Originally Posted by Sean "Puffy" Coals
All you bacon pros out there: Is it better to season your bacon during the cure using dry chile powders or during the smoke with a mop? Also, when you rinse off the cure, how thorough should you be? I was pretty thorough and got off most of the seasonings and spices- I think this may have resulted in a weakened flavor. Or, maybe it was the extra day of soaking. Or both?
Your question was timely...I emailed Michael Ruhlman about the same thing...he responded this morning...
His response was brief but to the point..."only soak if too salty".
So...I guess if you are wanting spice...add enough during the cure (that is trial and error)...and be careful with the salt. Try to get it where soaking won't be necessary. I personally hate the idea of a belly getting all happy in chiptole and ancho for 6-7 days...only to wash it all (or much of it) away later.