I have been making back bacon (Americans erroneously call it Canadian bacon) since I started smoking, a couple of years ago. In that time I have been trying to get a real maple flavour in my bacon without success.

I was injecting some wings (thanks to Scarbelly and his wing recipe). As I was doing it, I was wondering why you couldn't inject a pork loin with maple syrup as long as you included a curing brine and gave it long enough in a curing brine to make sure it cured all the way through. An experiment was born.

I bought two 2 pound pork loins that were on sale. I didn't want to make too much in case it didn't work.

I made up some modified brine (thanks to Pops for his basic recipe). I modified it to introduce some maple syrup. I need to make 3 litres (3/4 of a gallon) to have enough to submerge the loins. Here is the brine I made up:

125 ml (1/2 cup) kosher salt

175 ml (2/3 cup) sugar

90 ml (1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon) brown sugar

90 ml (1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon) maple syrup

11 ml (2 ¼ teaspoon) Prague Powder #1

enough water to make 3 litres (3/4 of a gallon).

I took 125 ml (1/2 cup) of the brine and mixed it with 60 ml (1/4 cup) maple syrup. I injected the mixture into the pork loins in several places.

Of course there was a little blow back!

Then I submerged the pork in the brine and let it sit for 2 weeks in the cooler. I did stir them around every couple of days.

I pulled the pork out of the brine, rinsed it well and dried it with a paper towel.

I let it sit in the cooler overnight and then put it in my Bradley smoker at 140 F with no smoke for 2 hours to ensure I got pellicle on the surface.

I set up my mini for a cold smoke. I was making some smoked cave aged gruyere, edam and old cheddar at the same time so I added ice to my mini and used my A-MAZE-N Pellet smoker with apple and pecan dust.

I cold smoked the cheese and bacon for 3 hours.

I took the bacon out of the cold smoker and put it in the Bradley electric smoker at a temperature of 150 F over pecan smoke. I increased the temperature to 170 F after an hour. I increased it again to 190 F after another hour. I increased it to 200 F after another hour and continued to smoke until the internal temperature was 150 F.

I let the bacon sit in the fridge for 2 days for the flavours to blend. Then, it is sliced. I’m sorry, I forgot to take a picture when I sliced it two days later.

**The Verdict: **Eureka! This has a real nice taste of maple. Not the candy maple taste of commercial products, a real nice mellow maple flavour. This is now my favourite recipe for back bacon.

Disco

Edited by Disco - 7/21/14 at 2:38pm