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First attempt at Canadian Bacon - W/ QView

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
I was inspired by forluvofsmoke's thread about his first Canadian Bacon so I thought I would follow his lead and give it a go.

I followed his recipe and directions:

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

Only difference is that I did not have dried bell pepper so I used 3 Tbsp of fresh green bell pepper instead.

I picked up just about 8 lb boneless pork loin and divided it into 2 slightly less then 4 lb pieces. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the meat is not too salty at the end of this :)

Full Cryo'd Loin

Divided and trimmed

Curing in a vacuum sealed bag (what a pain in the ash it was to get it to seal right).

I've been turning the pieces and massaging them for a week and 1/2 now. Going to take them out on Sunday and get them on the smoke. Can hardly wait. Will post more pics on Sunday and let you know how it turns out.
post #2 of 33
Nice, look forward to see how it turns out..
post #3 of 33
let me know how it comes out. I Luv Can Bacon.
post #4 of 33
Looks like it should turn out great!
I hear ya on the vacuum seal bags, they can be a real pain if you have a bunch of liquid in them.
post #5 of 33
Yea those food sazers are a great thing to have and a must too. But it is a pain when you have liquid in them. But you should be in for a treat this coming weekend so don't forget the Qview.
post #6 of 33
Thread Starter 
I won't forget to put up Qview, promise! Hoping it comes out OK, planning on bringing down to my folks house for Thanksgiving.

Thank you for the encouraging words.

post #7 of 33
Only difference is that I did not have dried bell pepper so I used 3 Tbsp of fresh green bell pepper instead.

I picked up just about 8 lb boneless pork loin and divided it into 2 slightly less then 4 lb pieces. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the meat is not too salty at the end of this :) (quote from Chris)

Very nice looking start! You're doing great, so keep it rolling!

I'm very pleased that you decided to give it a shot. You'll do fine, and the CB will be a hit, too...my family and co-workers all were impressed with this stuff.

I should have mentioned it about the dried green bell pepper, as it's not a widely available ingredient: using fresh diced is a great idea...fresh spices are better than dried anyway, when you can use them. Good call on that one, and a "bulls-eye shot" from the hip, Chris!

The vac sealing can be a PITA, for sure, but well worth the effort just in the savings of cure agent and spices...you use far less than doing an immersion in a container for brining.

I recommend you do an ice water soak for an hour prior to smoking(changing water 2 to 3 times), and the salt content should be perfect for most anyone...I did 45 minutes, and I wished I went another 15, but it's still a very good end product...it was just a tad salty...and I like low salt.

You'll love this stuff, so will your family!

I'll be checking for your updates, so let us know of any concerns you may have.

Have fun!

post #8 of 33
Looking good so far...PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #9 of 33
Thread Starter 
My only other concern was the weather, but Sunday looks like it is going to be cloudy, in the 50's low chance of rain so I should be good to go.PDT_Armataz_01_12.gif
post #10 of 33
Looking great Downstate !
You'll love it.
I'd do an hour soaking in cold water before you even fry-test it, and I'll bet it'll be pefect & ready to smoke.

I use zip-lock bags for curing, but I dry-cure my bacons, but you wouldn't have the problems you have with the juice getting sucked in your machine. If you don't trust a zip-lock, just use a bigger one than you need and keep the zipper side UP.

Just my 1 1/2 cents,PDT_Armataz_01_01.gif
post #11 of 33
Thread Starter 
What do you use to hold/keep your bacon out of it's juices when you are doing the dry cure or do you just wrap it tight in plastic wrap? I've been looking for a non-metal tray i can put at the bottom of a plastic container I've got to keep the bacon elevated off the bottom of the tray and out of it's own juices. I would then empty every day or so.

Thoughts? I'd like to try this for around Christmas time.

post #12 of 33
I don't keep it out of it's own juices. You need that to stay. Some of it is cure that will still be absorbed over the rest of the days. By the time it's all cured, there is very little juice left in each bag.

All I do is put the right amount of cure (1 TBS of TQ per LB) & brown sugar on each piece, massage it in a little, and put each piece in it's own bag. Then I squeeze most of the air out of each bag by hand & finish the zipping. Then I lay them flat in the fridge, with the upper half of the bags folded over, with the zipper end on top (in case the zipper would want to leak). Then I flip them each every day, massaging them a little (lovingly---LOL), and keep the zipper ends up. Then at the end of the curing time, I dump them out of the bags, rinse them off, and soak them in ice water for an hour. Then I take a couple slices of a couple pieces & test fry them. So far I never had to soak them any longer---they have been perfect.

From there I season them with pepper, garlic & onion powder, and whatever, spread them out in my meat fridge, unwrapped & uncovered, and let them dry over night. The next morning it's SMOKEEEN TIME !

Hope this helps,
post #13 of 33
Good Looking CB!
With hog slaughtering taking place the day after T-Day, I've already got dibbs on the bellies this year, so I've been poking around all of the Bacon and C-Bacon postings to get ready for a regular and canadian bacon smoke as I picked up some really cheap loins at Sams.

Since I seem to have all of the experience baconneer's here, I thought I would ask a question on the brine time for Canadian Bacon. The soak times are not always in the posts. I read on that said only 5 days, and I believe this one says a week and 1/2.

Just seems to me that a CB would have to brine at least as long, or longer than bacon...

I'm going to try the basic TC, brown sugar, and maple syrup on my first batch.

If any one has info on the brining time, I would appreciate it.
post #14 of 33

Never Tried

I've never tried to do any bacon. Waiting for the final q/view.......
post #15 of 33
I hate to be impatient but can ya hurry this up a bit? Kinda dangerous keeping a fat man away from pork! PDT_Armataz_01_12.gif
post #16 of 33
Good question,
I'll give you what I was told on this forum, and it has worked perfectly for me:
I do a "dry cure". If you're planning on floating the meat in a bucket, it would be different.
I use 1/2 ounce (one tablespoon) of TQ, & 1 TSP of brown sugar per pound of meat in each package.
Rub that stuff in real good on all sides. I do this on a plate. That way any stuff left on the plate, I scrape off and put it in that bag with that piece of meat. That way I still have the right amount of cure on that piece.
Measure the thickness of the thickest part of the meat (belly, loin, butt).
Divide that thickness in half.
How many "one quarter inches" are in that?
Then add 2 days.

3" thick pork loin divided by 2 = 1 1/2".
There are 6 "one quarter inches" in 1 1/2".
Then add 2 days.
6 days plus 2 days = 8 days.
8 days would be the minimum length of time to dry cure that piece.
I like to add a day or two to that myself, because the veteran smokers told me you can't over-cure, but you can under-cure.

I have two Boston Butts dry curing now (3 1/4" thick), and I think I'll leave them in for 11 or 12 days, even though they should only need 9 days.
The fridge temp should be between 36* and 40*---No higher/No lower.

If I got anything wrong here, someone yell !

Hope this helps,

PS: I also flip the individual packages over & massage them every day (lovingly).PDT_Armataz_01_22.gif
post #17 of 33
Bearcarver - Thank you!! That's exactly what I needed.
Downstate - Thank you for your original post.
You two guys kept popping up in my research, so thank you for the inspiration - I can't wait to try this and get the family back to curing our own bacon and hams. My grandpa used to do it all - straight out of necessity, then at some point stopped and now just doesn't have the energy. Talked to him a little about this, and got the o'l guy fired up again, so that's priceless.

I will be using the dry cure - not brine. Rooky flub on the details.

I feel I kinda hijacked this thread with my questions, but it was due to the awesome pictures and process from you guys.

Again, thank you. It will be a few weeks, but I'll track it along the way and be sure and post when I do this. Found an online butcher store and ordered 8 bacon hooks yesterday and a package of TQ.

post #18 of 33
You're very welcome.
I'm just trying to give back to this great forum, so much was given to me, and it continues.

post #19 of 33
Thread Starter 
Total brine time has been 13 days. As I said at the beginning of the post I'm sort of duplicating what forluvofsmoke did on their first Canadian Bacon. The size of the loin seemed to be about the same so I just went off the timing given in that post. No real scientific process there. I will refine once I taste this one and get it going.

I understand. I'm getting a late start this morning. I was out late with friends that are in town and hadn't done the tourist thing in NYC before so we took them out to eat in a good Italian food, a comedy club, and a couple of bars. It was fun, but tough getting up this morning. Once I catch me some breakfast I will start the grill and start the soak on the loins. Qview will follow I promise.

THANK YOU to everyone that has commented on this post. I'm glad that so many people are interested.

post #20 of 33
Thread Starter 
ok Here is some Qview for all of you who have been following:

Post Rinse, Ready for a test fry. The sweet is on the left, the spicy on the right.

A couple of pieces in the pan for the taste test.

They came out too salty even after 1 hour in cold water, changed every 20 minutes.

Out of the pan. Looks a lot more like loin then canadian bacon. Doesn't have the texture of CB but does taste good. Too salty though, so I put in the cold water bath for another 40 minutes, changed out every 20 minutes.
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