Home Cured Jalapeno Bacon

October 13th, 2010 by katie

The local grocery chain in my neighborhood sells jalapeno bacon, a delicious, salty product containing high-fructose corn syrup and cured with nitrates.  It is delicious but, as I am wont to do, I wanted to make my own.  My first idea was to start with packaged bacon and brine it in a jalapeno mixture but I realized that the packaged bacon is already so full of salt and sugar that it would be difficult to add much additional flavor.

I began to wonder if I could just buy uncured bacon and cure it myself.  The more I read the more I came to realize that making bacon was not only not that hard but that it was down right easy.  A nebulous recipe began to take form in my head and I took the plunge and ordered a pork belly from our butcher.  After weeks of wondering and imagining it was almost anti-climactic how easy the curing process was.  In about 10 minutes I had combined all of my ingredients in the food processor and then dumped it all in a Ziplock bag with the pork belly.  Done.  It sat for a week in the fridge, I rinsed it, I roasted it, then I sliced it and fried it and ate it and moaned little bacon pleasure moans.

This bacon is BACON.  It is meaty and chewy with sweet and hot undertones.  It makes the packaged bacon taste like salt and water.  The pork belly from my local grocery store’s butcher was about $3.49 a pound which isn’t too bad for a pound of bacon.  If you have a cheaper pork belly source then it becomes an even better deal. 

Home-Cured Jalapeño Bacon

makes 2 1/2 to 3lbs, prep 10 min, cure 7 days, roast 2+ hours
  • 2.5-3lb skin-on pork belly
  • 2.5 tbsp salt
  • 1.5 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or dark brown sugar
  • 3 jalapenos
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 3 fresh bay leaves
  1. Trim pork belly to fit into a large zip-top bag.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to the bowl of a food processor.  Process until smooth.
  3. Pour cure into zip top bag with the pork belly.  Seal and refrigerate, turning daily, for seven days.
  4. On the seventh day, remove the pork belly from the fridge and rinse well.
  5. Pat dry with paper towels.  Pre-heat oven to 200°F.  Place pork belly fat side up on a rack on  baking sheet (line with foil for easy clean-up).
  6. Roast pork belly 2 or more hours until a thermometer reads 150°F in the center.  Alternately, you can smoke or grill to this same internal temp.
  7. Remove pork from the oven and slice off the skin while still hot.  Seal pork in plastic and refrigerate up to 10 days or freeze.
  8. To serve, slice thinly and pan-fry or chop and add to beans or stews.  Freeze for about 30 minutes or until firm and slice with a sharp chef’s knife.

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Posted in Breakfast, Easy, Fast

22 Responses

  1. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary

    I just had to wipe the drool from my husbands chin.

  2. Melissa

    So awesome. Must try. MUST. I mean it.

  3. Kelly

    This is very interesting. Can you share more about how you trimmed the pork belly? And does it need to be cut into smaller pieces to cure? I wonder if it is possible to buy a smaller pork belly?

    Thank you for posting this. I am really considering visiting my meat market and trying this.

    Kelly, I can’t encourage you enough to make it. It really is so easy and delicious. To trim the pork belly you basically just want to square off the edges if necessary. Mine was pretty square but I did have to cut it in half to fit it inside the Ziplock bag. I used a typical gallon sized Ziplock and the pork belly was just barely too wide and too long. A smaller belly (like two pounds instead of three) might fit without needing to be cut. You’ll have to see. I will add a photo of the pork belly in the cure if it helps! -Katie

  4. Kelly

    Katie – yes more photos would be great. Thanks again!

  5. DailyChef

    Wow – I’ve never had jalapeno bacon! Can bacon be even better? 😛

  6. Mitchi

    Oh wow…that looks so tasty. I don’t think I would have ever thought about making bacon, but I kinda have to try this now.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  7. Nishta

    I’m so glad you posted about this! I’ve been wanting to cure my own for a while now–we get pork belly in our meat share all the time–and jalapeno bacon sounds crazy-good.

  8. Finley

    I don’t know how I’ve stumbled upon your blog, but I really wish we were friends right now so I can pop over to your house on a lazy Saturday morning and spend the weekend eating everything you’ve listed on this blog!! (At least what I’ve read so far.) This bacon sounds amazing! I made pecan crusted bacon for Christmas brunch and it was a hit. Can’t wait to try this recipe.

    mommy-chic.blogspot.com

  9. Chas

    Interesting concept, but I wouldn’t necessarily call this bacon as it isn’t actually cured. It’s salted. You could do this this same thing with Morton’s Tender Quick instead on the salt. You would have to sub the salt for how much the Morton’s package says to use. I’m gonna have to try this. I was planning to cure about 20 pounds of bacon next week, I might do a pound of jalapeño bacon.

  10. Hedley

    @Chas- you’ll need to elaborate, because the method discussed above is generally accepted as the method to make bacon nowadays. I stumbled here looking for ratio ideas to pair my ghost chiles and szechuan peppers for a hot and numbing bacon!

  11. Kristi Jorgenson

    This is the best thing I have ever put in my mouth. I am now making my second batch, this time I’m using Serrano peppers to kick up the heat a bit! Also I couldn’t find pork belly in my little town so I used salt pork and just omitted the salt in the recipe – it was wonderful!!!

  12. Chris

    I first heard about jalapeno bacon on EpicMealTime.com and then went to a restaurant where they had it, yet every grocery store I have gone to doesn’t carry it! I had been debating taking matters into my own hands and I came across this blog…you sir are now bookmarked! Thank you SO very much for posting this recipe, I will get to it immediately.

  13. Will

    I’ve came across this recipe a few months ago. I finally got a chance to make it. It’s in my fridge right now and I can’t wait for it to finish curing! I think I may smoke it instead of roasting it but either way I am super excited!

  14. Suebaby

    Wow, wow, wow! Just did my third batch of bacon using your AWESOME recipe, and can’t thank you enough for sharing. Did it on our smoker barbecue – about 4 hours with oak-chip smoke – and it is *ridiculously* good. Thank you so much for generously sharing your recipe… There are two very happy bellies in my neck o’ the woods, courtesy of you! 😀

  15. Thomas Muff

    Chas, this is exactly how one would make bacon and is in fact curing. This method is almost exactly consistent with the book “Charcuterie”

  16. Jane Doe

    I just finished putting two slabs in cures and was looking for a decent jalapeno mix. Think I’ll try this on the last slab. We’ll be cold smoking it over mesquite tho.

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  18. Teri

    I ordered 3lbs from our local butcher. I cannot wait to try this out! Thank you for sharing. If it’s as easy as it looks, I will never buy bacon in a store again!

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  21. Nina Greaves

    UK here after 3 weeks in the USA my first Jalepeno bacon from Denny’s was my favourite. I can’t buy this on Amazon or online so it looks like I’m going to buy some pork belly.

    Thanks for posting!

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