Part one got dropped. I’ll repost it some time, but it was just brining the pork belly and frying up a small salted slice. It had the taste and texture of a pork chop. Not at all like bacon, not at all crispy, and it had a fairly grey color without much browning.
I took a slice from the experiment brine bag, the one with the liquid smoke added. I made sure to vary the thickness so I could see how different thicknesses cooked. After one day of brining, I noticed a significant difference in texture and taste. It actually had some of the crispiness to the fat that you’d expect, even in the thicker sections. It seems that after even one day of brining, it improved tremendously.