Looks awesome!!! This may work out yet!! Another question....would you suggest using that particular rub, or does that have less to do with the process and just more with flavor? I guess what I'm asking is, the higher temps are what make it safe and I could use any flavor rub I wanted, correct?
You can use any flavor you want.
You're right, it's not bacon, it's pork belly.
All in all I've decided to just save it for another time, if there ever is another time. I seriously considered the hot smoke (thanks very much for the suggestion) but decided it isn't what I have done before. And while the receiver wouldn't know that it isn't "my bacon", I would. So thanks again to all who contributed and gave advice.
Good idea! Bacon is a "labor of love" as my wife puts it... Takes me a month to do my bacon from start to finish. I've never gotten sick doing it and it's some of the best bacon I've ever eaten in my life. I recommend Pops Brine as well as the tutorial by Bear Carver for his dry cure. Both were absolutely fantastic.
In fact, I'm down to my last five pounds of bacon in the fridge... Time to start the next belly