Make another batch of bacon from 10lbs of pork belly. Tried all kinds of combinations of rubs during the 10 day fridge cure, and all kinds of combinations of woods during smoking. Also tried the combinations oven baked, pan fried and deep fried.
SlNot so obvious conclusions:
Best rub? Didn't really matter. Not worth the effort.
Best wood for smoking: Cherry Wood ... hands down. Fantastic smell and taste.
Best cooking method: Pan fry and oven bake were a draw. Deep fry took ALL the smoke flavor out.
Woods used: Hickory, Mesquite, Pecan, Apple, Cherry, Bourbon Barrel.
Smoke time: 6 hours (cold smoke)
Cure time: 10 days, fridge, cure salt + kosher salt.
Rubs: Cajun, Black Pepper, Mustard bbq, Texas BBQ, Creole, none.
After cold smoking, brought to 150F for 4 hours.
Sliced each combo and test cooked 2 slices with each cooking method.
Bacon for a year!
Putting my engineering degree to good use.
Heres a pic pre-cure.
I wanted to fit all the samples on the cutting board but ran out of space. Also ran out of ambition for another pic with them. Too much like work. The plain, salted ones were used as a control for the smoking portion.