A little over 8 or 9 days ago, I picked up several pork loins that were on sale. I decided to make some canadian bacon out of it.
For the brine, I used kosher salt, cure#1 and a combination of Splenda & Splenda/Brown sugar blend. I'm using splenda in place of ALL sugar as I'm hoping to lower the glycemic index load a bit.
After seven days of soaking in the brine—and daily loin rotation— I pulled the pork from the fridge. Several cold-water soaks & rinses, I netted up the loins, gave them a good brushing with beaten egg yolk, and hung them overnight in the fridge to dry.
Almost ready for the smoker:
Sharing the Ride: While waiting for the loins to drip-dry, I went ahead & made a six-pound batch of kielbasa that'll be smoked at the same time as the loins. After an hour of no smoke (at 120°), I then began applying hickory smoke.
One hour in:
I began applying heavy smoke for the next 90 minutes. By about the 4th hour, I pulled the kielbasa (they'd be finished in a water bath).
3-hours in. Getting good hickory 'red' color...
I continued to raise the heat gradually over the next 4 hours, topping out at around 180° while still applying light smoke.
When the IT reached 154° (after nearly 12 hours), I pulled the loins & plunged them into an ice-bath & rinse until they cooled.
Next I let them hang for a bit before wrapping them up...
I've a new toy coming in a few days that I'd like to use to slice up the bacon. So until it arrives, my plan is to wrap up the loins in plastic wrap & refrigerate until it shows up on my doorstep.
Meanwhile, though, I decided it was only fair for the chef to sample the goods before I put them away for a few days.
The bacon is very nicely balanced between sweet & salty, with a very not-so-subtle hickory taste. This will 'mellow' a bit as it sits.
My son gave it a big thumbs up!
Slicing & food-saver bagging still to come....