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First Canadian Bacon, Need HELP!

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by bjustice22, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. I need some help with Canadian bacon... I've procrastinated with asking my questions...

    I have a canadian bacon ready to smoke. I plan to start it ASAP on my MES30.

    My questions:
    Do I use a water pan?
    How much should I leave the vent open if at all?
    Recommended temps to smoke?

    I've read other threads where they start it out very low and increase after a few hours until an IT of 145* is achieved IF you plan to cook later or 160* IT if you want to slice and eat. I was thinking the latter of the two options.

    Thanks for any input in advance,

    Brian J
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013
  2. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Brian, you need to rinse of your meat and let it form a pellicle before you smoke it. I takes a few hours in front of a fan until the outside feels sticky. The meat has cure in it and will be safe. You do not need a water pan and the top vent should be open the whole time. For hot smoking you need to bring the IT to 142-145. If you like a lot of smoke you can slowly bring the temp up. If you like less smoke you can run higher smoker temps. If you are using loin and smoke until 160, it will be tough. 145 is the safe temp for pork and if you pull at 142 it will carry over to 145-148. If you decide to cold smoke watch the color and pull when it looks like enough smoke. I hope this helps a little.
    bjustice22 likes this.
  3. Thanks Todd! 142* IT it is. I'm glad you responded and got me straightened out as far as the right IT! I've read many of your previous ham & CB threads. I think a pork butt ham is going to be one of my next projects... The ole lady is requesting a brisket next so the brisket IS next! I can start the brine/cure for the ham before the brisket cook.

    I pulled them out of the brine last night and set in front of a fan for about an hour then put them in the fridge over night to form the pellicle and hit it with the fan a little bit more this morning while I prepped the smoker.

    I like a little heartier smoke flavor but my wife not so much. I have them going @ 150* with hickory and will turn the heat up in about an hour or two and finish with apple or cherry.
  4. disco

    disco Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I agree with everything Woodcutter said. I cold smoke my back bacon (you Americans call it Canadian Bacon for some reason) for 3 to 4 hours and then turn the heat up to 230 F and smoke to 140 F and then bring it in where it goes a bit higher on the internal temperature. However, I am using an A-MAZE-N pellet smoker which gives a nice even smoke.

  5. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Yup---I agree with everything Todd "Woodcutter" said.

    A couple years ago, I used to smoke CB to 160* IT, because that was what USDA said was safe. It was pretty Dry. Then they dropped the safe IT to 145*----Much Better !!!!

    So I smoke mine slowly to 145*, so it is safe to eat cold, but my favorite way is to just warm it up a bit in a Hot Frying Pan. You don't have to keep it in the pan long that way. If you didn't already take it to 145* when you smoked it, then you have to fry it longer to be safe, and it's so lean, it burns easily.

    Here's a Big Batch I did awhile back:


    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013
  6. I decided to go as low of a temp as possible while still getting good smoke, which was right about 160-170. For the last 20 minutes I turned it up to 200* to get a good thick smoke on them.  I had pork tenderloins so it took right about 4.25 hours.

    Thanks again woodcutter! I would have definitely overcooked my "back bacon" (Disco, I'm going to adopt your terminology).

    Disco, much appreciated input! I'm now looking into getting the AMNPS 5x8" pellet/dust smoker. Any recommendations as far as A-MAZE-N products go?

    Bearcarver, thanks for the info as well. I took a look at your post you shared on chops and bacon... That looks amazing! The precision measurements of dry curing still has me a little timid and will probably save for a later date as my wet cure/brine seemed to turn out pretty well.

    I couldn't wait for the bacon to rest the full time so I decided to take a little sample.

    Sliced back bacon (with flash)

    Back bacon (without flash)

  7. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If you used onion and garlic and it tastes a little strong tonight, that will be gone tomorrow. And it looks moist and has nice color......perfect!
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2013
  8. foamheart

    foamheart Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    From experience, never judge the taste or smoke without at lease a 2/3/4 day mellow period. Best bacon I have made, I hated the day after I made it. Threw it in the reefer and my sister dragged it 4 or 5 days later and ate it all on the spot!

    Always give a cured smoke a little time to smooth.
  9. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Looks just right from here !!!

    What Foamy said: I used to slice all of my various Bacons the next day after smoking. Then a couple years ago, I had to leave for 2 days, and couldn't slice it for 2 days. That Bacon was so good, I've been waiting a couple days ever since.

  10. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Good looking pork loin!

    Try to avoid the thick smoke as it could give it a bitter taste. Always strive for the TBS
  11. disco

    disco Legendary Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That looks terrific. There are 3 steps left.

    1. Fry the bacon and an egg.

    2. Put the bacon and egg on a toasted English Muffin. Top with cheese.

    3. Invite me over for some!