Good morning good people. Couple questions. I have had my Belly in Pop's Brine for 10 days and I am ready to smoke those bad boys. I am going to rinse them good before smoking and do a quick fry test as well. I am going to hot smoke it not cold. My questions are this
1.) Is a pellicle REALLY a necessary thing? I know the pellicle helps smoke adhere to meat but my brother never does this step and his bacon is amazing. I mean....I don't form a pellicle on my Pork Butts and they take smoke just fine. Will it harm the bacon if I skip the pellicle?
2.) What is a good internal temp for Hot smoked bacon? I have seen several answers. My brother I believe takes his to 135F. I have seen as high as 150F. Whats a good safe IT? Since it's cured is 135F enough?
Thanks for any help you can offer.