The slab of belly has been sitting in the fridge uncovered since Saturday morning. Here are some pics.
This is a pic of the belly using the camera's flash. Notice how the light shines on it. That's not moisture causing that shine. The surface of the belly is pretty dry. What's making that great shiny surface is the pellicle that has formed.
The pellicle does three main things. It helps to prevent the fat in the meat from rising to the surface and spoiling; it provides a good surface to hold smoke and it also helps to seal in moisture.
I got a late start today on the smoke process. I will post some pics of it as soon as I can.