The time had come. I had a beautiful pork belly on my hands from Miss Maggi and Michael Ruhlman's Charcuterie, some pink salt(nitrate/nitrite haters read Mr. Ruhlman's solid rant about the truth here - hint, you've been having them all along even if it says NO NITRATES) and Bruce Aidell's Complete Book of Pork. The planets had aligned.
During my cooking day with Ali we had mixed up Ruhlman's basic cure for bacon and we popped it in a cambro and tucked it away in the fridge for a week to rest up, tighten up and exude away.
During the week I ordered some wood chip, more like sawdust from here.
On Sunday I pulled it out of its resting place, rinsed the cure off and patted it dry.
I filled a half steam table pan (one of those grocery store disposable aluminum pans) with some of the wood shavings,1 pint of hickory and 1 pint of cherry, lit a few briquettes in the chimney and laid them on the shavings.
The grate went on the porky goodness was nestled on top. The vents on the top and bottom of the grill were open and I popped in a thermometer to ensure it hung in the 80-120F cold smoke sweet spot.
Husband and I continued our PURGE of the basement in anticipation of laying a new floor and periodically I would check the pig. A few times I had to add a few more white ash briquettes and shuffle things around and once or twice I think the temp might have climbed to the high 130's, but generally over the 5 hour period it was pretty consistent.
Here she is in all her smoke lacquered, porky, piggy, beauty resting and waiting to be sliced and eaten. I will NEVER go back again. This was hands down one of the easiest, highest gratification projects I have tackled. Go on, you know you want to make it.