Bacon, Jerky, Hams, etc

german bacon recipe, sliced on a board
Photo by Holly A. Heyser

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You’ll find lots of recipes here to make your own bacon at home, cure hams and other whole cuts of meat, like lonzino or bresaola.

Curing whole cuts of meat can be both easier and more difficult than making salami. Since the interior of meat is pretty clean, you have fewer sanitation issues — but since the interior of a large cut like the back leg of a hog can be huge, controlling the temperature and humidity can be tricky if you want the cure to get to the center of the meat before it rots from within.

If you’ve never done this before, start with a duck ‘prosciutto,’ which can be done in a few weeks. For those waterfowl hunters out there, this is a great use for the breasts of Canada and snow geese. Other easy projects on this page include my bacon recipes as well as my jerky recipes.

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Bacon in All its Forms

sichuan bacon recipe

Basic Unsmoked Bacon

This is a “green” bacon, so called because it contains no nitrite, and so will not be that pretty red color. Green bacon also goes bad much faster than cured bacon.

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ventreche bacon recipe

Ventreche, French Bacon

A lightly cured, smoked variant on pancetta. This is a great addition to any French dish.

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german bacon recipe

German Bacon

Bacon with German seasonings that is smoked over oak or beech wood.

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sichuan bacon recipe

Chinese Bacon

A Chinese style of bacon that is heavily spiced and heavily smoked.

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Jowl bacon, showing a slice.

Jowl Bacon

Southern jowl bacon is a tradition. Cured, then smoked, then put into beans or greens.

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A cross section of guanciale, cured hog jowl.

How to Make Guanciale

Italian jowl bacon, this version is cured, then hung to dry for weeks before slicing and eating with pasta.

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Hams and Other Whole Cured Meats

duck prosciutto recipe

Duck or Goose Prosciutto

This should be your first project when you are a beginner at charcuterie. It can be done with domestic or wild ducks or geese, and cures rapidly.

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honey glazed ham recipe

Honey-Glazed Smoked Ham

This is an “Easter Ham” style ham made with wild pig. Cured, smoked and glazed with honey.

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goose leg ham on charcuterie board.

Goose Leg Ham, Prosciutto D’Oca

Goose leg ham, a recipe from Northern Italy. It’s easy to cure, but to make it really well, you need to hang these legs for several months.

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Corned venison on a cutting board.

Corned Venison

An awesome recipe for the big roasts on any kind of venison. Cook up several of these, vacuum-seal and freeze them, and you have lunch meat ready to go.

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A close up of lonzino slices

Lonzino, Air Cured Pork Loin

Lonzino is cured, air-dried pork loin, also doable with wild boar backstrap. It is a delicately flavored meat that you slice thin and eat alone, or on sandwiches.

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Finished bresaola, with slices.

Bison Bresaola

Similar to lonzino, this is cured, air-dried beef or venison. Typically it’s done with eye round of beef, I use bison or elk. You can also use venison backstrap.

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A close up of venison ham slices

How to Make Venison Ham

Mocetta (MOH-chet-ah) is a Northern Italian ham normally done with wild Alpine goats, but domestic goats or venison work just fine.

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Lardo, salted down

Lardo, or Italian Cured Pork Fat

Sliced thin, this is like pork butter. A little goes a long way…

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Slices of chipotle deer jerky

Chipotle Deer Jerky

You want to make this. Yes you do.

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Hank Shaw holding a piece of ground venison jerky

Ground Venison Jerky

Another popular style of jerky, this one is loosely based on the flavors of pemmican.

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duck jerky recipe

Wild Duck Jerky or Goose Jerky

Thinly sliced pieces of duck or goose breast, salted, spiced and air-dried. A perfect use for snow geese or diver ducks.

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Carne seca on a sheet tray

Venison Carne Seca

Best made with large, hind-leg roasts, this is Mexican jerky. Good on its own, carne seca is also good tossed in stews, or simmered in a salsa and put into burritos.

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Finished homemade machaca in a casserole dish

How to Make Machaca

Once you have carne seca, you can pulverize it into threads to make this northern Mexican classic, which is served with eggs, peppers and onions for breakfast.

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