This process is called the "dry cure," and is considered far preferable to the New England or Yankee style of putting prepared brine or pickle over the meat. First the hog should not be too large or too fat, weighing not over two hundred pounds, then after it is dressed and cooled cut it up into proper pieces; allow to every hundred pounds a mixture of four quarts of common salt, one quarter of a pound of saltpetre and four pounds of sugar. Rub this preparation thoroughly over and into each piece, then place them into a tight tub or suitable cask; there will a brine form of itself from the juices of the meat, enough at least to baste it with, which should be done two or three times a week; turning each piece every time.
In smoking this bacon, the sweetest flavor is derived from black birch chips, but if these are not to be had, the next best wood is hickory; the smoking with corn-cobs imparts a rank flavor to this bacon, which is very distasteful to English people visiting this country. It requires three weeks or a month to smoke this bacon properly.
For each hundred pounds of hams, make a pickle of ten pounds of salt, two pounds of brown sugar, two ounces of saltpetre, one ounce of red pepper, and from four to four and a half gallons of water, or just enough to cover the hams, after being packed in a water-tight vessel, or enough salt to make a brine to float a fresh egg high enough, that is to say, out of water. First rub the hams with common salt and lay them into a tub. Take the above ingredients, put them into a vessel over the fire, and heat it hot, stirring it frequently; remove all the scum, allow it to boil ten minutes, let it cool and pour over the meat. After laying in this brine five or six weeks, take out, drain and wipe, and smoke from two to three weeks. Small pieces of bacon may remain in this pickle two weeks, which would be sufficient.