Canadian Bacon, how long to cure tenderloins?

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Master of the Pit
Original poster
OTBS Member
Jun 7, 2006
Valley Forge, PA
I had two pack of tenderloins that I wanted to make into Canadian Bacon with the buck board bacon cure. Each pack was about 2.5 pounds so I have about 5 lbs of meat. When I opened the packs I found that there were two tenderloins in each pack. The buckboard instructions are for 10 days with a shoulder. Now I'm thinking that that is much thicker and it will take longer for the cure to penetrate. I was thinking I should shorten the curing time down to maybe 7 days since they are smaller and will require less time for the cure to penetrate.
I've never made it yet, but I have some info stored in fav's.
Hope this helps.

Preparation Directions:
• Cut bone from boston butt(s) and rinse. Cover all sufaces with High Mountain Jerky's buckboard bacon cure, and seal in plastic container.
• Store in 40 degree refrigerator for 10 days, turning over on day 5. Do not drain liquid from container. On day 10, remove from refrigerator, drain liquid from container and fill with fresh water to soak meat for 1-2 hours. Thoroughly rinse meat, taking care to rinse cure from all cuts in the meat.
• NOTE: If using a single 8 pound butt, cure for 2 additional days due to thickness of meat. A 10 day cure is ideal for 2-4 inch thickness.
I don't think the timing is critical. The note above gives suggestion for 2-4 inch thickness. I have done butts and loins. For the last loin I did, I had some scheduling problems and left it in the cure 13 days and it turned out great. I've never done a tenderloin either but if I were doing one I'd put it in the cure for 10 days and turn it on the 5th day. As shown in the 13 day example, it was probably a little long but it was very good.
And by the way, I use a zip lock bag and place in the refrigerator. Works great. Good luck and please let us know what you do and how it turns out.
Do the loins turn color? I know when I cure my jerky the meat gets dark rather quickly. I also put them singley (is that a word) in zip lock bags. I'm going to attempt this first and then try the pork bellies for "real" bacon.
In neither the butts nor the loins did the meat turn really dark. It did, however, turn to a deeper red. It acutally looked better than the rather pinkish color it initially had. Good Luck!
Hi Shell -

I haven't used the Buckboard brand but I imagine it'll all be about the same. My Canadian bacons turned a brighter shade of pork (sort of pink/brown). Looked alot like big hamdogs when they were done.

Sorry no raw pix.
Shellbellc, Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]ve never heard of anyone make canadian bacon out of tenderloins before…wouldnâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]t they be too tender and turn to mush? Seems to me that would be like making pastrami out of filet mignon? Would it hold up to that long a brine time…just curious?
Hey Carl theres a post on here somewhere thats someone had made canadian bacon out of a tenderloin but cant seem to find it.
Me again! Were the tenderloins cryovacued in a brine already?
Keep me up to date please, now Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]m really curious. Iâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]ve been all over the web and canâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]t find anything about curing tenderloins…smoking yes…curing nothing. I did read though, that tenderloins can get leathery if ya donâ€[emoji]8482[/emoji]t watch em or wrap them in bacon or something! Best of Luck!

p.s. You may be a pioneer!
I've used the little 1.5 to 2 lbs tenderloins for Canadian bacon several times and it makes cute little slices perfect for English muffins.

I can't remember how I got the idea - might of just thought they'd fit on muffins who knows but I like em! Slice em think for ham and thin and fry for bacon. Slice them really thin ad throw them in the dehydrator and it tastes amazingly close the Procutto.

They do not go to mush.
I found the post in here by Salmonclubber, he used High Mountian BBB cure on pork loin for 7 days, I used tenderquick on mine both times I've done it. Brine cured for 7 days and smoked with apple chips till temp reached 145.
Dry cured 7 days and smoked with hickory to 145. Both were great !
I think I'm only going to take them to 7 days vs the 10 days for shoulders. I'm not doing a liquid brine, I'm doing a dry rub. I'm sure it will penetrate faster than a shoulder, well not faster, it's just that they aren't as thick. Bad thing is that puter at home is on the fritz, not sure how I can download pics!!!!
yea I've got a loin on the smoker now that was dry cured with tenderquick via their recipe. Granted it was curing longer then 7 days due to me getting very sick.......we will see how it turns out....
I took the tenderloins out last Wednesday which gave them a 7 day brine. I rinsed them and put plain water back in their bags. Let sit for half hour, dumped and put fresh water in again. Another half hour and dumped them again. I smoked them to just shy of 150, about 147 over cherry wood. They cooked up great! At first they were salty, but day two they weren't nearly as bad...Not sure I understand that one. Gave some to my brother for their fishing camp and everyone loved it! One thing with the tenderloins is that the small ends got over done. I did take pic's but my pc at home is not allowing internet access so I have to find a different way to post them. I would suggest using tenderloins though!!
Just wondering I bought 1 tenderloin to give this a try, what I am wondering I use a wet cure instead of a dry so how long should I cure it just the 7 days? It is what I use on my bellies and hams. My other question is when I smoke bacon from pork bellies I cold smoke them at no more then 150 and I do it with hickory and apple for about 8-10 hours. Since a tenderloin is thicker will it take longer and it is ok if I only smoke it at 150 and then treat it like bacon and just put it in the fry pan to warm up for practice.
veener, are you using tenderloins (the small strip attached to the inside of the pork loin primal or are you using the boneless pork loin??

When we ran the meat shop, we would pump the boneless loins with brine and then soak them 3-5 days before smoking them. The would be smoked at 150* using an apple/cherry mix. Bacon would be smoked for 8-10 hrs. and boneless porkloin for 10-12 hour with the hams being smoked for 12-14 hrs. You sould be fine doing what you normally do for belly bacon, just allow for the extra thickness.
Thanks, yes I am using the boneless. It was on sale so I thouhg it would be a fun experiment. Thanks for the help. I do not have cherry I was thiking of doing a hickory/apple mix. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.