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Thread: Dry Cure Canadian Bacon

  1. #1
    TVWBB Guru CaseT's Avatar
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    Dry Cure Canadian Bacon

    Our local restaurant supply had pork loin on sale a while back so I picked up a few, okay 5.



    Each weighed 10-12 pounds. I cut them all into quarters and vac packed all but 4 for future use.

    I prefer to dry cure bacon rather than wet cure it in a brine. I use the cure calculator that is found here:
    http://diggingdogfarm.com/page2.html

    I have never found any meats that I have made using Digging Dogs calculator to be too salty and I never have to soak the meat prior to smoking. I weigh each hunk, place each hunk on a piece of parchment. I write the weight and the proper cure amounts on each piece of parchment.



    Each hunk was placed in a vac pack bag and sealed, though not vac-packed. Typically I would use the 1/4" per day rule plus 2 days for the cure. However a family emergency came up and these ended up curing for 18 days.

    After the cure I normally let the meat rest in the fridge uncovered for 5 days. Because of the delay I went straight from cure to smoker. Each piece was dusted with white pepper, cracked black pepper, paprika and garlic powder.

    I wanted to cold smoke for 4-6 hours then hot smoke but I was so far behind that I went for a 120° pit temp for two hours, then 170° pit temp until the loins hit an IT of 150°. All total took about 12 hours with 8 hours of cherry smoke.

    After smoking I let the bacon rest uncovered in the fridge for 3 days before slicing and packaging.



    Here's a piece from a loin that had a bit more fat in it.







    Ended up with 18 packs with 6 pieces in each package. Most of which is gone as I gave away all but 6 packages. Good thing I have more loin in the freezer!
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    TVWBB Guru Pat G's Avatar
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    I'll take some of that Case, looks tasty.
    Performer Deluxe(Copper) Genesis Gold B(Redhead) 18WSM 14WSM 26 OTG 22 OTG JJ Q1200 Gas & Charcoal Go Anywhere, Vortex, Kettle Pizza, Smoke

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    TVWBB Guru CaseT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat G View Post
    I'll take some of that Case, looks tasty.
    Thank you Pat.

    It's tasty stuff I was snacking on the end hunks while I was slicing it up.
    18.5" WSM, 14.5" WSM, (4) Mini-wsms, Mini-Za Oven, Minitisserie, GOSM Big Block, 1967 Casa Q

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    You mentioned cold smoking before hot smoking. I've got three hunks of cured Canadian bacon in the makin' and a new A-Maze-N pellet smoker tray that's just aching to be broken in. Also just got some Fruita Wood fine chips that I'm told will work fine in the cold smoking tray.

    In previous attempts the closest I've come to cold smoking the Canadian bacon was to run the smoker at ~90F for a couple hours before putting the spurs to it. This time I'm thinking of getting a fair bit of cold smoke on it and then letting it sit for a couple days before doing the hot smoke. Two questions -- Does this general approach make sense? If it does, how long should I cold smoke it? I was thinking of letting it cold smoke as long as I could without going crazy about it. Maybe 10-12 hours. Is that too much?

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    TVWBB Diamond Member Len Dennis's Avatar
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    Did good on that smoke! Hard to find whole loins up here anymore since our last big-store "butcher" closed up shop. Yes, they actually had a meat counter with real butchers. Could get the ribs and tenderloin as part of the whole package. And not pre-packaged either. Wrapped in butcher paper.

    Now can only get cryovacced halves.

    FYI--the pic you show "more fat", that's the sirloin end. The other end (with zero internal fat) is called the rib end.

    Great work. I'm really jealous. Only time I tried with a cold smoke, it was still too high. When we went to re-heat slices for meals, well they were on the leathery side .Now it's just brined, cut and fry. No smoke. Still good though.

    Thanks for posting your success story.
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    TVWBB Guru CaseT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayHeyl View Post
    You mentioned cold smoking before hot smoking. I've got three hunks of cured Canadian bacon in the makin' and a new A-Maze-N pellet smoker tray that's just aching to be broken in. Also just got some Fruita Wood fine chips that I'm told will work fine in the cold smoking tray.

    In previous attempts the closest I've come to cold smoking the Canadian bacon was to run the smoker at ~90F for a couple hours before putting the spurs to it. This time I'm thinking of getting a fair bit of cold smoke on it and then letting it sit for a couple days before doing the hot smoke. Two questions -- Does this general approach make sense? If it does, how long should I cold smoke it? I was thinking of letting it cold smoke as long as I could without going crazy about it. Maybe 10-12 hours. Is that too much?
    When incold smoke bacon I will usually do 6-8 hours, let it rest over night then do another 6-8 hours. Rest again then smoke again 6-8 hours. Ending up with 18-24 hours of smoke. When done I let the bacon rest for 5 days in the fridge loosely covered. Then I portion it out and vac pack for the freezer.

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    That's a level of dedication to the final product I'm not sure I'm up to. Thanks for the info. I probably won't go for three smoking sessions but at least I know 8 hours of cold smoke won't be too much.

    I may try the portioning and vacuum packing this time. I don't have remotely as much as you had but it's still hard to get through a whole loin before it starts getting a bit gooey. Even if I don't freeze it, the vacuum packing should extend the shelf life.

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    That Canadian bacon looks absolutely delicious!
    I think I need to go try and get a piece of pork loin again....

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    I cold smoked the Canadian bacon on Sunday using fine chips I got from Fruita Wood. I did 3 parts apple and 1 part post oak. I think I may have packed it too tight around the first corner. It burned fine along the first column but went out trying to make the turn. Next time I'll have to be more careful about maintaining a loose pack all the way around.

    The cured loins were on for about six hours. I took advantage of the cold smoke and extra room to smoke some cheese too. I did a few pounds each of extra sharp cheddar, medium cheddar, and Gouda. I left the cheese on a bit longer this time since last time I didn't think it picked up enough smoke.

    The Canadian bacon is on the smoker cooking right now. I used more apple and a couple small pieces of pecan, mostly because I could. First time I've had pecan and was anxious to try it. I'll post again when I have some results.

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    Wanted to post an update about my latest Canadian bacon effort. I did three variations -- one with plain cure, one with cure plus ground sage, one with cure plus sage, paprika, and cumin. I did six hours of cold smoke with an apple/post oak mix. Rest for three days, then hot smoke to an internal temp of 155F using apple and pecan smoke woods.

    Today I tried the sage/paprika/cumin version. To my taste it has a depth of flavor I've not seen in any of my previous attempts. The smoke flavor is prominent but not at all overpowering. This is the first time I've tried the cold smoke phase. I will definitely be doing that again. The one negative this time is it seems a bit too salty. In the past, after the cure phase I've always soaked the bacon in clear water for 20 minutes, changed the water, and did another 20 minute soak. This time I just rinsed them off under running water. I think I'll be going back to soaking. The salt level isn't terrible, but it's noticeable. It's a minor point though. Overall I think this is my best effort yet.

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