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1st: Canadian Bacon w/loin, 1 Spicy, 2 Regular- q-view

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
You folks got me...hook, line and sinker! Canadian Bacon is my all-time favorite pizza topping...I can't wait to have a combo salami/CB sammie with it.

I started with 2 full loins, partly frozen. The recipe/process was from some brain storming lastnight, and researching here and elsewhere. I'm pretty excited about this, as I've been wanting to do it for 6 or 8 months.

Canadian Bacon Brine & Cure for 4-5# Loin, vacuum bagged for curing:

Spicy Brine/Cure:
3 cups water
6 Tbls Tender Quick cure
1 Tbls dried green bell pepper, powdered
4 Tbls brown sugar
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ Tbls mild smoked paprika
2 whole bay leaves
½ Tbls ground cinnamon
1 Tbls black pepper, powdered
Regular Brine/Cure:

Omit the cayenne pepper and cinnamon
Mix all ingredients while heating in a saucepan to ~180*
Rinse loin well with cold fresh water and trim as desired.
Chill brine/cure solution and add to bagged loin. Vac-seal, removing as much air as possible and chill @ 32-35*. Massage and turn over bag at least twice daily. Cure for a minimum of 3.5 days per inch of meat thickness. Rinse and soak in clear cold (33-36*) water to remove salt as needed.

The 3 all went into the fridge at 10:00 AM this morning. I made up the solution @ 8:30 AM, and set outside for chilling this morning, as it was sub-freezing outside.

Partly frozen loin, halved, ready to start trimming:

All trimmed out and ready for a final rinse, then into the bag with brine/cure for sealing.

This is the spicy brine/cure:

I didn't take pics of the regular as the coloring is very close to the spicy.

I'm planning on curing until 11-07-09, for a 13-day soak. Then rinse and do the fry pan test.

I might post a couple pics of the cure progress later on if there is a notable color change of the brine or meat surface.

Until then, thanks for all the great CB threads everyone has posted...I plan on doing this often. I'll be ordering a 4.3 cu ft fridge in a week or two just for storing my thawing/curing meats in throughout the year. Man, it's gonna be a great 2nd year for me on SMF!

Thanks again!

post #2 of 27
Nice! Looking forward to the progress pics.
post #3 of 27
Now thats a good looking cb. Thats the only thing I don't like about bacon and other things we cure. You have to wait for aleast a week before it's done and ready to eat. So do about 6 of them so them you wont have to wait long for one. I have one in the cure and a couple in the freeser.
post #4 of 27
Looks great, can hardly wait to see the final product...
post #5 of 27
looks real good-I sure like playing with flavors-have 10#s in cure for next sunday-good luck on your bacon Eric.
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks Dawn, I'll be patiently tending the cb as it cures. Hopefully I did the mix just right...we'll see.

Thanks Mark. It is quite a wait and takes up some fridge space, but the potential of the outcome I think will be well worth it. Right now, I don't have the fridge space, but I do have an automotive thermo electric cooler and power supply. It has a cooling fan for circulating air and I've got a wireless digital thermo sensor in it so I can make sure it won't get too warm. It's been holding steady at 31*...a bit chilly, but I'm shooting for extra cure time anyway...should work out fine. I also have a digital thermo with min/max readings in the cooler, so between to two of them I'll have some extra assurance that all is well.

Thanks Paul. Yeah, I have to keep thinking "wait for it", knowing it will seem like an eternity sometimes.

Thanks Bob. I did want to try a couple different seasonings so we could decide which we liked better, and then I'll develop it more from there. And, until you try different things you really won't know what suits your taste the most. It'll be a fun process for sure! I plan on eventually making enough varieties of cb flavors to have a combination that we'll all llike.

Thanks all! This is gonna be a fun ride!

Oh, I've turned and massaged the CBs 5 times in the first 23 hours...more than I needed to, but it sure can't hurt anything. Colors are unchanged at this point as I expected.

post #7 of 27
Looking good eric.I have done 2 shooterrick style.

First one cured 5 days and was good,but wanted more cure color(PINK).

Next one was 10 days and was too much cure.Go figure.

Next one i think 7 days-It is awesome stuff though!!!!
post #8 of 27
Great looking CB. I'm keeping an eye on this to see how it comes out as I was going to try this to bring with me to Thanksgiving this year.
post #9 of 27
Looks good Eric, the hardest part is waiting on the cure. I'll bet it will turn out great!!

post #10 of 27
I'm waiting to see how this one turns out also.........PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif
Eric , i'm right with you on the pizza topping.
I'm also a sucker for CB and poached egg on a English muffin. YUM !!!
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 

Progress Update!

Thanks, yeah I read a few posts where salt content was an issue, so I decided to lighten up on the TQ and allow lots of extra curing time. I'll see in a week if my theory/methods/recipe is what I am looking for.

Thanks, that sounds like a great treat for sharing with family and friends over a holdiday get-together! Be sure you take pics of the process to share as well, as they may not believe it's not store bought...heh-heh!

Thanks Dave, I'm not having any trouble with self control on this project, 'cause I know it will be well worth waiting for.

Thanks. The CB on pizza I think is the best meat topping ever...not greasy and so much great flavor. The English muffin w/CB & egg is a winner, too!


We're right at 6-1/2 days into the cure, and I noticed yesterday morning that the loins are beginning to firm up quite a bit already. I felt this again last night. I think I'm right on track with the amount of TQ and cure time. I've got another 6-1/2 days of curing time yet...that's when I'll be ready to finish the CB in the smoker.

Here's a look at 'em just a few minutes ago:

The coloring is darkening alot on the surface, so with that much change, I'd say I've got a good thing goin' here.

Man, I got to get busy...I have more meat thawed and waiting to get the cure treatment...I'll post that up when the time comes.

More to come on the CB in a week!


post #12 of 27
Tic-Toc says the deliciousness countdown clock.
post #13 of 27
What did you use to vacuum seal it that didn't suck the liquid/brine out as well as the air?
post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
Yeah, it's starting to set in on me now...I'm sitting here on my last day off before going back to work for 4 days...drooling with anticipation...as I know my next days off is D-day for the CB.

I have a Seal-a-Meal vac sealer (a cheapo) and I used the wide (gallon size) rolls of bags for these. You cut them to whatever size you want. I cut the first one a bit shorter than I really wanted, then the next two I made longer with room to spare.

When I vac-sealed them, the sealer has a dry/wet setting and an internal tray to catch liquids. The wet/dry setting compensates for vacuum levels and sealing temp/time on the poly bag. I held the bag over the edge of the counter hanging upright, then vac-sealed while working the loin/brine to help remove air. It pulled about a half ounce or so of brine into the spill tray when it stopped. You just have to dump the tray and rinse before starting another one.

I did have to pay close attention to the process, as it will at times start to seal the bag before it has the air removed, so I just pull the plug on the cord and plug back in to restart it. I'm thinking about installing a master power switch to handle this problem.

Anyway, works great once you get accustomed to how they work. Each brand is probably very similar, but will have somewhat different charactoristics of operation.

post #15 of 27
Good lookin start! I dry cure my CB myself but know brines work great and you should be pleased. Like you fridge space is premium. Our current fridge will be replaced soon cause Sandy wants one of those bottom freezers and more space overall. The old one is going in the storage room for me! LOL
post #16 of 27
Thread Starter 
Thanks Rick! I thought about doing the dry-cure method, but I often wondered if I'd get an even coverage without using excessive amounts of TQ mixed with a dry rub of brown sugar and seasonings. Time-wise, it may take longer for a brine, but I felt more comfortable with the brine getting a more consistant cure, and having somewhat less salt content in the meat when finished curing.

If my theory is correct, I'll be on track at the end of the cure, though I may be going a bit long on the cure. Maybe 10 or 11 days would be better...we'll see in a few more days. I may try the dry-cure another time as I get more confident with the process. For now though, I really want to see this brine/cure to the finish...man, the anticipation...

Yeah fridge space is a big issue right now at our house. Heh-heh, that's how I got my outdoor kitchen Q-fridge...my wife ordered a new one (26.5 cu ft), wanted to sell the old 21 cu ft (well, only had it 4 years...ice/water equipment went bad). Anyway, I told her I (we) needed more firdge/freezer space anyway, so why not keep it? Couldn't have sold it for what it was worth, and with the ice/water problems, it's worth even less. It works fine as a standard side-by-side, except it is basically in shut down mode with the colder weather (sub-freezing @ night), so I have to keep my eye on the freezer temps so it doesn't get too warm. The fridge space is just used for dry storage right now. It's not cold enough for a freezer, too cold as a fridge.

The small 4.3 cu ft fridge should be a great addition for my newly discovered love of curing meats. And, it didn't cost me any out-of-pocket money, as I ordered it with a gift card from work, which I get every 3 months. I can always get another fridge in 3 more months the same way, too, if I really get carried away with curing meats. icon_mrgreen.gif

Anyway, it's gonna be a great load of fun my next days off...I'll have 3 types of cured meats to smoke...CB, beef salami (started curing lastnight) and ground beef for jerky (thawing now for starting the cure tonight or Monday)...I can hardly wait!

post #17 of 27
Looks great - can't wait for the final product!!

post #18 of 27
Thread Starter 

Smoke is on!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks! Smoke is on now!!! biggrin.gif

I did a fry-pan test from a slice of the spicy CB...my wife said it was just a bit salty, and I agreed. Flavor is very unique, so far. Can't wait to get 'em smoked up!!!

I un-bagged all three loin halves and soaked in fresh cold water for 45 minutes, changing the water twice.

Here's the spicy brine-cured after removing from the brine, no rinse:

And after rinsing and cutting:

Loaded 'em all into the GOSM with some other goodies:

I'm smoking with apple/cherry over charcoal fire. Temps were running in the 150* range for the first 30 minutes or so, as I am fighting some vicious winds today, and still learning how much coals to start with in weather like this. I'm shooting for the 225* mark. I need about 6# to get temps up...I need another chimney so I can get more coals going at the same time...ordered it a few days ago and should be here after the 11th this month.

More to come!

Thanks all!

post #19 of 27
Thread Starter 

Smoke is over, waiting to slice has begun...

Wow! I can hardly wait to fire up the slicer!

The regular recipe half loins:

The Spicy quartered loin...(this was a half loin cut for fry-pan salt test)...OK, this is really dark on both sides, and the only additional things added to the brine-cure was cayenne and cinnamon...gotta love it though:

The surgeon on call has been notified and his staff is ready for the morning procedure...(slicing)...LOL!!!!!!! icon_mrgreen.gif

Until then, thanks all!

post #20 of 27
Everything looks GREAT !

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