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Canadian Bacon - Disappointing Result

wingrider

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Joined Jun 7, 2012
For I don't know how many years now, several times a year I would make Canadian Bacon based on a thread started by Woodcutter:
https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/canadian-bacon-using-pops-brine-2nd-try.136954/

Just used standard pork loins cut into 4 or 5 pieces. Used this brine:

Recipe

1 gallon of water
1/2 cup of kosher salt
2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs cure #1 (pink salt)
1 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tbs onion powder
molasses (mild flavor)
soy sauce

Brined them for 10 days based on figuring they were mostly around 4" thick and using the one day per 1/2 inch plus 2 days calculation. No injection.

After 10 days I would take them out of the brine, rinsed them well, and then put them in a solution made up of brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. This I would pierce and inject daily for 3 or 4 days. Once the loins were placed in the smoker (MES 30) I would boil this sauce down to a syrup and use it to baste the loins towards the end of the smoking time. Always turned out great, loved it, and pigged out on it until it was gone.

Well, hadn't done this for a couple of years because after 25 years in the old place, we moved. Also decided to get a Camp Chef Woodwind with sear station to replace my old Weber gas grill, and upgrade from the MES.

So with much excitement I launched into doing the CB again. Even bought a small (4.5 cu inch) used refrigerator to have a place to brine without taking up main refrigerator space. (A move the rest of my family applauded.) But one thing I changed (at least I think it's the only thing). I'd read that you really couldn't over cure, but you could under cure, so I decide since I now had the 2nd fridge, to cure for 14 days instead of 10. I'm not sure how to describe a ham texture as opposed to just a cooked meat. Perhaps just a bit firmer with a slight rubbery bite? Well what I was after was a bit more of this more resilient texture.

What I got instead was very disappointing. It was a sort of mushy texture. Like what you can get if you attempt to tenderize meat using a marinade with papaya, or pineapple, or lemon juice, etc., and you overdue it. Leave it to long. And the texture is then a sort of mushy or bit like sawdust.

So any ideas what could have caused that? Can you over cure? And if so would it be that sensitive to make a difference in just 4 days? Whats the best way to achieve the more resilient "ham" texture?

Thanks
 

flatbroke

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Sorry it didn’t work out for you. I tend to stick with Canadian Whiskey myself. Pendleton is my preference.
 

HalfSmoked

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I have always used Bearcarvers recipe with great success have some to be sliced tomorrow.sure where your promblem lays just have to trace back over what you did. Didn't for get something in the brine did you?

Warren
 

SmokinAl

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When I do CB I inject the loin with the cure mix cause the loins I get are usually about 3-4" thick, and I leave them in the cure for 2 weeks. They always firm up nicely.
If your loins were 4" thick, then they need to be injected with the brine/cure mix. The cure will not penetrate 4" of meat in 2 weeks, it needs to be injected so it cures from the inside out & the outside in. It also sounds to me like there is a possibility that you may have gotten a bad piece of meat. It happens.
Al
 

chopsaw

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Also , make sure to check your fridge temp . I keep my at 34 to 36 * f .
 

zwiller

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Agree with Al to inject but never saw anyone do that 2nd step with injecting more stuff post cure. (chop beat me) Slight possibility temps are off?
 

checkdude

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For I don't know how many years now, several times a year I would make Canadian Bacon based on a thread started by Woodcutter:
https://www.smokingmeatforums.com/threads/canadian-bacon-using-pops-brine-2nd-try.136954/

Just used standard pork loins cut into 4 or 5 pieces. Used this brine:

Recipe

1 gallon of water
1/2 cup of kosher salt
2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs cure #1 (pink salt)
1 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tbs onion powder
molasses (mild flavor)
soy sauce

Brined them for 10 days based on figuring they were mostly around 4" thick and using the one day per 1/2 inch plus 2 days calculation. No injection.

After 10 days I would take them out of the brine, rinsed them well, and then put them in a solution made up of brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, and Worcestershire sauce. This I would pierce and inject daily for 3 or 4 days. Once the loins were placed in the smoker (MES 30) I would boil this sauce down to a syrup and use it to baste the loins towards the end of the smoking time. Always turned out great, loved it, and pigged out on it until it was gone.

Well, hadn't done this for a couple of years because after 25 years in the old place, we moved. Also decided to get a Camp Chef Woodwind with sear station to replace my old Weber gas grill, and upgrade from the MES.

So with much excitement I launched into doing the CB again. Even bought a small (4.5 cu inch) used refrigerator to have a place to brine without taking up main refrigerator space. (A move the rest of my family applauded.) But one thing I changed (at least I think it's the only thing). I'd read that you really couldn't over cure, but you could under cure, so I decide since I now had the 2nd fridge, to cure for 14 days instead of 10. I'm not sure how to describe a ham texture as opposed to just a cooked meat. Perhaps just a bit firmer with a slight rubbery bite? Well what I was after was a bit more of this more resilient texture.

What I got instead was very disappointing. It was a sort of mushy texture. Like what you can get if you attempt to tenderize meat using a marinade with papaya, or pineapple, or lemon juice, etc., and you overdue it. Leave it to long. And the texture is then a sort of mushy or bit like sawdust.

So any ideas what could have caused that? Can you over cure? And if so would it be that sensitive to make a difference in just 4 days? Whats the best way to achieve the more resilient "ham" texture?

Thanks
Sorry I cannot offer a solution to your problem. But I just wanted to say what my experience was. I made canadian bacon using pop's wet cure and Bearcarver's dry cure and out of the two I prefer Bearcarvers method. They were both good but to me the dry cure tasted better. Good luck in finding your way. Hope it turns out the way You like it!
 

wingrider

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Joined Jun 7, 2012
When I do CB I inject the loin with the cure mix cause the loins I get are usually about 3-4" thick, and I leave them in the cure for 2 weeks. They always firm up nicely.
If your loins were 4" thick, then they need to be injected with the brine/cure mix. The cure will not penetrate 4" of meat in 2 weeks, it needs to be injected so it cures from the inside out & the outside in.
Just to cure (no pun intended) up some confusion on my part, when I say 4" I'm talking about a rough diameter of the loin, though obviously loins aren't perfect circles. So at any point on the loin it's roughly two inches from the surface to the center. Is this how the rest of you are using the term? And if this is true are you still recommending injection?

If you are recommending injection, how often over say a 14 - 30 day time frame? And how many injection points over a piece that on average may be the loin diameter X 6"-7" long?

Sure appreciate all the comments. Like I said, I've been doing this many times and I just can't quite figure out what's changed to give me this result. I take it none of you are saying that increasing the cure time should cause it?
 

chopsaw

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I would start by knowing that the fridge temp is correct .
 

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