Tomorrow is the day I finally make some bacon! Thank you to all for answering my questions. Here is the split butt after being rinsed: The one on the left is peppered, and the one on the right just has some maple syrup. I cut a few pieces off to taste: The peppered was great! I was worried that it would be too peppery, and it was strong, but I like that. The syrup on the other hand had very little taste other than an almost hammy flavor to it. Still tasty, just a bit of a disappointment. Tomorrow I'm going to fire up the AMS for the first time, and knock this out! I'm also going to go to the store in the morning and get some cheese to do (another first)! Wish me luck, and I promise some more pics of the rest of the process!!