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