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Nov 24, 2012 08:01 AM

Lamb bacon - curing at home - recipes, tips, techiniques?

Looking for instructions on making lamb bacon at home - don't need recipes on what to do with cooked lamb bacon, just how to cure it....I've never made pig bacon, but since lamb bacon isn't readily available, thought I would give it a shot. Thanks in advance!

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    1. re: chefj

      Right. Looking for the experience and input of chowhounds. Thanks.

    2. I'm a pretty avid home bacon maker, and have gotten great results following the advice of Michael Ruhlman. He first covered it on his website here:

      He covers it well in his book "Charcuterie". The recipe is exerpted here in the New York Times:

      I've just used pork bellies so far, and have been making a batch weekly since "Charcuterie" was published.
      I got my Pink Salt from One bag will surely last me for a long time. I cure the bellies in XL size zip lock bags, turning them every day or every other day. It's key that you rinse the bellies well at the end of the first batch of bacon was pretty salty. After curing, I let the bellies dry over night on a rack in the fridge. A dry surface with a "pellicle" is key for the smoke to penetrate the meat. I cold smoke the bacon for several hours in a very easy, but jerry rigged smoker set up. I cold smoke it in my gas grill using a can filled with wood chips with a soldering iron poked into the side of the can as the smoke source. When I am done smoking, I finish the bacon in the oven to a core temperature of 150 degrees.

      Making bacon is really KISS simple, and you will get comfortable doing it once you make several batches.

      It's truly worth it. The quality of the bacon is just exceptional when you do it yourself. You wont want to go back to store bought bacon.

      3 Replies
      1. re: wabi

        A weekly batch of bacon - heaven. Thanks for the links, and the tips. Will report back when I try it out...might be aiming for lamb bacon before pork....we shall see....

        1. re: saticoy

          A weekly batch of bacon is easily just get into a rhythm of doing it. I've been doing a batch of bacon per week since this past spring. I source my pork bellies from the local grocery store that gets the bellies from a local piggery. I cure 2 slabs a week. One slab goes to friends who dont leave me alone about home made bacon, one of them a guy who supplies me with fresh eggs. I have to confess that my bacon consumption has gone up...but the quality of the bacon is a quantum level above store bought.

          If you have a source of bellies..lamb, or pork...make a batch of bacon, then do it again and again. You will see how easy it s, AND how good it is.

          You wont want to go back.

          I wish you the best.

          1. re: wabi

            wabi, sounds like you have a good thing going on! I'm more concerned with my clothes fitting if I get hooked on a lb a week bacon habit...but it might be worth investing in a new wardrobe.... ;-)

      2. It really should be exactly the same as doing bacon. The curing methods don't really vary, just what kind of meat you're curing. I've done plenty of pork, beef, and boar, but never done lamb, though I have seen cured lamb bacon. Let us know how it turns out!

        1. I wonder if lamb bacon will taste good. Lamb fat isn't really that tasty.

          4 Replies
          1. re: JMF

            lamb bacon is pretty good, got a nice gameiness to it. I feel that lamb bacon is not as versitle as pork bacon but still has its merits and a treat to have, i personally like to do a BLT with it or go fat kid style and eat ti straight up right out of the pan.

            1. re: JMF

              A hound on the Austin board posted a picture of a burger he made with lamb bacon. I was sold. I love lamb, I love bacon - I think it is worth exploring!

              1. re: JMF

                You might get an argument about that in my house, JMF. The lamb fat actually gets fought over. It's also fairly well thought of and will appear by itself on Middle Eastern menus.

                1. re: rockycat

                  I've had both tasty lamb fat, and times when it is pretty gamy tasting. I think I've liked the American lamb's fat better than the Aussie or Kiwi ones.

              2. i made lamb bacon about a month ago, it was fairly simple and I used the pink salt/salt/sugar ratio from ruhlman+whatever aromatics, in my case garlic, crushed bay, rosemary and pepper. Depending on thickness, lamb bacon does not require as long as a curing time as pork, meaning ruhlman recommends 7 days, but 7 days for a piece of lamb bacon, is to long. to be even more accurate weight it and when it is 70% (somethign like this, i have it written down,best i can do off the top of my head) of its original weight
                I did pork bacon first before trying lamb bacon, but pork bellies are more readily avalible/cheaper than lamb bellies. good luck.

                5 Replies
                1. re: jester99

                  I'm going to have to try my hand at bacon making. Never got around to it. Both pork and lamb. I have a hot rodded Bradley smoker and now that the weather is getting colder I can cold smoke.

                  1. re: JMF

                    why not go all the way and do both a cold smoke and then a hot smoke to cook it to temp? double smoked bacon is never a bad thing

                    1. re: jester99

                      You could...and I think it would tasted awesome. I cold smoke mine then finish it in the oven by bringing it to an internal temperature of 150. The downside of hot smoking it is that unless you have a thermometer with a remote probe, you will constantly be having to check it to see if it has reached 150.

                      I just have to say to everyone reading this thread that making your own bacon is so KISS simple, I am sorry I didnt do it sooner. The results are like that much better tasting. Anyone who makes their own vinaigrette has a hard time going back to bottle salad dressing.

                      1. re: wabi

                        My Bradley smoker is set up with a computer and two thermometers one for the smoker box and one internal for the meat. I can set up how many hours of smoke, can use multiple types of wood, heat or none or vary, etc. and also set to hold at internal temp. for whatever length of time. I also added a second heat source and a circulation fan so the heat is the same throughout the smoker with no hot or cold spots.

                  2. re: jester99

                    You know - I think I need to do a pork belly or two before I try the lamb. Thanks for the input.