Apple cured Canadian Bacon w/ the Q-view- Part One & Part Two. Completed

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by smokeydokey, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. Hello All,

    My local grocery was having a great sale on whole bagged pork loins, and as it happens, the wolverines I call my family, wiped out my Canadian Bacon cache over the Holidays. I have always done my Canadian Bacon similar to my Buck Board Bacon and Belly Bacon, Dry cured, but finished with an overnight apple cider or apple juice brine to plump up the finished product.

    This time, I thought I would try things a bit differently and take you along for the ride, if you have any interest. I started out with Pop's "brine for any occasion" as  starting point, but of course, I couldn't help myself and tarted it up a bit. I really like the apple juice finish as it adds both moisture, and a nice flavor profile. Since the Ph of Apple Juice is pretty high, my feeling was the acid level will make it safe for a longer brine cure, so here we go...

    Here is my recipe:

    2 quarts apple juice

    2 quarts filtered water

    1 Cup white sugar

    1 Cup Brown Sugar

    3/4 Cup Sea Salt

    1 oz. Cure #1 (Pink Salt)

    6 fresh Bay Laurel Leaves

    1 1/2 Tablespoons whole Allspice

    2 Tablespoons Whole black Peppercorns

    8 # whole pork loin

    Whisking the wet ingredients together.

    I have the great fortune of being able to grow a Bay Laurel tree in my yard. I love using it's leaves, they are so ridiculously fragrant and delicate. here are some freshly picked and washed leaves, along with the Jamaican Allspice and Black peppercorns for the brine.

    After mixing the wet ingredients, I reserved about a pint for injecting into the loins, which I had cut in half for ease of handling. I used a brine injector for the first time on this project, and was very taken with its performance. It was very interesting to watch the loins plump up before your eyes while the brine goes in. I will pose the question to the group now: since I have injected the loins with brine, can I reduce my curing time? the conventional wisdom is to hold cuts of this thickness for 12-14 days of curing. Can I cut that down since I injected the meat so thoroughly with brine?

    My new brine injector found inside the Cabinet of Dr. Calgari. Barbaric, but effective. After injecting, I then placed the loins in the 9 quart plastic container I use for this kind of operation:

    Before retiring these to the beer fridge, I placed two ice packs into a new 1 gallon ziplock bag and placed that over the meat to keep it submerged in the brine, then placed the cover on and into the reefer.

    Heres the start of it. I will post in a couple of weeks with the rest of what I end up doing. I will probably cold smoke for a few hours since the weather is amenable, then hot  smoke to bring up to a 140 IT prior to slicing.

    If one of my more learned bretheren would fill me in on curing time question, I would be very grateful.

    Thanks for looking.

    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
    disco likes this.
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    [​IMG]   I 'll be watching to see how this turns out. I used Pop's for my last batch of bacon and was thinking about using apple juice in the brine too. Can't wait for your results!
  3. I have used Pop's brine a number of times and have always been satisfied with the results.  I too found pork loins on sale this past Friday and picked up two of them.  I have been trying to decide what flavor of Canadian bacon I wanted to make this time.  I like your recipe and will be doing exactly the same thing with most of it.  After I trimmed all of the fat and silver skin, I had 9.2 pounds in four halves.  I have them all tied up in order to improve on the shape of each piece and will be injecting about 12 ounces of the brine in the four pieces.  After the brine process, I may cover one or two of them with a bit of honey and crushed peppercorns before I put them in my smoker.  By the way, Pop says that you can brine for something like 42 days before the meat begins to degenerate, so I plan to leave mine in the brine for about 12 days even though I have injected them.  I am not in a hurry for the finished product.  If I have misquoted Pop somebody will correct me I am sure.  Good luck with yours and I will be watching for the finished item.  I recently lost my bay laural but I will be planting another as soon as possible.
  4. I left the thin fat cap on mine, which I usually do, I smoke with it on top, and it usually comes off in 1-2 pieces after smoking, and it seems to help retain moisture. I admit that it's ugly, but I like the results. You may also try maple syrup as a finish. It really permeates the meat and does not tend to get gooey.

    Good luck with your tree. I lucked into finding the perfect spot for mine ( a shady spot away from our AZ summer sun) and it has thrived. I find that home cooks and chefs really appreciate a branch as a gift. if placed in water on the counter, the leaves stay beautiful for over a month.

  5. OK Sports Fans! Here is the rest of the Smoke for you:

    I intended to pull the loins after 11 days, but life being what it is, I ended up with a 14 day cure in the brine.

    I forgot to include this shot of the brine with ice packs in a ziplock holding the injected loins under the brine

    After pulling them out, I did a thorough rinse, and did a test fry for salinity... there was none... it was just perfect out of the brine as is with just the rinse, I was pretty well shocked to be honest. Afer the rinse, I put them on paper towels and my favorite tool for blotting, the trusty Shamwow ... (Yes, they really, really work) After blotting up all the excess water from the loins, I re-racked them and put them in the fridge over night uncovered.

    The next morning into the cold smoker with equal amounts of apple, cherry and hickory in my AMNPS for an 8 hour cold smoke (along with some sweet Vietnamese chicken and pork sausages just because)

    After the cold smoke, I put them in the hot side of my MasterForge  set up and gave it heat and more apple smoke until I reached an internal temp of 140F. ( About 2-3 hours with the temp running between 175-240F)

    Pulled from smoker and let rest, covered in the fridge overnight until It was time for slicing.

    Remember I left the fat cap on for the brine and the smoke. Prior to slicing, I removed the fat cap with sharp boning knife and about 2 minutes of work. Made for very nice end product.

    Sliced, shaved and pink all the way through.

    This was about my 6th run at Canadian Bacon, and by FAR the best results. Using a variation of Pops' wet cure really worked on this. The apple juice added wonderful flavor, and it was certainly high enough in acid to make a good addition to the brine. The Bay leaves, Allspice and Peppercorns all added a subtle flavor of their own, and these were just plumb, and as delicious as can be.

    The morning of the "Big Slice", I shaved some of the CB and toasted some "Everything" bagels, schmeared a dollop of Rainbow Valley Farmers Cheese on them, topped with the CB and Soft steamed eggs from my neighbors hens. Much Porky goodness for breakfast! ( If you live in the Phoenix area, Rainbow Valley is a small (2 person) handcrafted butter and farmers cheese concern. They sell at some of the local farmers markets. WELL worth looking them up! They make Whiskey Butter... Do I really need to say anything else?)

    Thanks for looking.

    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  6. Yumm!  [​IMG]
  7. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Smokey, That's the Bomb right there! Those two pictures are some of the BEST I've ever looked at on this site!  What a fantastic ending to a good smoke!
  8. robbieh

    robbieh Fire Starter

    I've only ever made/smoked chicken, wild turkey, venison and summer sausage.  Had a failed attempt at brats. lol.  Anyways, I'm here right now reading about making and smoking bacon.   When the time comes for me to try Canadian bacon, I have this thread bookmarked!    Great thread, excellent pics and descriptions.  Thank you!
  9. Brilliant presentation. Have you ever done this with pork bellies? If so, did you cold or hot smoke and to what temp. Again, a great presentation and can't wait for your answer I give it a try.
  10. atomicsmoke

    atomicsmoke Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Awesome pictures, especially the one with the spices.
  11. twoalpha

    twoalpha Smoking Fanatic

    This is nice. Thanks
  12. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Terrific looking back (Canadian) bacon. Great thread. Great qview!



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