So I'm going to try my first attempt at brining a pork belly to make some bacon this Friday. Before I make the leap I'd like some advice/preferences. I plan to use pops brine as I just got my prague powder and his brine method seems the most fool proof.
1.) Do you use the full strength (1c of salt/sugars) or lo-salt (1/2c of salt/sugars)?
2.) What are the best spices other additives to make this bacon the best?
3.) Do you heat your brine to make sure everything is dissolved or mix everything using cold water? I know if I heat I should let it cool, likely overnight in the fridge, as to not start cooking the meat.
4.) I plan to let it go 14 days. Do you rinse your belly or straight to the smoker?
5.) Hot or cold smoke? If hot, what temp? I know to take it to 146.