This article is from the Food Preserving FAQ, by Eric Decker email@example.com with numerous contributions by others.
It is my experience that bacon is the easiest product to produce at
home and the results are as good as, or better than, the best
commercially produced bacon.
I use Morton Tender Quick and brown sugar. Rub down a slab of fresh
bacon (pork belly) with a liberal quantity of the Tender Quick. You
can't really use too much but a cup or so should do. Then follow with a
thorough rub of brown sugar (again, start with a cup or so). Then place
the meat in heavy plastic and allow to cure for 7 days at 38F. I use a
small refrigerator for this. I run a remote temperature probe inside
and monitor the temperature, tweaking the thermostat when necessary.
The temperature is important; too low (below 36F) and the curing action
will cease, too high (above 40F) and the meat will begin to spoil. I
also cut the pork belly in two and cure it with the meat surfaces face
to face and the skin on the outside. It helps it fit in the fridge and
improves the curing action. I then smoke it at 140-150F until the
internal temperature of the pork reaches 128F (about 8 to 10 hours). I
find it best to remove the skin about 3/4 of the way through the smoking
process. This way the fat is protected but still acquires some color.
Chill overnight before using.
If you are using Prague Powder #1, mix 2 oz with 1 lb of salt and use
like the Tender Quick.
Other sugars can be used instead of brown sugar. Try honey or even
some maple syrup.