How to Cure Pork Bellies

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Pork can be used for many dishes, including pork chops, ham, pulled pork and cured pork. Cured pork belly is often used to make bacon, a common garnish and breakfast food. Curing pork bellies is a long process, often taking several days, but it provides cooks with the opportunity to season their own bacon. Curing pork bellies at home is also considered a healthier alternative to buying bacon at a store or from distributors.

Create a cure mixture. It should contain salt, sugar and spices that suit your tastes. Mix at least 4 cups of the dry cure. If you desire, mix even more of the cure and set it aside for later, as the curing process takes several days.

Cut the pork belly into large chunks and rub the dry cure onto them until they are completely coated. Rub firmly enough that the cure does not easily fall off of the meat.

Place the meat onto plastic wrap and tightly pull the wrap around the meat. Put the meat in a leak-proof container, cover the container, and place it in the fridge for 24 hours.

Remove the container from the fridge, open it, and drain any liquid that has gathered at the bottom of the container. Take out the pork chunks and unwrap them. Make another dry cure mixture or use some of your leftover cure mixture and rub the pork belly chunks again, then wrap them in new plastic wrap, and put them back into the container; cover the container and put it into the fridge for another 24 hours.

Remove the pork chunks at 24 hour intervals for the next four to five days to drain any liquid from the container, rub the pork with more cure and rewrap the pork. Do not leave the meat outside of the refrigerator for long periods of time when working with it, as this may cause the meat to spoil.