2. Remove the Skin

The bottom of a pork belly usually comes with skin (rind), which will be tougher than the rest of the belly. (It also blocks the absorption of the cure and smoke flavors.) Commercial smokehouses remove it using a slicing machine. At home, you’ll have to work a bit harder. Start at one corner and use a sharp, slender knife to separate the skin from the meat and fat underneath it, angling the knife blade toward the skin. Better yet, ask your butcher to skin it for you.