Congratulations, you’ve made bacon!
Your bacon has been curing for five days now, and is ready to rest before eating. [If you’re making back bacon, I’m afraid you’re not *quite* there yet, just repeat Day Four today and come back to this post tomorrow.]
Take your bacon out of the fridge, rinse it well under cold running water, dry it thoroughly with paper kitchen towel, and wrap it loosely in baking paper / parchment. Ideally leave it in the fridge for at least 24 hours before you eat it – I know this sounds like the worst kind of torture, but there are a couple of good reasons to be patient.
Firstly it allows a layer called the ‘pellicle’ to form on the surface of the bacon, you’ll see this appear, it’s a glossy, slightly tacky surface layer which is especially important if you’re planning to smoke your bacon as it helps the smoke flavours to be absorbed into the bacon. Resting the bacon also allows the cure to equilibrate evenly through the bacon, whereas you’re likely to find the outside saltier if you tuck in straight away.
I can’t wait to hear what you all think about the results of your efforts! More on keeping, preparing and eating your bacon in the next post – along with some ideas on where to take your curing endeavours from here!
All the Big Bacon Challenge posts will be collected under the ‘BigBaconChallenge’ category heading – so go there to read them all!
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