Smoked another hunk of Canadian bacon this weekend, this was the other piece I had from the loin I got awhile back where I tried some using Bearcarver's dry cure. This piece weighed 3 lbs 2 oz, and I had put in a bucket with a slightly modified version of Pop's brine:
To a gallon of water I added:
1 oz cure #1
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tbs garlic powder
1 tbs onion powder
1 tbs dried maple rub
I injected the loin, as it was about 3" thick, with a little over 4 oz of the cure mixture. I put in about as much as I could (it was actually oozing out of the loin), then put the loin in the brine with a gallon ziplock filled with water on top to make sure it wouldn't float. I placed it in the cure on October 14th and put it in a refrigerator that stays between 36 - 40 degrees. I pulled it out every other day to check and stir the brine, and to flip the meat over. I pulled it on November 1st, dried it, put some cracked pepper on it, and left it on a rack in the refrigerator to dry.
I pulled it out of the refrigerator on November 2nd and let it air dry for 2-3 hours to get a pellicle formed. I placed it in the smoker with just the AMNPS using apple pellets to cold smoke for 2 hours. I then added 2 chimneys of briquettes with some apple chunks to get the smoker up to about 150-180 for an hour (temp outside was in low 40's with light rain), then added another chimney with a couple more apple chunks which got the temp up to about 200. After another hour I added some lump and a couple more apple chunks and maintained the smoker temperature at about 220 for the duration of the smoke, about another 1 1/2 hours. Total smoke time (after the initial cold smoke) was just a little shy of 4 hours, I pulled the bacon when the internal temperature got to 145.
It's a bit too sweet for me. I'm thinking this could because of the maple syrup, or because I didn't use much salt. Also, on reviewing my notes I see that I used Kosher salt for this, which doesn't pack as tight. I will echo what everyone else says about trying to get a maple flavor into the bacon - don't bother. But I'm pretty stubborn (you can always tell a swede, but you can never tell him much), so I needed to find out on my own. Even with that, it is better than any Canadian bacon I've ever purchased, so it will definitely not be going to waste. Next time I think I'll still use 1/2 cup of salt, but I'll use sea salt instead of Kosher, 1 cup white sugar, 1 cup brown sugar and leave the maple stuff out completely.
I didn't get any photos in the brine, but visualize a bucket. Here it is out of the brine with pepper on it, ready to sit for a day in the fridge:
Out of the smoker:
Sliced (not very steady this time, should have placed it in the freezer for awhile to firm it up a bit) with a fried up sample to test:
Thanks for looking!