This is my first attempt at making belly bacon. i have successfully sold both my family and my co-workers on my homemade Canadian Bacon, and i just picked up a side of pork, so it is time to try my hand at belly bacon. It was about an 8# belly, skin on (will wait to remove after smoking as it seems easier from what i read), and i am dry curing it with Morton's Tenderquick. I added 1/2 Ounce of Tenderquick per pound and matched that with brown sugar. The darker bags i also added 1/2 TBS of Maple Extract and some pure maple syrup to the mixture to form a paste and rubbed the bellies with that. I noticed last night when turning and massaging them that the plain bacon seemed to be much more firm than the "Maple" bacon did, but i think this may have just been based on the different thicknesses of the slabs. The pictures i have here are just of the initial cutting up and rubbing. they have been in the fridge curing for 2 days now and i will get more pictures posted as soon as i can. The thing that i noticed is that there is considerably less brine, or liquid being pulled form the belly than there was from the whole loin that i made Canadian bacon with, is this normal?
I plan on curing for a total of 10 days then rinsing and putting in the fridge to form a pellicle where after i will smoke the next day with a full 3 rows of Apple pellets in my AMNPS. From there, let rest for 2 days and then slice and enjoy. Does this sound like the right way to go about this? Any help or input at all is very welcome, i don't want to mess this up, i love bacon way to much to mess this up.
Thanks in advance and Happy Smoking
Edited by Slots - 2/26/14 at 1:02pm