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Canadian Bacon (with a Turkey Breast too!) Lots of QView

Discussion in 'Pork' started by princess, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. princess

    princess Smoking Fanatic

    This was my smoker's induction run. I did this *just* before I joing the SMF, and as I was getting the pics together for the ABT's I did this weekend, I found these pics too and thought some people might like to see them.



    First, I made two batches of brine, using a version based on Ruhlman & Polcyn's smoked meat brines in Charcuterie

    The one for the 5lb of pork loin was full of garlic, sage & thyme.


    The one for the turkey breast was full of rosemary, garlic, tarragon & peppercorns.


    Once the brines were made & cooled, I soaked the meat for 48 hours. I had to weigh both meats down with plates to keep them submerged.  It is worth noting that I have three fridges in my house: One in the kitchen for food, one in the garage for beer and brine pots & a busted one in the basement for dry-curing. 

    I patted the meats dry with paper towels and racked them back in the fridge overnight to develop a nice pellicle.

    Next morning, I fired up the Weston with a belly full of hickory chips (water smoked, 30 minutes) The meat looked nice and had that nice tacky pellicle feel.



    I started the smoker up, inserted the thermometer probe into the thickest chunk of pork and slid both trays in.  There was much fiddling by me in the way of OMG NEW SMOKER WHAT DO I DO NOW!!!!   [​IMG]   But I didn't die, the smoker didn't explode and things got to smelling really good.

    Wow... the stress. Dampers open or closed? How far? Which ones? Where should the flame be at? Wait... its two hours later and all my chips are ASH? Yikes! I just burnt my fingers! I won't have time to smoke more, but can I open the door? WOW!!  I tell you, this experience was a good one to learn on and it made me seek out this forum.

    But the smell... oohhhhh... See it was the SMELL that kept me going. Burnt & dirty. Sighing over temperatures. Whining about adding more chips. The smell was inhumanly good. Pork beeped done at about 3.5 hours.


    Sliced one just to try it and it was a little like a first kiss. You're nervous as hell, but you wanna try it so bad. You just hope you don't get burnt and that it tastes good.  Yeah, I fell a little in love.


    It is worth mentioning that the Canadian Bacon was about 100x easier to slice once the meat was chilled in the fridge overnight.  I put it on my meat slicer and it just whirred into perfect skinny slices. I am bummed I didn't think to snap a picture of it.

    But... there is still a bird to talk about.

    I re-inserted the probe into the turkey thigh, it came out about an hour later. It looked so good, and with a tummy full of Canadian bacon, I couldn't wait to try it.



    I hate to end the post on a bummer note... But I was really disappointed in the turkey. The texture was fine, but it was SO salty. I brine birds all the time, so I was stunned.   Then, on a whim, I dug the package out of the trash. Yeah, I screwed up and used an "enhanced" bird. Brined a brined bird. Damn.

    Didn't stop The Husband and his friends from devouring it though. [​IMG]


    meateater likes this.
  2. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Nice first post of qview.

     I'm not understanding something though,

     you said you brined the loin and smoked it.

    It is my understanding that CB is a cured pork loin not a brined loin.

     If i may ask what was the done temp on your pork loin?
  3. AWESOME JOB on your first smoke!!!  I love all the pictures and your sense of humor!  I hope to see more Qview from you [​IMG]
  4. princess

    princess Smoking Fanatic

    Not a problem, thanks for asking.   The brine I used was based on the one found in Charcuterie (Ruhlman/Polcyn, 2005) contained 42 grams of curing salts (in my case, Insta Cure #1) per 4 lb of meat. Also had 350 grams of kosher salt.  From what I'm coming to understand, the addition of the curing salt is what makes it Canadian Bacon (i.e. keeps it a pretty pink, gives it that particular flavor)  otherwise... it would just be smoked pork. So yeah, you're absolutely right!

    It seems to me just from what I have read, and again, I'm really new at this, that you can dry cure ("salt box method")  or wet cure (brine) with pretty similar results.  I have a great local source for beautiful inexpensive pork, and my next thing will probably be Tasso.  I wonder if you could Tasso a loin insread of a shoulder... Hmmm... I may try both.

    But, back to your other question: I do all my pork (grill, roast or smoke) to an internal of at least 150 degrees.  
  5. princess

    princess Smoking Fanatic

    I should also mention that ALL my pork gets frozen rock solid before I do ANYTHING to it, just for safety's sake...
  6. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member


    Men need a little extra salt to make up for all the sweating we do~

    Sounds like you did good on the Canadian Bacon. I don't remember how high you are supposed to bring the internal temp of CB to be safe to eat without cooking or frying it again. I know I always take it to 160˚. Like I said, that might be overkill just to make sure it is ALL whatever it's supposed to be. I forgot --it might be 152˚. Then you can eat it cold, or you can heat it up just a little (the way I like it) without worrying.

    If you know you're always going to fry it up, you can take it out of the smoker at any temp.

    One other note. Next time you make CB, try slicing a couple 1/2" thick or better-----See "Boneless Smoked Pork Chops" below, in my signature.

    Thanks for showing,

  7. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Thanks for clearing that up ! I just didn't see a reference to any curing agent in your op.
  8. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Now those are some good looking bacon pieces. The turkey looks pretty darn good too.
  9. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    Excellent! [​IMG]
  10. princess

    princess Smoking Fanatic


    I saw your AWESOME CanadaBacon post *after* I joined this forum, and not only was I inspired to make a new attempt, I may really need to invest in one of those Food Saver things. Looks neat!

    As far as temps for pork go... (and I am trying to be respectful enough to everyone to NOT open a giant can of worms here...)

    FDA says pork 160.

    Trichinosis dies at 140.

    Most of my cookbooks (including Charcuterie, the one I was using for this recipie) say that if you trust in the accuracy of your probe style thermometer, 150 is fine for pork. You will probably raise 5 degrees out of the oven/smoker/grill anyhow.   150 is what I am comfortable with for my family, provided that the pork has been previously frozen.