After nearly a year hiatus from any sausage-making or smoking of fine meats, I was finally able to get back into 'it' with something relatively easy— Canadian Bacon!
I had about 12 pounds of fresh pork loin—3lbs went to making a large batch of Chile Verde—the rest I claimed for smoking.
I created a brine of kosher salt, brown sugar, molasses, bay leaf, black peppercorn, whole allspice berries, and Cure#1.
I cut there loin into 4 manageable hunks and submerged them in the brine. After 5 days, I pulled the loin and soaked & rinse them in fresh warted for a day. A couple of fried slices to taste-test: no too salty, a hint of sweetness, slightly 'hammy'—good to go to the smoker! First I netted and hung them overnight in the fridge to dry & form a good pellicle.
Next day: Into there smoker with no smoke for the first hour @ about 100-110°F.
For smoke; I'm using my A-Maze-n tube with a pit master's blend of pellets, plus some applewood.
Here they are about an hour or so into the smoke:
I slowly ramped the temps up to eventually land @ 180°F in the last hour or so to bring the IT up to 152°F.
Getting close after almost 9 hours...
I pulled the loins at 152°F and plunged them into an ice bath. They were then hung back in the fridge overnight to firm up and mellow.
NEXT DAY: Showtime!
The bacon was nice and firm to the touch and sliced beautifully. The flavor is outstanding! A hearty 'smokiness' to this bacon that just can't be duplicated by those supermarket CBs. Richly sweet & slightly salty...my taste-testers all stated this batch was my BEST CB I've made, so I think I'll keep the recipe.
It feels good to be back at the smoker again—especially if the results turn out so dern tasty!