OK, so it's been a few days but I finally got the time to vac-pack everything and get the rest of the pics up.
Here are the bacon pieces after smoking and chilling in the fridge over night.
Slicing was easier than I thought it would be, thanks to my new 12" Victorinox slicer. I wasn't able to slice very thin, but I like it thicker anyway and that's what my boss wanted too.
Gratuitous mound o' bacon shot:
I fried up a piece of regular and hot to see what they taste like- they were both pretty good but I think I like the hot a little better.
The smoke flavor was prominent but not over powering. There was very little salt, which is likely due to the extra long soak. I couldn't really taste the maple flavor at all, so I decided to add some to each bag before vacu-packing.
Overall, I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out, considering this was my first time curing and cold smoking anything.
Home-made is definitely far superior to store-bought bacon- the texture is soft and almost creamy compared to the gritty, rubbery texture of mass-produced.
Some things I would do differently next time- make sure I have the day off for the smoke. I had a lot of other things to do and I couldnt monitor the temps as closely as I'd like to. I had a couple of big flare ups where the temps in the smoker got ove 300*.
I'd also like to do more glazing with the syrup to get more maple flavor into the meat. The 2 applications I did just weren't enough.
And definitely not soak more than 1 night.
Anyway, thanks for lookin!