I have made a lot of Canadian Bacon, and decided to give belly bacon a shot. I bought a 13 lb Kurobuta Pork Belly through a buddy of mine at a really good price. I sliced a 2 lb section off of the end, and put it in the freezer for braising at a later date. I placed the rest of it in Pop's wet curing brine, and let it go for 21 days. I would have pulled it out sooner, but I ended up having to work straight through the last 11 days before I smoked it. That being said, it still came out fine.
I weighted it down in the Lug with an empty pan and 2 gallon Ziploc bags of water. I added some cane syrup to the brine, which gives it this dark brown color.
into the fridge for duration
Pulled it out of the brine, sliced off the riblets ( they got diced up and fried and added to everything for the next 24 hours) dried it off, and placed it on the Kitchen table under the ceiling fan for a couple of hours. After it had dried and started to form a pellicle, I placed it back in the cleaned lug, on top of a wire rack, and back into the fridge overnight.
I got up early the next morning and got it in the smoker by 6:30 a.m. I cold smoked it for 12.5 hrs with Apple wood. I did not light the smoker at all. Ambient temperature reached about 80 degrees. I used my A-maze-n tube smoker and placed it on a rack under the chip box and opened the intake vents all the way. Worked like a champ. Had to refill it a few times during the day.
I pulled it out of the smoker and placed it back in the lug on a rack. Covered it, and back in the fridge for another night.
Carried it back to my buddy, and he sliced it for me. It is double stacked, so there is twice as much as it looks like. I got it bagged and vacuum packed and into the freezer. I did fry some up, and made a turkey BLT wrap with avocado for dinner. It was delicious!
Sorry, I didn't take any pics of it cooking. I will try to update the thread with some pics of it cooked. Thanks for the advice I got along the way from a few good members. I will most definitely be doing this again.