Pork Belly's went on sale around here for $1.88/lb so I decided to try out bacon for the first time. I vacillated between just doing a basic recipe for the first time, or trying to get all fancy and try all different ones. I went the fancy route, and invited a buddy to give his input. My first invention was an Italian style bacon. 2 1/2 lbs Pork Belly 1/2 t. Cure #1 1 T. Kosher Salt 1 T. Dried Basil 1 T. Dried Oregano 1 T. Dried Thyme 1 T. Dried Parsley 1 T. Garlic Powder My second invention was to use a prior invention from my garden called jalapeno pesto. I struggled with this one because it's not really a wet brine nor was it a dry rub. So I added the same amount of cure to the mixture as before. 2 1/2 lbs Pork Belly 1/2 t. Cure #1 8oz. Jalapeno Pesto My friend said he brought his finest culinary creations: One he coated with Tony Chachere's Creole and the other he coated with black pepper. Into ziplocs and the fridge they went for 9 days. After the 9 days we cold-smoked them for 5 hours with applewood. All sliced up and vacuum-sealed. I thought all the flavors turned out excellent. The jalapeno pesto one was awesome in the pre-smoke test, but then the flavor seemed to get overpowered after the smoke. The Italian will be the perfect addition to a spaghetti sauce. I do wish I had a meat slicer. It tried chilling them in the freezer for 3 hours to firm them up before slicing, but it will still really difficult getting what I thought was a decent bacon thickness. I don't like thin, but ours were more like ham slices. It seems a bit difficult to fry them properly at that thickness. I'm hoping someone has a slicer on their Black Friday sale. Also, my bacon wasn't near salty enough like I think bacon should be. Oh well, I love having room for improvement. I think next time I'll not talk myself into getting fancy and just try a pretty basic cure recipe I've seen floating around this forum and compare, then start adjusting flavors from that point.