
  • 2-1/2 TBL pink Prague #1 curing salt (This is necessary if you want a nice pink ham instead of a slightly gray ham)
  • 1 TBL pickling spices
  • 1/4c maple sugar, honey or molasses (or mixture)
  • Up to 6 quarts water

I personally use a 5 gallon bucket and a food grade plastic bag to cure my ham in but you can use a large enough pan to totally submerge your ham in (and that you won’t need for the next two weeks). I bought my bags at Amazon, but there are several places you can buy them. I have a second refrigerator out on our enclosed porch which I use to cure the ham.

I place my pork in the bag which is in the bucket (make sure the bucket or pan will fit in the refrigerator).

I just use about 1-2 quarts of water, place that into a sauce pan, and bring it to a boil with the curing ingredients in it. Boil for a few minutes then cool or add cool water to it, pour over your pork. Add enough additional water up to your total of 6 quarts to totally submerge your pork. Push down the pork (it will float slightly) and seal your bag removing air and keep the entire ham under the curing liquid at all times (I use a rubber band to seal my bag). Or if using a large pan place a plate and weight to hold your pork under the liquid at all times.

Store in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 weeks. For a 6 lb. piece of pork keep it in the refrigerator for one week to cure. For a 6- 9 lb. piece of pork, cure for two weeks.

When it is done, remove you ham from your curing liquid and place it in the oven or smoker. Roast/smoke the cured ham in a 200 F / 93 C until the internal temperature reaches 150 F / 66 C. This should take about 4 hours (check with meat thermometer to be safe).

I told you it was easy to make your own cured bacon and ham. My family prefers my home-cured meats to store-bought ones, they are delicious!



  1. Michelle C. I’m glad to know there’s another crusty ole farm mom out there! I raise my own pigs, slaughter and butcher them. I do freeze the meat b/c I’m too tired after the butchering a 400-500 pd hog to start curing hams and bacon. (I need a week to recover!) I use basically the same process you do using the frozen meat and it is always good. Now that bacon is so expensive, curing my own pork is very satisfying.

    1. I’ve never been called a ‘crusty ole farm mom’ before. Like deplorable and tin-foil hat wearing weirdo prepper, I’ll wear that proudly. Thank you for such a nice compliment!

  2. Today in Arutz Shevah: “Here is what will happen if you break the Green Passport Rules”

    Trust me, what is currently happening in Israel WILL come here to the USA, which is why I am watching Israel and reporting it to you.

    One more article: Mobile units are being sent to Yeshivas to inoculate Haredim students:

      1. Main stream media has not provided real news in years. All we get is smoke and mirrors. Their deception is purposed to prevent us from learning the truth of what is happening here and around the world. This is why all these alternative news sites are being censored, because they are providing some truth.

  3. We raised a pig and had it slaughtered and the slaughterhouse naturally smoked the bacon and sliced and packaged it. It sat in the freezer for about 3 months and it was too strong. My mother in law told me that if it sits in the freezer too long, it will go rancid. Anyone have any help?

  4. Also today in Arutz Sheva,

    Biden: White supremacists are ‘the most dangerous people’ in America

    They are beginning to marginalize most white people.

    White people are being set up for Genocide…

    Read what the Eight Stages of Genocide are:


    Trump reenacted the Death Penalty just before he left office.

    Look who Biden appointed to be Attorney General: Biden has tapped Merrick Garland, a Jewish judge, to be his attorney-general.

    Our courts are being set up as Noahide Courts. They are no longer based on our Constitution.

    You Dear readers need to read up on the Seven Noahide Laws.

    One of the laws requires death to all Idol Worshippers

    Biden’s true definition of White Supremacists includes those who call themselves Christians.

    Biden wants to get rid of all guns so that the “White supremacists Idol worshippers cannot defend themselves”

    Pay attention and resist.

    Anyone who believes Jesus is God is considered an Idol worshipper…

    Persecution for being a Christian in the United States is almost here.

    Pray that you would be worthy to escape all things, but not your will be done but His alone with your life.

      1. Yes, Biden’s “Dark Winter” is in full display.

        I listened.

        These are all of the things we warn others to prepare for.

        You better believe that this cascading series of events were known to be coming by the Powers that Be. They did warn with their cryptic words of a “Dark Winter Coming”.

        Remember these words: “Control the food and you can control the people.”

        I say, that they will soon be saying, “No vax, no food.”

        Two summers ago 2019 there were a number of prophecies warning of terrible winters coming, soon. They were correct.

        While there is still time, people need to continue to stock up, even accelerate their acquiring.

        Time is running out.

        1. I saw an article, it might have been an older ice age farmer podcast, that talked about some families in the UK are selling/bartering food items using social media. The UK govts are already planning on “certifying” home-made food items;;;;no vaccine, no certification, no business. Moral of this story is don’t blab on social media; f2f contact and recommendations only.

        2. I noticed a lot of preppers kind of slacking off when Trump was in office. I kept telling my prep group NOW is the time to prep, good times are the best and cheapest times to get everything you need.

          We still have a bit of time before everything goes belly up; and I sincerely hope a LOT of time, I’m just afraid not as much as I hope.

          I know that COVID-19 may have been a wake up call for some; it was for my daughter who thought for years I was totally crazy, until she spent over a month out of work and 5 days in the hospital. I kept telling her that a SHTF situation doesn’t have to be an EOTWAWKI – it can just be an out of work situation, a severe car wreck, etc. Anyway, thank the Lord that she’s finally listening.

        3. Avalanche Lily, thank you for this priceless information. Trying to find holes in our preps and filling them.Please check out Alaskan Prepper’s latest video regarding Texas.
          I’m also looking into post tribulation because of the info. you shared with us. Thanks again.

    1. All aboard, Camp Walton next stop. The sheeple will be saying “how can this be happening in AmeriKa, we have rights”. Time to think about how we are going to organize and support a new underground railway for our brothers and sisters.

    2. But keep in mind how many gun owning patriots there are just setting and patiently waiting. The enemy is outnumbered many many times. And I’m sure that they under estimate patriots. And guess who’s side God is on. When the time comes patriots will make things right.

  5. Thanks for the great how-to article! As soon as my well pipes are fixed, I’m going to try this out. If anyone has a similar guide on how to dry cure. I’d love to hear it!

  6. Lily, thank you so much for your relentless work as a “watchman”. Staying alert can be an intense responsibility.

    “Stay sober, stay alert! Your enemy, the Adversary (Satan), stalks about like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Stand against him, firm in your trust, knowing that your brothers throughout the world are going through the same kinds of suffering.” 1 Peter 5:8-9 (CJ study Bible)

  7. “I just heard that Rush Limbaugh passed away. He was a heroic American patriot. Prayers please for his family. And also pray that someone truly worthy takes his place behind The Golden Microphone at the EIB Network.”

    Yes, indeed! … I was so saddened to hear Kathryn Limbaugh’s announcement on the show this morning. Rush definitely had “talent on loan from God” and he will be greatly missed.

    I’ve been quite impressed with guest host Todd Herman (from Washington State). I believe he would be a worthy successor to help fill the giant void left by Rush. Perhaps David Limbaugh (Rush’s brother) could also fill in from time to time. David is a committed Christian attorney and has written several books on the subjects of Christian apologetics and conservative principles.

  8. Listened to Rush from the start. Had his show on in my office and my patrol car every minute possible, and in our home, including at this moment. And overseas during my time there. My family truly loved Rush. We are in tears today.
    There is now a great void in the world we live in. Those who were not part of the 40 million or more in his listening audience will never understand.
    Rush Limbaugh’s legacy will live on longer than even most US Presidents.
    JWR said pray to find the right person to replace him. I haven’t seen that person yet.

    God Bless us all, especially the children.

    May God hold Rush in his hands.

    Semper Fi

    1. President Trump just said on Newsmax with Greg Kelly that he doesn’t believe Rush can be replaced.
      Know what? That is the same as President Trump. Cannot be replaced.
      We really have a big job ahead of us. Must get the crooks out of the way first, if possible.

      None of those out there now with intentions of running….they not only cannot hold a candle to President Trump, they cannot even hold the candle. They’re smoke in the wind.

      God Bless All.

      Semper Fi

      1. I think Mark Steyn would make an excellent full-time host for that slot. President Trump had four years to ‘drain the swamp’ and “get the crooks”. All of the bad players are still walking free and plotting our demise. Thanks for nothing poseur Trump.

        1. Steyn is no doubt a good man, not a fence rider. But doesn’t measure up. Could keep but a small percentage of the 40 million.

          As for President Trump, he was greatly outnumbered by nonbelievers, in God and the Conservative way…one and the same as far as I see it. That is big trouble, is it not?

          Everyone “has the right to believe what they wish.” In that statement lies the problem…libs don’t believe the statement. It’s either their way or they ruin you, man or woman.

          So, President Trump was at a great disadvantage with the left against him, and those who were to be working with him feeding them information. Pretty rough when all the key “loyalists” turn on a person.

          I was involved in politics for about 28 years. Not on that scale of course, but politics just the same. Always puzzling how friends turn on one another.

          Thanks for your comment.

          God Bless all you SB people out there, especially the children.
          God Bless President Trump.
          God Bless Rush Limbaugh.

          Semper Fi

          1. President Trump was a Republican, but never a Conservative. His constant violations of our freedoms through Red Flag laws, banning inanimate objects like bump stocks and his Defense Production Act classified himself as a socialist tyrant. The man who has redistributed more of ‘other peoples money’ than any person in history is a ‘Conservative’? Swamp Leader Trump had so many sheep fooled by his lies, fraud and deceit and was nothing more than a promoter of debt and the Federal Reserve banking demons.

        2. gold prospector

          I’m sorry you are unhappy.

          I will not argue with you, I have a happy family and friends to be with.

          We are spending time today praying for Rush Limbaugh and his family. We are also praying for President Donald Trump, his family, and our country.

          I will add you to our prayers.

          God Bless All, especially the children.

          Semper Fi

          1. No unhappiness here, just disappointed at what a huge waste of opportunity Trump has become. The fact that Trump spent many years as a New York democrat really showed during his four years in office. My prayer to you and all Americans with good intent, is that they see the truth and what the future holds for us.

  9. Glad you all liked my article – and yes, it is that easy.

    A big thank you to Avalanche Lily for keeping us so well informed.

    For those of you who have given up on Amazon (as I have) you can also find the bucket liners at (I really love this site, found it today while looking for an alternative to Amazon), ebay and several others. I use the PBK brand which are food grade, BPA free and MADE IN THE USA.

    1. I apologize for interrupting the flow of your article, with my links, Michelle, but my reasoning for posting these links is to get the current information out ASAP, and I have to pick the article that will most likely get the most views. 😉 Everything we do as Preppers is so important. Multiple conversations is a good thing. Thank you for your article and this link concerning bucket liners. Many Blessings,


        1. No, no,

          I didn’t think that you were being sarcastic at all. Promise.

          It’s just that I was feeling guilty about posting today all of that information. I felt bad, about changing the subject so abruptly, but still wanted to put it out. Seriously.

          Thank You for thanking me. It made me feel relieved, but I still wanted to apologize to you. Sheepish grin.

          Sometimes typing words, doesn’t always convey the true spirit of intent.

          I am super glad that you were able to see this information, today. It’s very important to be aware of it.

Comments are closed.