My first batch of bacon met all my flavor expectations, but the best part was the response I got from friends and family who ate it...it was like I invented bacon. The recipe used really simple ingredients, was easy to follow, and didn't make anyone feel ill so I though I'd share. This recipe is very similar to the one published by Ruhlman & Polcyn (see my previous thread about the nitrite content in this recipe).
5 lb fresh side pork, skin off
50g Kosher salt
50g Pure Cane Sugar
1/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup
14g Instacure #1 (others on SMF have suggested this could be safely reduced by half)
Mix cure ingredients (it has the consistency of a "slushy") and evenly coat pork. Vacuum seal entire slab of pork with cure. Place in fridge and rotate and agitate daily.
Remove from fridge, rinse well, and dry (I left mine on a rack on the counter for about an hour).
I smoked at 140-150F (this was the lowest I could get my smoke vault 18 to go at 20F outside) over apple chips for about 10 hrs to 125F internal temp. Others have described this as a "warm" smoke. The fat around the edges did start to turn clear towards the end of the cook, but it was only a few mm thick and once trimmed it looked like bacon. Sorry for the crappy smoker pic, I was trying to be quick.