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Thread: Canadian Bacon

  1. #1
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    Canadian Bacon

    I've previously made Canadian Bacon using a wet cure. When the local megamart had half pork loins on sale I picked up two and decided to try a dry cure. I measured out a goodly quantity of salt, Prague #1 salt, and sugar for a basic cure. Then I carefully weighed the amount of basic cure for each loin and applied it. The loins were then tightly covered in plastic wrap and put in zipper-top bags in the refrigerator for about nine days. I turned them daily (well, almost daily). Yesterday I took them out to soak and get them ready to put on the smoker tomorrow.

    Here's the issue. One of them looks just like I expected - a dark reddish pink color. The other looks rather like a regular pork loin. After soaking for about 90 minutes I cut a small slice from the end of the not-so-reddish one and cooked it to test for salt level. It wasn't very salty. I'm guessing I somehow managed to scatter or leave on my hands enough cure that it didn't get the cure it needed. I didn't get sick from the little piece I ate and it tasted like pork so I'm guessing it will be safe to eat, though I'm a bit concerned about how long it will keep after smoking.

    Any thoughts on what might have gone wrong? Or am I being concerned about nothing in regards to the color?

  2. #2
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    When I do mine I just spread the appropriate amount by weight, my cure ingredients are already weighed and pre mixed.
    Sometimes the meat doesn't come out real pink, but it is cured all the way through, and has a certain "stiffness" that raw meat doesn't have.
    After it's smoked cut a slice and check it again. If it's not cured properly you should see a whitish or grayish section in the center.

  3. #3
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    I smoked the Canadian bacon today. Just fried up a small piece from the one that didn't look right. I don't know if it's proper Candian bacon, but it was awfully darn tasty. And that was on a stomach full of pizza. I can only imagine what it will taste like first thing in the morning when I haven't eaten in twelve hours.

  4. #4
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    Kind of quiet around here so I thought I'd share this photo of yesterday's efforts on the smoker.



    These spent the better part of two weeks in the refrigerator with a dry cure. I did something different with the cure on the one in the middle but after two weeks I'm afraid I've forgotten exactly what it was. I guess I should keep notes. The outer ones got just a basic sugar/salt/Prague#1 cure with a little bit of sage mixed in.

    I did something a little different with the fire this time. I built a two-briquette-wide snake around the perimeter of the WSM and lit two briqs to get things going. I left all the vents wide open. Given the colder air temp yesterday this gave me a smoker temp of about 90F for the first couple hours. I didn't want to stretch this to a two-day cook so I then added more briqs near the current advance of the fire down the snake. Eventually I added even more charcoal and then had to close down the bottom vents to keep the temps from running away. All told they spent about five hours on the smoker.

    I think next time I'll plan for the higher temps when I lay out the snake, widening it after the first 6-8". Or maybe do one line down the center that branches in both directions when it hits the edge.

    Haven't tried this batch yet as I want to give it a couple days for the smoke to penetrate.

  5. #5
    TVWBB Emerald Member Len Dennis's Avatar
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    Looks real tasty but: why do you tie it? There is no bone in there (to be removed so that tying would be required). UNLESS you got the sirloin end and not the rib end
    So many recipes, so little time
    : Genesis gas grill 18.5" WSM Maverick ET-732 :

  6. #6
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    One of the pieces had a small flap that would have been dangling without tying. They all would have flattened out, not that there's anything wrong with flat Canadian bacon. I just prefer the somewhat rounder shape.

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