Got to spend this evening butchering a lot of pig with a friend and am now looking for some serious advice. From my part of the pig, I've kept out the hind quarter, belly and jowl, shanks and trotters for the smoker. I'm using a Brinkman electric water smoker modified with a thermometer.
I'm interested in any hints, rule of thumb, favorite cures you experts might have. I intend to avoid using nitates, finished products will be frozen so I don't really need them and I like putting together such things to order just because they taste better.
My first thought for the trotters and shanks is a basic brown sugar/salt brine for 24 hrs with some of the brine injected along the bone. For wood I'm thinking maple to complement the sweetness.
Belly and cheek - I've been looking at the bacon threads (although I'd love to try a dry cure for the cheek) and feel pretty confident about that.
The ham is a bit scary just because of the size. I'm figuring a long smoking time and with my smoker using chips that is about 30-35 minutes per addition. I'm thinking I can extend that using a mixture of chips and lumps. Has anyone had luck smoking in intervals? Smoke "x" hours, store overnight, Smoke "x" hours repeating as needed?
Any and all advice is appreciated. Will take pictures and post when I figure out how