make buckboard bacon out of pork butt

How to make buckboard bacon from a pork butt

Traditional bacon is made from the belly, but you can DIY cure and turn a cheap pork butt into super flavorful buckboard bacon.

One of the most popular recipes I’ve ever published was my guide on how to make your own bacon at home. Turns out people really love the craft behind being able to make your own bacon from scratch. When you DIY, you also get to choose how thick you want it cut, and you can add some fun flavorings into the cure, too. Traditionally, American bacon is made from the belly only. Fun fact: Canadian bacon is made from pork loin, and Australian bacon is the loin with a bit of the belly left on it, too. You could even argue that traditional Italian jowl guanciale is a form of bacon.

So you see,  there’s not merely one type of bacon, or one cut it’s made from. Which brings us to Buckboard bacon. Also sometimes called Cottage bacon. This is made from the pork shoulder (aka butt), which is the same cut that is traditionally used for pulled pork. Shoulder is a tougher cut,  but is also known for having a richer pork flavor than some of the lighter cuts like loin. Pork butt bacon has an incredible depth of flavor and does taste quite different to belly bacon. The best part? Butt is cheaper per pound than belly is!

buckboard bacon from the pork butt

For this cure, I used an equilibrium dry cure method, which weighs the salt according to the weight of the meat, with a final salt percentage of 2.5%. The concept of an equilibrium brine relies on the accuracy of ratios, to ensure a consistent result (aka – the bacon will never end up too salty). I aim for a mix of 2.25% kosher salt to 0.25% pink curing salt, to bring the total to 2.5%. The other aromatic ingredients are not influential to the cure itself, so are not calculated as part of the ratio. My recipe below is for a 4lb pork butt, but you can use this handy calculator to adjust the quantities to your exact meat weight.

A note on pink curing salt: this is THE KEY to the cure. It is NOT the same as pink Himalayan salt. It actually contains sodium nitrate which is what actually cures the meat. It’s also extremely important to use it in the correct ratio of 0.25% of the total meat weight. You can find pink salt easily here online.

pork butt bacon

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make buckboard bacon out of pork butt

How to make buckboard bacon

  • Author: Jess Pryles
  • Prep Time: 14 days
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 339 hours



4lb boneless pork butt
45.36g/1.6oz of kosher salt
4.54g/0.16oz of pink curing salt
18.16g/0.64oz white sugar
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons cracked black pepper


  1. In a bowl, combine the salt, pink salt, sugar, garlic, onion and black pepper.
  2. Rub this curing mix all over the pork butt, ensuring ALL of the cure ends up on the meat.
  3. Place the butt into a large resealable bag, then place it into the fridge to cure for 14 days. Once a day, flip the meat over and massage the contents of the bag to keep the cure distributing.
  4. After 14 days, remove the cured butt from the bag, and rinse under cold water.
  5. Pat the meat dry with a paper towel, then place the butt onto a rack.
  6. Place the rack into a smoker preheated to 180f for 2-3 hours, until the pork measures 160f internal temperature.
  7. Remove from smoker and allow to cool, then store in an airtight container in the fridge. Slice bacon as needed, then cook as usual (oven baked or pan cooked).


Pink curing salt cannot be substituted, and is not the same as Himalayan pink salt. You can purchase it online here.

Keywords: bacon, pork butt

1 thought on “How to make buckboard bacon from a pork butt”

  1. ……and, once cured, you could rinse it, put in a stockpot of cold water covering the meat slowly bring it to a boil. If you get thick white froth change the water and bring the pot back to a boil.
    Cook at a low boil for 30 minutes per pound or 30 minutes per 450 grams.
    Perfect hot, served with cabbage and potatoes as a more authentic March 17th meal. Delicious cold in a sandwich, or sliced and sautéed in a little butter…….with eggs……..

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