Finishing up my first batch of bacon and am noticing that the bacon is pretty tough, as in difficult to bite through. Has anyone experienced this? My first thought was that I may not have sliced them thin enough. I am doing it by hand with a knife, so the slices aren’t perfect, but they seem to be approximately the same thickness as store bought. My second thought is that I didn’t pay any attention to the grain direction while slicing, but I had read that for the most part that shouldnt matter much. heres my whole process (quick version). I applied the cure #1, sugar, and salt to the pork belly according to daveomak’s recipe. I also added a couple tablespoons of water to help ensure the cure got spread throughout the belly from the start. Then I placed the belly in the fridge for 9 days (the belly was about an 1 1/2” at the thickest, but most was 1” or so at best), flipping and massaging daily. After the 9 days, I rinsed and soaked the belly in ice water for about an hour and a half to reduce the saltiness to taste. It seemed a bit tough at this point while doing the fry test, but slicing was difficult with a soft belly, so they came out thicker than I would have liked. Next, I patted it dry and applied some cbp, onion and garlic then put it on a drying rack and into the fridge for 2 days. Finally, it was smoke time. I planned on hot smoking it to 155 IT in my 24” smoke vault because I didn’t think I could get smoke from that unit below 200 degrees or so based on past experience. But I ended up moving the chip tray down onto the burner and was able to get a good clean smoke at the lowest setting (about 150). So I ended up doing more of a “warm” smoke and after 4 hours I pulled it off with an IT around 110. After the smoke, I let it cool a bit then wrapped it up and back into the fridge for 2 more days before slicing. Thanks for any input!