We always cured and smoked it with the rind on, and sold it both ways, removing the rind after it was done smoking when the slabs were hot. In many cases you could go around the edge with your knife about and inch in and then just pull off the rind. If given a full smoke, there would be more than enough on all the other sides to impart a great smoke flavor. If you had to knife it all off it wasn't that hard to do, skinning and pulling to get it off quickly. We'd de-rind 15-20 slabs per batch, leaving 10-15 with it on. and sold it both with the rind and without. Made it in 330lb. batches, just enough to fill one smokehouse and would do 2 or 3 batches a week, manually slicing every pound for customers, laying it out shingle-style on either bacon boards or deli paper. You got pretty good judging how much would be a pound at any thickness, too after slicing a few thousand pounds or so!