Back (Canadian) Bacon with Molasses.

Discussion in 'Pork' started by disco, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have now made several batches of back bacon (Americans call it Canadian bacon). I have enjoyed them all and they are better than the commercial products. However, one of the downsides of the home made version was it seemed to over brown in the frying pan and was easy to burn. I blamed this on the sugar content in the dry cure or brine in the recipes I've tried but I like a sweet overtone in my back bacon. I decided to try a different sugar combination and take some out of the recipe. I noted others have used molasses on their bacon and it has a lower sugar content than an equivalent amount of brown or white sugar. So, I modified Pop's Brine by taking some brown sugar out and adding some molasses. It worked!

    Pop's brine recipe is in the post:

    I changed it to:

    1 gallon water

    2/3 cup kosher salt

    1 cup granulated sugar

    1/2 cup brown sugar

    1/2 cup molasses

    1 tbsp Prague powder #1

    The pork loin I had was quite thick so I started by injecting it every inch or so and then put it in the brine for 14 days.

    I took it out of the brine and rinsed it well. I dried it with paper towel and put it in the fridge overnight. I put it in a 140 F smoker for 2 hours without smoke to develop the pellicle. I took it out of the Bradley and left the door open for it to cool down. When it was cool, I put it back in the smoker with my AMNPS loaded with apple dust to cold smoke. I also had picked up a block of cheese so I threw it in to smoke too. After 3 hours, I took the cheese out. At four hours the one channel of dust had burnt out. I turned the heat up to 200 F and loaded the AMNPS with a mixture of Oak and Cherry pellets. It took another 6 hours to get to an internal temperature of 145 F.

    I put it in the fridge for a day and then sliced it up. It had a great texture and a nice pink colour. I sliced it up with my trusty old ham slicer knife, wrapped it in cellophane and the put it in large Ziploc bags.

    I fried it up with a slice from my last batch. The last batch is on the right. They were both put in the pan at the same time and you can see the sugar caramelizing on the prior batch while this batch just browned nicely. I love the taste too! 

    foamheart likes this.
  2. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Awesome looking loin Disco!
  3. goliath

    goliath Smoking Fanatic

    BEAUTY "EH" ......
    wonderful looking stuff !!!!!
  4. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks! I think I may have found my final back bacon recipe.
    It is good there are others on the forum who know what back bacon is! Of course it was cold enough I had to wear a tuque. 

  5. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looks great Disco! I love the sweet savory flavor of molasses with bacon.
  6. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great pink color .
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks just right Disco----Bet it tastes even better !!!!

  8. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, Todd. It is nice. I tried maple syrup and even maple extract but I think I will be going with the molasses from now on.
    Thanks, C. I think the injecting really helps with that.

  9. shtrdave

    shtrdave Smoking Fanatic

    Okay first off where are the pics of you with the tuque on? The bacon looks great, I have only dry cured in the past but may have to try your recipe.

    As for molasses did you use, light, dark, blackstrap? I use blackstrrap for a lot of things but it isn't as sweet as the light or dark.
  10. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Who says an old fart can't learn new tricks?

    Beautiful color must be the cherry!

    The molasses has a lower smoke point I did not realize that, course I am just an old country boy.

    I still like how you get your Backstrap vice our Loin cut.

    Looks great man, looks like you knocked that one out the park! Great job on it.
  11. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You asked for it.

    The molasses is Crosby's Fancy. It is their highest grade of dark.

  12. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks Foamheart. This is the first time I injected the loin. The loins here are right on the edge of where you must inject. I've not done it before and it turned out fine but I think the internal colour was way better with injection. I will be doing it all the time from now on. 

    bearcarver likes this.
  13. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dang it!  I missed this post.  I think my auto post tracking thingy got messed up.  It dropped Ol' Foam a few weeks back and now Disco!

    Anywho….   Big D this looks awesome!  Big fan of molasses. My relatives in Arkansas use to make candy out of it when I was a young tot.  Great memories of visiting them. Our family was the " City Slickers"  LOL

     Prague powder #1? Is that a cure of some kind or a Canadian VooDoo powder? 

  14. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

     Har. Prague Powder 1  is the same as Instacure 1 or pink salt. When Canadians do Voodoo, we use rye whiskey.

    As for molasses, I always liked the taste but I am pleasantly surprised how well it goes with the bacon. 

    I was a city slicker from Vancouver and them moved to this community 22 years ago. To this day, the locals still think of me as the guy from the big smoke.

  15. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That is beautiful stuff!

    Haven't tried Molasses yet?  I usually use pure Maple Syrup.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  16. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, Venture. I have tried pure maple syrup and maple extract. It just doesn't add much maple flavour, is more expensive and the bacon still over-browned. It might be my proportions but I think I will be sticking with molasses.


Share This Page