How Is Bacon Made

Bacon is made by taking cuts from the sides, belly or back of a pig and curing it with salt. The salt was originally applied as a way of preserving pork. The cuts of pork can be either dry-cured or wet-cured in order to make bacon.

Dry curing is the oldest method. It involves covering the meat in salt, placing it in a closed container and leaving it to cure for up to two weeks. The salt makes water leach from the meat, so the container has to be emptied out every 24 hours during the curing process. After the meat has cured, it can be smoked and eaten, or stored.

Wet curing, also known Wiltshire curing because it was developed in Calne, Wiltshire, in England, involves soaking the meat in brine, a salt solution. It was developed in the 18th Century by the Harris family. The meat remains in the solution for up to five days in refrigeration. This method does not require as much salt as dry curing.

For a personal touch, herbs, spices and pepper can also be added to the meat during the curing process.

To watch a video of how bacon is mass-produced in factories, visit the Discovery Channel website.