Welcome back to the Chilebrown smokehouse. We are continuing to Makin Bacon.
The bellies have been curing for 8 days in the refrigerator. I have turned the packages over three times. The next step is to rinse some of the salt off. I took a large pan and added fresh water to rinse the bellies. I emptied and replaced the water 4 times over a 4 hour span. Take your bellies and dry off as well as you can. This is a crucial step. Place the bellies on a cookie sheet with a pan underneath. Place in the refrigerator and let sit overnight. Do not worry about contamination. They are already salted and cured. The reason for the overnight stay in the refrigerator is to remove all moisture. This way your future slabs will accept smoke.
I am using Apple wood chunks in a Weber Rocky Mountain Smoker. I am using 2 inch blocks of Apple wood that I bought from E-Bay. I have thermometer in the belly and the smoke chamber. I am not messing around. I let it smoke for aprox. 4 hours at 200 degrees. The internal temperature of the bacon was 150. I let these beautiful pieces of pork love rest on a Cookiecrumb rack for two hours. I then wrapped them in foil and put them in the Chilebrown Ice Cave.
Ms. Goofy and I had the initial slice. It was salty. I am a bacon FREAK! Ms. Goofy said it was perfect. I will take her opinion over mine. Bacon Revue will be following.