Living Homegrown

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LH 58: Preserving with Salt and Smoke

How to make homemade bacon and other salted preserves

I’ve always wanted to make my own homemade bacon.

Weird, I know.  But it just sounded like fun.

Plus, I wanted a homemade product without any nitrites or nitrates.

Doing it myself would be like a mad science experiment (the fun part) and I would know exactly what was in it (the important part).

Luckily, this week’s podcast guests makes bacon and many, many other smoked products all the time!!

So of course, I asked them to tell us how to do it step-by-step.

The good news is that it’s pretty easy to do!

This episode is Part Two of my interview with Joel MacCharles and Dana Harrison – the authors of Batch* – Tips and Techniques for a Well Preserved Kitchen.

In Part One, we discussed all the ways you can Preserve Lemons – check it out HERE.

In this continuation of the interview, we shifted to other forms of preserving.

You can listen above or read the full transcript below to get the full scope of the interview.

There’s a lot of info packed into this one! Plus, I give a little primer on nitrites and US bacon labels so you don’t get mislead in the supermarket.

You will learn:

  • Why “no added nitrates” on store-bought bacon is misleading
  • Why chili salt is great for people who don’t like “heat”
  • The step-by-step instructions for salting all kinds of fun things
  • Why pink curing salt is NOT related to Himalayan salt
  • How to make true nitrite-free bacon at home
  • What is Bourbon bacon??
  • The difference between hot and cold smoke methods
  • What the heck is a smoke maze?
  • How to turn your BBQ into an inexpensive smoker
  • How to make healthy & inexpensive dog treats with a smoker

Batch Authors - LivingHomegrown.comJoel MacCharles & Dana Harrison:

Joel and Dana are the team behind Well Preserved – a popular food blog and they are the authors of the new preserving book, Batch.

You can read all about Joel, Dana and their book in the show notes for Part One of this two part interview. In that interview, we dive deep into the making of the book.

Making Bacon & Other Salt Cured Preserves

Joel shares tips and instructions for several different recipes in this episode. You can read the full instructions in the transcript below.

I hope you enjoy this episode!


Resources & Links Mentioned:

Batch Book -

Batch* – the book by Joel and Dana

Well Preserved – Blog

How to Make Tomato Powder

How to Make Smoked Salt – You know you want to try this!

Smoked Yam Dog Treats

USDA sheet on Bacon Labeling – “no nitrite added”



Click here for the full transcript for Episode #58 

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About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy®. For 9 years, Theresa was the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.