Is it just me or did that seven day curing process seem more like seventeen days!? Well the time has come to remove each newly cured pork belly from its respective ziplock baggie and rinse it off well under cold running water.

Rinsing Bacon

Once completely rinsed I am going to place all four bellies on a wire cooling rack set overtop of a baking sheet pan with edges. I will put the pork bellies back into the refrigerator over night uncovered so that the surface can dry. This is especially important if you plan on smoking your cured pork bellies or bacon. Once the surface dries it will become slightly tacky that which will allow the smoke to adhere more effectively. This is called forming a pellicle.

Bacon on rack for drying overnight

Tomorrow afternoon I am going to smoke the savory-style bacon as well as the maple cured-style bacon however, not the fresh-style bacon which was only cured with the Salt, Sugar, Pink Salt cure. I am going to leave this one alone and utilize it in a few classic dishes that require fresh bacon such as New England Clam Chowder and authentic Boston-Style Baked Beans.