**insert really long and dumb story about my life and homemade bacon here**
okay, now how to make it! I do have quite a few highlights on how to make this on my personal instagram under the highlights titled something to the likes of "homemade bacon"
Wards Bacon Cure
1 pork belly
1 bottle of high quality maple syrup
1 bottle of musket powder
¼ cup kosher salt
¼ cup brown sugar
Cut the skin off the pork belly with a sharp knife. A helpful trick is to freeze it for about 30 minutes to harden the pork, makes it easier to get a precise cut. Set the skins aside (they are really good to season up and fry in the skillet, pork rinds). Smoother the pork belly in high quality maple syrup. Mix salt and sugar together, cover every inch of belly. Cover the hell out of it with musket powder, you probably do not need to use the whole bottle but that depends on the size of the belly. Get every single inch of surface, crack, cranny, etc.
Cut the belly to fit in the vac seal bag. I usually save the trimmings and freeze, the hunks are PERFECT to throw in a pot of beans or chili. Vac sealing the belly is best, if you don’t have that, put it in a zip lock and try get as much of the air out as possible. Place in the fridge. Flip the belly every single day for 7-10 days.
If you do not have a smoker, or the time, set your oven to 225 F and bake until the center thick portion of the belly reads 150 F. Make sure to put a pan of water in the oven.
If you have a smoker, set up the smoker for indirect heat. Place a water pan next to the coals for steam. I use pecan chips, but hickory, apple or maple will also be fine. Smoke until internal temp of belly is 150 F. Remove and let settle for a half hour. Cut a small sample slice off and cook in a skillet. Place in freezer for a half hour. Pull out and slice how you desire. I slice it up into half lb increments and vac seal them separate.