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Canadian Bacon Questions.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
So, my first smoker attempt will be a CB on my MES. (While I wait for my sausage making supplies to arrive). I have a few questions...

I have read many of the CB discussions, lots of good info, but I am also a little confused.

I am in the process of Dry Curing a 7lb Loin to make CB, went in fridge last night. I plan to cure it about 8-9 days.

I have read that the cure (TQ at 1TB/lb) penetrates at 1/4in per day. My problem is how do you estimate the diameter of the loin.
The loin I have is wider than it is tall, about 5in wide by 2.5 in tall at the largest section.

Q1)So, do I use 5in as the max diameter? I can also force the loin into an even round with my hands and the diameter is more like 3in.
Seems like 3 in is the right number, but wanted to not risk being wrong.

Q2)Also, the CB I see in the store is typically round. I thought I read that someone suggested tying up the loin to make it rounder, does this work?

Q3)Finally, I read different opinions of how long to rinse/soak the CB after the cure, and also some people let it sit 24 hours in the fridge afterwards, but others don't. Any thoughts on which way is best?

Thanks for any help.
post #2 of 9
I think you are right with the 8-9 days i would soak for 2 hours change the water soak 2 more taste the water if it is still salty repeat until its not salty. Put in fridge over night then smoke her off I hope this helps.
post #3 of 9
Figure it at 3 inches if that's what it is when it is sqeezed round. When you wrap it in plastic it is going to be round and this gives you a good average. 3 inches to center.... 6 to 7 days cure... that's pretty much the average for a loin. 8 days isn't gonna hurt. I'd rather cure a little longer than not enough.

When you wrap it to cure in the plastic, wrap it tight with a few layers. This will make it round if you want it to be round.

I've done it both ways. Honestly I can't really tell the difference. Mortons instructions call for an equalization period that I think is much more important with large hams and such. It's nice to know I have that window of time in case I can't smoke the CB the day I get done curing. It's one of those things you have to try for yourself and see if it makes it any better for you. It doesn't hurt it, but I'm not sure to how much it enhances the flavor or cure. If I were to say anything it is that the saltiness is less after an equalization period. That's just my opinion though.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help.

I did not wrap in plastic, I vac seal bagged it. I suppose I can try tieing it up when I smoke.

I have 2 options for how long I cure, given when I have free time to do the smoke.

Option1 is plan on smoking next Sunday. That would be about 8 days cure + 1 day rest, then smoke next Sunday.

Option 2 is that my next free day to smoke is the following Weds. that would be more like 11 days Cure + 1 day rest.

Any problems with Over-curing? Is 11 days way too long?

Thanks for all the help. I really was nervous about this stuff till I found this website. Lots of great info and help.
post #5 of 9
i would go with 8 days
post #6 of 9
I'm sure you'll get more input here as I'm not an expert on CB but I do keep some going almost all the time.

As far as it being round.... it's purely cosmetic. This isn't going to effect the cure or the flavor.

By vacuum sealing your going to actually expedite your curing process. I have heard over and over again you can't over cure and I have left things in to cure way over the time period suggested with no ill effects in flavor. I'd suggest the pan fry test before you start smoking to make sure you have lowered the salt content to your liking. I've done enough of it to feel confidient in my times without testing each batch. If I were you given your options I'd pull it out of the cure at day 7 and rinse. Give it the fry test and rinse some more if too salty... then let it sit in the fridge until your ready to smoke it as long as it is within 3 or 4 days.
post #7 of 9
Reeko, I am in the exact same position. I put mine in the fridge last night. I am using TQ with garlic and onion powders. I also did the vacuum seal.

My plan is to pull them and rinse and soak next Thursday night. I will do the fry test and then let them rest until Saturday morning.

I hadn't considered round verses flat. Interesting. I have cut a full loin into 3 shorter sections to make them easy to handle. I may tie one up before smoking and see what the difference is. We'll have to compare notes when done.
post #8 of 9
As far as width & thickness goes, I would measure the thickest part of the loin from top to bottom.
Look at it this way---The same rule would go for a belly slab. A piece of belly could be 14" wide by 22" long by 3" thick, and it would be the 3" that matters. That's the best way I can think of to clear that up.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
I thought as much, given that it penetrates from all sides at approx 1/4 in per day. The top and bottom will reach the center completing the cure.
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