Here is a summary of how we cure and smoke our pastured pork bellies. The detailed information is found in Basic Butchering Butchering of Livestock and Game by John J. Mettler.
Create a wet brine solution by mixing 8 pounds salt, 2 pounds sugar and a teaspoon of Cure #1 (yes, we use a tiny bit of sodium nitrite, but it prevents us from worrying about botulism). Use 5 gallons of hot water to dissolve the above ingredients and let cool. Cut pork belly into smaller chunks and cure in solution for about 21 days, turning every few days. We use food grade buckets with tight sealing lids and store them in our basement where it is cool. Make sure bellies are submerged by weighing down with a heavy plate.
After curing, hang the bellies to allow to dry, usually 3-5 days. After drying, we cold smoke them in an old barbecue using a hot plate set on low, a cast iron pan with moist, maple shavings covered with heavy duty aluminum foil. We smoke during the day for about 3 days.
For storage, we vacuum seal the smoked bellies and put them in the deep freezer. When ready to use, we thaw the bacon and soak in water for a couple of days, changing the water twice. We just find that they are a bit salty otherwise. We should play with the curing solution and diluting it more, but we don’t want to risk our meat spoiling.
Slice, fry and enjoy!