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Canadian (back) bacon - Bearcarver's dry cure - updates w/Qview

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

OK, so I get the mods done on my vertical offset smoker, and I'm ready to rock n' roll.  One of the first things I want to try is bacon, but I'm still trying to find a good place to get pork bellies (quotes from $3.49 to $4.99 / lb so far).  So I decide I'll start with some Canadian bacon, I can get a pork loin at BJ's for $2.19 / lb.  I'll use half for bacon and the other half for some nice thick chops.


I want to try both dry and wet cure, so I cut the half into halves, which gives me 2 pieces about 6" wide by about 3" at the thickest part.  I've got one injected and sitting in Pop's brine, that will be ready in 3 weeks (I'll make a separate thread for that).  The other half I want to try Bearcarver's bacon cure, thinking that should work for canadian bacon, too.


So here's where I start to outsmart myself.  I start thinking that I should try a couple of different types of smoke, so I cut that piece in half.  Now I have 2 pieces about 3" wide, one weighs 1lb 6oz, the other 1lb 9 oz.  I weigh out the TQ in separate paper plates (1/2 oz per lb, so .7 and .8 oz on 2 different plates), rub it in real good first, then rub on some brown sugar and some maple sugar rub I've been dying to try.  I follow his directions precisely, and they've been sitting in individual ziplock bags in a 38 deg fridge since Monday.


So I calculate the time using 3" thickness, which is 6 "half inches".  I day per half inch, 6 days.  Add 2 days like he says, and have maybe a couple extra days leeway on the timing.  I did this last Monday (10/14), 8 days would be next Tuesday (10/22), ok with another 2 days, so on Thursday I'll rinse, test fry and set in the fridge until I can smoke on Saturday.  Should be good.


Here's my question.  I looked at little closer at these last night, and while they're 3" wide they were from the end of the loin that wasn't as thick, maybe 2 or 2 1/2 inches.  I can't smoke these until Saturday, and now I'm worried that they'll be ready sooner (6 days, instead of 8).  Should I follow my original plan even though they're not as thick, or should I rinse sooner and leave them sitting in the fridge for a couple of extra days?  Can I 'over cure' them?

post #2 of 24

Swede, morning....    Here's the long answer....   When curing using a "rub" type cure, sodium nitrite is 62,500 Ppm nitrite.....  That has been rubbed on the outside.....  Now the inside has 0 Ppm nitrite....  After curing for the recommended length of time, it is a good idea to rinse the meat and dry the surface, then let the meat rest in the refer for the meat to come to equilibrium concerning the salt, cure etc...  You hopefully will get a homogeneous hunk of meat...  How long ?? I have no idea... Just explaining some physics....  



post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 

So I decided to rinse of the Canadian bacon last night.  This is what they looked like coming out of the fridge:



Rinsed them off real well, cut up a couple of pieces and did a fry test.




Tasted AWESOME!.  Both wife and son thought it was great, actually had to 'test' another piece, just to make everyone happy.  They're back in the fridge now, won't be able to smoke until Saturday, I hope that isn't sitting too long.


Should I wrap them back up, or are they ok sitting for 4 days open in the fridge?  I could probably smoke them tonight, but I won't have a chance after that until Saturday.

post #4 of 24

They will be fine in the fridge for 4 days. Make sure you take them out a few hours ahead of time to form a pellicle on the outside before smoking. You just know it is going to be great when the test fry is good before delicious smoke is added.

post #5 of 24
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Todd, just cutting my teeth on this, so I'm a nervous newbie.  I did real small pieces using the rubbed on TQ, so I wouldn't feel too bad if I ruined them.  I have a 3 1/2 lb chunk of loin in Pop's brine, that will be ready to smoke the week of Nov 4th.  Wanted to do a little bit of each, to see which we liked the best.


Thanks for all of the help from you and everyone here, never would have even attempted this without all of the posts and input.

post #6 of 24
Looking Good!!!
post #7 of 24
Thread Starter 

OK, it's time to smoke!  Going to cold smoke one piece for 4-5 hours with apple, then get the other piece in the smoker, work the heat up to about 200 until I get to an IT of 145.  It's kind of cool today (42 F), with winds steady at 20-30 mph, gusts to 50.  First time with any real wind, we'll see how that affects the smoke today.


Here they are ready to go:



Getting the AMNPS fired up with apple pellets.  I've heard others say the apple pellets are hard to keep burning on their own, and I've mixed them with oak or hickory before.  But this time I'm going to try just apple and see what happens.



Here it is in the smoke.  Looks pretty lonely in there, but we're still trying to figure out how much smoke we like on this stuff.  Once we dial it in I'll commit to larger batches.



Be back around noon with more.

post #8 of 24
Thread Starter 

OK, time to crank up the heat just a little bit and get the other piece in there.  Removed the AMNPS, got some lump burning and put the other hunk of bacon in there. Just getting the smoker up to about 130-150 to start, will add more heat in another hour or so




Got the TBS rolling


post #9 of 24


I just now found this thread.

Sorry I wasn't here for your questions. You could have PM'd me.




post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 

Hey Bear, it's no problem.  But thanks for the offer, next time I will.  Got them out of the smoker an hour ago, ready to sit in the fridge overnight.  Looking good so far.



post #11 of 24

Those look like you did a great job smoking them. Your in for a treat tomorrow!



post #12 of 24
Ohhhhh. I want to try cb.

Looks good. Waiting for sliced pics.
post #13 of 24

Looks really good!


Let us know how they taste!



post #14 of 24
Thread Starter 

Sliced and wrapped up.  Gave some to my folks, the rest in the freezer for now.  Had a few pieces, I have to say it is the best CB I have ever had.  Did not try the piece that I cold smoked first, will need to try a couple of pieces before I smoke the piece I have in Pop's brine (I'll post another thread for that).


I would like to thank @Bearcarver for posting his recipe for the dry cure bacon that I used for this.  I never would have been able to do this without that information.



post #15 of 24

Looks Great Swede!!!


And if you sliced that by hand, you have some Fine Ninja Skills!!!




post #16 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hehe, even still have all my fingers. I can't even describe how great this stuff tasted, thanks so much for taking the time to post your instructions.
post #17 of 24
Originally Posted by WaywardSwede View Post

Hehe, even still have all my fingers. I can't even describe how great this stuff tasted, thanks so much for taking the time to post your instructions.


You may have tried this already:

Since you smoked it to at least 145* IT, you can eat it cold.

However I like to throw it in a hot greased frying pan, and flip it around until the outside surfaces are bubbling a bit. It really brings out the flavor.

It's nice that you don't have to take the chance of burning it, while trying to get it to 145*, because it's already been there. All it takes is some warming.


Glad you like it,


post #18 of 24

That looks great nice job.

post #19 of 24

Great Looking CB!!! Really nice color!!

post #20 of 24

Stunning bacon. Well done.



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