My second attempt at bacon and first attempt using my own dry rub has failed IMO. Here's the basic recipe I used: http://amazingribs.com/recipes/porknography/making_bacon_from_scratch.html
I bought 13 lbs of pork belly from the market, cut up into two slabs. I estimated about 6.5 pounds for each belly which gave me about 3.5 tsp of cure. Along with that I had about 6 tsp of kosher salt, 1 cup of brown sugar, and some other seasonings that I decided to try: Some crunched up bay leafs, juniper berries, pepper, and some roasted garlic seasoning. I did not put in the distilled water, as I was going for a dry cure which is what I made previously using a pre-mixed rub.
After a day or so, quite a bit of liquid was pulled out of the belly and seemed to disolve all of the seasonings. Really the only thing left that I could see were the juniper berries and bits of the bay leafs.
Anyway, cut to today after I smoked both bellies until they hit 150. I fry them up this morning and it's kind of tasteless. It isn't BAD by any means, it just tastes like uncured pork side. The smoke didn't really add a whole lot to it either (I used applewood).
Did I use too much cure and should I be worried about botulism? Should I switch to the wet cure method instead of dry cure?