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Been hankerin for some fresh smoked back bacon (Canadian Bacon) as it has been awhile and the supply had run dry. This recipe is a compliation of many that were researched and works equally well in a wet or dry brine. If used as dry brine just grind the spices with a bit of the salt. This time I did the wet brine. Take a whole or half pork loin and trim the fat and silver skin to allow better access for the spicy brine to get into all of the meat, and it is pretty healthy.

The first image is actually a pan seared (with a little oil) piece of the cured meat before smoking; Canadians would call this peameal bacon (sans the peameal). I like to do this to taste test the product before smoking; if it seems too salty at this point you can always extend the rinsing process to dilute the saltiness.

Canadian Bacon

4 quarts filtered water
1 cup kosher salt
5 bay leaves
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp whole cloves
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp whole Juniper berries
1 tbsp black peppercorns
Pink salt cure #1 (amount/weight of meat)

Prepare brine by first mixing dry ingredients with 1 quart of filtered water; bring mixture to a boil then reduce to a low simmer for 10 minutes. I usually wait to add the cure at this point but it probably doesn’t matter that it is added with other spices and heated. You could use a premixed pickling spice blend for the spices as well.

Submerge meat in the brine using a non-reactive container or large zip bag and refrigerate for 7-11 days; squish it around daily to keep spices distributed.

After brining, rinse in clean cold water and soak in ice-cold water for an hour to remove some of the surface salt. Pat dry with paper towels and, if you want, apply light coating of rub before smoking.

Smoke at 220°F until meat reaches an internal temperature of 140°F - 145°F. Allow smoked meat to rest and cool, then refrigerate overnight or 24 hours prior to use; this allows the moisture in meat to redistribute and the flavors to meld. Slice 1/4" thick for standard Canadian bacon and portion in vacuum sealed bags for freezing or gifting.

Meat in brine and ready for fridge:

Rinsed and ready for the rub:

Rubbed and ready for smoker:

Smoked, sliced and ready to eat:

Moist and tasty; melt-in-your mouth goodness:

Last edited {1}
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I make Canadian bacon pretty much as you do, but last year I brined a couple of loins in Smokin's Holiday brine. They were only in for about 24 hours, but darned if they didn't come very close to the same product as the 10 day cure. Pink to the center and quite tasty.

I'll still do it the other way most of the time, but I can satisfy my CB needs faster now if don't want to wait.
OK, finished the Canadian Bacon. My wife LOVES this! We both think its some of the best we have ever had. I do have a question though. The bacon was in the cure for 13 days, I rinsed with cold water and then soaked in ice water for about an hour. I then patted dry and rubbed with maple syrup and allowed to dry to form pelicle overnight. Then I lightly dusted with Butcher's Honey Rub (I might delete the rub next time). Smoked with 2 oz wood half and half pecan/apple. Smoked at 220* and pulled each piece as it hit 140*, temp coasted to about 144* after pulling. The bacon was VERY moist, but a little saltier than I would like, but not unpleasent and my wife thinks its true to form for canadian bacon. Would Soaking longer remove a little more salt and not affect the cure? As you said, I allowed it to "set" the moisture overnight in the 'fridge before slicing (less a a couple of "samples"...). I vac packed portions and ended up with about 6 packs less, samples and breakfast this AM.

Just out of the cure after 13 days.

Smoked and ready for slicing after overnight rest in 'fridge.

All Sliced.

Up close and personal.....

Thanks TN Q for a great recipe, very easy and very tasty... if you can stand the wait Wink
Last edited by mike4258
Mike, your results look really great. Glad the misses enjoys it. I wouldn't hurt to change the water and soak longer to reduce the salt. What I do is slice off a piece after the soaking and pan fry to see if it taste like I want (at this point it is peameal bacon); if saltier than desired just soak a bit longer. After making a few time you will get the feel for what works to your liking.

I have a question on the Pink Salt cure #1 amounts. The amount is dependent on the weight of the meat, right? I am unsure of the ratio, did some research and found this reference by weight

the amounts are pretty low per pound compared to other recipes that I have seen.
One example is the Pastrami made in the "DLS" method (I have followed this recipe and it is excellent)
That recipe for a 7# flat has 8 tsp of curing salt. The reference table would be just shy of 2?

With a warning stating "more is not better and it can be toxic" I want to be clear before proceeding.

Thanks in advance
Ok, the first batch turned out so good that I decided to do a whole pork loin (as per the February 12 post). Well after 15 days in the cure, I rinsed the loins off and submerged in ice water overnight with one change of water. The bacon turned out not salty at all, but I think the fresh water soak was too long. I did not put any rub on the pieces of meat, but I did rub with maple syrup and smoked with about 3/4 oz of hickory. Smoke was about right and I ended up with 13 packs of bacon (less, SEVERAL samples and a good portion to my neighbor). Now the pictures.

Out of the cure, patted dry.

Freshly smoked

all sliced

packaged for the freezer

Had to go to 3 markets to find the juniper berries, quite a pain. I started a 6# pork loin brining on Sunday and I just realized I didn't trim the fat off it (duh) although it didn't have that much anyway. I'm expecting this can be done post brining although it would have been easier prior. I was also wondering if a 7 day cure would suffice as I like to do much of my smoking on the weekends.
Is it possible to reuse this brine mix? Take some out and go right back in for the next batch? As long as it is refrigerated would there be enough seasoning to cure two batches?

Any difference in end product if you use the whole loin? (dark and white meat) I would think the dark meat would tend to soak up the seasoning faster???

I will be trying this recipe soon.
This thread had me motivated to get some going too. I don't get any pictures to turn out but I thought I'd share my experience.

Since I had some Dizzy Pig rubs on my shelf, I started with & varied a recipe from their website.

1 gallon water
1.25 cup TQ
1 cup brown sugar
5 garlic cloves
1 tsp black peppercorns
3 bay leaves

I let it brine for 7 days. Rinse & half hour soak in cold water.

Rubbed with Dizzy Pig Cow Lick rub. Smoked at 225 deg with hickory & pulled at 145.

I like the addition of the rub but it might stray too far from traditional Canadian Bacon for some because of the peppery bite.
personally, I like to control the salt and cure separately. The 1 cup of salt works for me when brining a whole loin and I adjust the cure per the weight. I also realize some folks basically double the cure in a brine, which is probably not an issue. TQ, as I understand it, contains both nitrites & nitrates; 1 cup of TQ is equal to 1 cup of salt and the nitrites in 4 tsp of #1 cure. Using 1 1/4 cups of TQ in a brine doesn't seem that excessive to me but it depends on the weight of meat and timing as well.
Well, I pulled mine out of the brine and rinsed lightly coated it with Butcher's Honey Rub.

I used the brine and instructions just at TN Q Posted.

Smoked in my FEC at 225 using Cookshack Hickory Pellets to an internal of 145 and sit in refrigerator overnight.

Pulled out today, slcied and now have them Vac-Sealed in packs of 12 slices

Pic 1

Pic 2

Pic 3
I Think they are good. A hint of the spice, a hint of the smoke, and a good Pork taste!

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