With the new cold smokehouse complete, I needed something to put in it to try it out. I picked up two pork bellies this afternoon.
This is only my third time making bacon. Here's my process...please let me know if I am doing it right.
I measure out cure #1 for each piece of whole belly that I cut in half (a tsp./5lbs measured by weight) and using an old spice container, I sprinkle that all over the meat surface. I don't put any on the skin side as that will get some, what little it will absorb, form the liquid that comes off the meat as I turn it. I then add a half cup of salt (I used sea salt this time) and a half cup of dark brown sugar for every five pounds. I then place them in large Zip Lock bags and into the refrigerator for ten days, turning them daily. Out of the bags, I'll rince them off and do a test fry (previously, I have not soaked them) add black pepper after patting them with paper towels and then I used the fan method in a chest freezer to dry them for a couple of hours before smoking.
So far, I have cold smoked them at 100 degrees for 12 hours using apple wood.
So far it has turned out great. I have to stop giving it away. I would appreciate any ideas.