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Back (Canadian) Bacon, Wet Vs Dry Cure and video

Discussion in 'Hot Smoked Bacon' started by disco, Apr 9, 2019.

  1. disco

    disco Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    There was a good confluence of events. Whole pork loins were on sale and I was heading to visit relatives in Alberta. I take a lot of bacon for the family when I go to visit.

    I had also had a couple of requests to do a wet cure, brined bacon.

    I decided to do 4 loin pieces to make back (erroneously called Canadian bacon in the US). I would do two dry cured and two wet cured for a head to head taste. I have done this before but it has been years.

    I started by mixing my standard dry cure mix for one loin, for each kg of weight I use:
    • 25 ml brown sugar
    • 15 ml kosher salt
    • 3 grams (2.1 ml) Prague powder #1
    In US measures for each pound:
    • 2 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/5 teaspoon Prague powder #1
    For the second loin, I mixed a maple sugar cure mix which is the same but I substituted maple sugar for the brown sugar.

    Wet cure 01.jpg

    I injected the maple loin with 25 ml of maple syrup per kg (1 tablespoon per pound).

    Wet cure 02.jpg

    I put each piece of pork loin on a plate to catch any rub that falls off. I rubbed the curing mix into each piece of loin.

    Wet cure 03.jpg

    I put each piece of loin into a vacuum sealer bag and made sure to scrape the plate into the bag.

    Wet cure 04.jpg

    I sealed the other end of the bag but did not suck the air out.

    Wet cure 05.jpg

    Then I started on the two wet brined loins.

    I weighed the loins.

    Wet cure 06.jpg

    I added a measured amount of water and calculated the combined weight of the water and pork.

    Wet cure 07.jpg

    I took the pork out and for each kilogram of pork and water I added to the water:
    • 25 ml brown sugar
    • 15 ml kosher salt
    • 2.1 ml (3 grams) Prague powder #1
    In US Measures for each pound of pork and water
    • 2 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1/5 teaspoon Prague powder #1
    I stirred until dissolved added the meat and put a plate on top.

    Wet cure 09.jpg

    The thickest piece of pork was 2 1/2 inches thick. I allow 4 days curing time plus 2 days for each inch of thickness. So I covered the wet cure and put all the bacon in the fridge for 12 days. I turned the bags and the bacon in the brine every day or so.

    I took the bacon out and applied a coating of pepper to one of the wet cure loins.

    Wet cure 10.jpg

    I put a fan on the loins and let them sit until the surface was dry. Then I smoked them to 140 F internal temperature in a 190 F smoker. The bacon isn't cooked at this temperature so it must be fried before eating. You can take it to 150 F and it will be cooked but I find that has a slightly worse texture on cooking.

    Wet cure 11.jpg

    I cooled the bacon and wrapped it in plastic wrap. I let it sit for a couple of days.

    Wet cure 12.jpg

    I sliced the bacon with my rotary slicer.

    Wet cure 13.jpg
    Wet cure 15.jpg

    I fried a piece of each loin:

    Wet cure 16.jpg

    Left to right is the dry cured Maple Bacon, dry cured bacon, wet cured Pepper Bacon and wet cured bacon.

    Wet cure 17.jpg

    I also did a video of making the wet cure bacon.

    The Verdict

    First, all of the bacon was great. The differences I am about to describe were minor.

    The dry cure was a bit pinker but that can be explained by the piece of pork as they vary.

    The dry cure was firmer and had more chew. The wet cure was softer and didn't crisp as much.

    The taste of the dry cure is a bit more salt forward and the wet cure was a bit sweeter.

    I still like the dry cure better but the differences are minor. If you prefer a tender bacon, you will prefer the wet cure.


    Attached Files:

  2. Misplaced Nebraskan

    Misplaced Nebraskan Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    All looks good from here! Great post! tabbed the vid for viewing later. off to find me some bacon now! Like :emoji_thumbsup:
    disco likes this.
  3. disco

    disco Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks so much! Get that bacon!
  4. motocrash

    motocrash Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Very nice disco,please pass the baguette and cheese.

    Ha-Ha! You still have plenty of snow...
  5. disco

    disco Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes we do! The pleasure of living in the Canadian Rockies. Thanks for the kind words.
  6. pc farmer

    pc farmer Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Great post and review Disco. One day I will post as good as you.
  7. smokerjim

    smokerjim Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    looks great, Canadian rockies is a beautiful area, my sister lives in Calgary and years ago while visiting her we went sking in the rockies, mountains are just a little bigger then the ones around here where I live. (should say a whole lot bigger)
  8. disco

    disco Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Liar! Har! I have learned a lot from your posts!
  9. disco

    disco Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks! I do love our mountain home!
  10. crazymoon

    crazymoon Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    D, Another awesome post and you have got me thinking about making up some "Canadian " bacon. :emoji_wink: like!
  11. HalfSmoked

    HalfSmoked Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The Canadian bacon (back bacon) master strikes again. Nice post great write up Disco. I've always do the dry cure per Bears recipe but the wet cure sounds interesting.

  12. pushok2018

    pushok2018 Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    Nice looking Canadian bacon! Great tutorial and video as well.... Thank you for sharing, Disco! Like for sure!
  13. disco

    disco Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Get wth it! Thanks!

    I prefer dry cure as well but only by a little. They are very close. Thanks!

    I appreciate the like!