Ok, a couple a weeeks ago I gots some sides, you might remember seeing some cracklin's and cracklings made. I did something I never did before and trimmed the bellies before curing (so I would have scraps for cracklins). Trimmed Sow Bellies For lack of a better word I will refer to 'em as slabs. Slabs has a very loose translation so even though these I would consider mini's they still meet the criteria for being a slab. I cut 16, plus all the trim was made into cracklins and one slab was cooked as a crackling pork. The other 6 were frozen for a later date as I had a crammed full cure bucket as it was,. As always I cleaned an disinfected my good brine or wet cure bucket. Now I used Pops wet cure. Why, well with all the portioning, weighing, and converting from American values to base 10, gives me a headache. And daily turning? Pfft.... Someday I'll try it, I say that everytime as I get out the cure bucket....LOL Nothing special I filled the bucket with the cure mixture, I left 'em in 3 weeks instead of two reallife caught up to me. Then when I started to smoke 'em I had smoker problems, Its always something! If you have a doubt where, this is what I believe Pop says. Curing Times “Curing times vary with meat, but generally overnight to 2-3 days for chickens and turkeys, 8-10 days buckboard bacon, 10-14 days belly bacon, pork shoulder, whole butts, 3-4 weeks whole hams, 10-20 days corned beef (fresh beef roasts, briskets, rolled rib roasts, etc.) If whole muscle is more than 2" thick, then inject so it can cure i/o as well as o/i, and/or in and around bone structures, etc.” They were so tight in the bucket I was moving 'em around once a week at least to ensure no missed spots. I took 'em out rinsed and dried 'em, then set 'em under the fan to form a pellecle. Sorry about the picture my eyes were all blury and bloodshot! Due equip problems todays smoking unit will be the MES30 w/ the Masterbuilt cold smoke attachment. Preheat to 275, vents closed and no smoke. So I then throw in the meat (After the pellicule is formed) note the probe is only sampling the chambers temp. I open the vent completely, and leave the door cracked and start the de-water stage for an hour. After the hour, I insert the probe in the middle of the smallest piece on the top shelf, turn on the smoker, and regulate the vent. The thinest piece on the top shelf will always have the highest IT. Look at that nice smoke! and the vent? Regulating the vent is about the only thing we can take credit for. Its also why I can get so long a smoke out the AMP's as well as the cold smoker. Sure i could just throw it open but I like to feel like I am actually apart of the smoking process....LOL So 6 hours at 108 IT and the pecan is starting to work its wonders. Just a bit of color. So thats 6 hours of smoke, one hour of dewater, and about one of preheat. I pull it, bring it in and remove the rind or skin because at a IT of 108 it cuts off so easily. You know I don't think I am finished. Awhile back someone taught me about "double smoked". I have tried it a few times on andouille, smoked sausage, and of course hams. People here go absolutely crazy over it. I quit double smoking my andouille cause it was costing me a fortune! LOL Since I have removed the skin, I figure maybe tomorrow I'll smoke it again to ensure a good coverage on that virgin fat left when the rind was removed. The masterbuilt smoker = 10 degrees in the MES30. As for the rind, I have a pound of pinto beans cooking with some rind in them. Mmmmm...... Pinto beans, mustard greens, fried taters, and a pan of corn bread! I feel like Jr. Samples in the Hee-Haw Cornfield.... Yum yum! Will take some more pictures tomorrow.