How to Make Homemade Canadian Bacon - Recipe
How to Make Canadian Bacon
Learn how to make Canadian Bacon with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.
What Is Canadian Bacon?
Canadian Bacon is made from a pork loin that is cured, smoked and then used in everything from breakfast dishes to pizza toppings. It’s is simple to make and when done properly it will keep about as long as regular bacon but for best results should be used in about a week if kept in a refrigerator or 6 months in a freezer, after that it will start to break down. Some people will make this without a cure but doing this is not recommended and it won’t be true Canadian Bacon at that point.
10 lb Pork Loin
Before we prepare our solution you need to be sure that you are using water that is between 40° and 45° and the water cannot be hard water, it must be potable and low in microbial levels. You can either buy distilled water or you can hold water in a cooler overnight to allow any gasses to bleed out.
We are going to inject our pork loin with the Blue Ribbon Maple Bacon Cure and we will add Bacon Booster to increase the bacon taste and to help fight off rancidity in the cooler. For regular Bacon we would use 2 lb of this cure for a 100 lb of bellies for a 10% pump, but since the fat content of a loin is so much lower than a belly we actually want to pump it to 18%. Our pork loin weighs 10 lb so we need to pump it until it weighs 11.8 lb and since we need a cover solution anyway we are going to dissolve 1 lb of cure and 3 oz of bacon taste booster in 2 quarts of water for our injection. After we inject it we are going to cover it in a 50% strength solution to allow the cure to equalize within the meat and make sure it fully cures.
To make a 50% strength solution we have two options, we can either dissolve another lb of the cure in 1 gallon of water or we can weigh what we have left over from our injection solution and add that weight in water and use that as our 50% strength cover. Since we injected it and this cure contains Sodium Erythorbate we only need to hold this product overnight in a stark bucket liner and then it will be ready to smoke.
If you want to brine/pickle we recommend you use Country Brown Sugar Cure, you just have to modify the usage a little to get the correct parts per million. You will want to use 1.52 pounds of the cure to a gallon of water to get 120 PPM of ingoing nitrite. Fill the container with the cure before you put the pork loin in, this will allow it to suspend and cure evenly. Move to a cooler at 38° degrees and hold for 3-5 days. After it has sat for 3-5 days fill a meat lug with clean cold water, let it sit in that for 20 minutes, empty the container and fill it up with more cold water and let it sit for another 20 minutes to rinse of any excess salt. If you try and skip this step your bacon is going to be too salty. If you are wanting a less salty product then repeat this step a 3rd time.
The Smoke Schedule will be the same for either curing method. There are 2 ways to smoke Canadian Bacon, we can cook it to 132° if it is going to be pan fried or cooked again before serving, if you are not going to cook it again before eating then cook it to 145°.
Thermal Processing & Smoking
Stage 1 - 120° with no smoke and dampers closed for 30 minutes
Stage 2 - 135° close dampers down and add smoke
Stage 3 - 150° for 30 minutes
Stage 4 - 165° for 30 minutes
Stage 5 - 180° until internal temp reaches 132° or until 145° 1
Once it has reached the desired temperature remove it from the smoker, put it in an ice bath for about 20 minutes and let it sit out for an hour at room temperature before moving to the cooler. Now you can slice it into pieces as thick as you want and all it needs is to be reheated in a pan or oven to be enjoyed at anytime.
Making Canadian Bacon is very easy, it’s actually a fair amount simpler than making regular bacon as Pork Loins are more available to most people than pork bellies are.
1. I realize I said 158 degrees in the video but I meant 145. So to be clear if you are not going to be pan frying this, or heating it again before eating then you need to cook it until it is 145 degrees. (Return to text)
- Try different rubs on the outside of your loin, doesn’t matter if you add heat or something sweet, either one will add a nice kick to the taste.
Next time I make this I am going to take the meatgistics user Raider2119s advice and try to coat the outside of the loin with ground up yellow peas, this would make it peameal bacon which is traditionally how the Canadians Make it.
Watch WaltonsTV: How to Make Canadian Bacon
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I used the maple blue ribbon cure with the bacon booster from waltons and my Canadian bacon turned out awesome.
@sausage-king Looks good! Have you ever tried putting a rub on the outside? I rubbed rehydrated jalapeno flakes on one I did a while ago and it gave it a nice little hit of heat!
I do it all the time. Still remember my mom saying it’s not a good idea. I’m sure if you are buying a nice steak and intend it eat it as a grilled T-bone you might notice some flesh cell break down (texture change). If you are going to use it in sausage you will not notice any difference. Made brats last night. Once frozen pork and elk. Refroze the brats. I do it time and time again.
Here is a link to a website that has a handy Excel spreadsheet. It is, as it says a free non-commercial site.
As for Waltons dropping the ball, I vote they are doing a great job.
I think for all of us there are general guidelines, but unless you have a temperature and humidity controlled environment, both for the preparation, cooking (if you cook them) smoking, hanging etc, the results are bound to vary from batch to batch.
Personally, I am searching how to get my home made smoked and dry cured pepperoni to the exact texture and firmness of Margarita pepperoni from the store.
Through trial and error I have the flavor where I want it, but not the texture or firmness. I know time, temperature and humidity are all crucial, but the best I can do is in the basement and then subject to the environment that is there.
I figure as long as I am not killing anyone or making anyone sick I am making progress. Thanks Waltons for all of the great information so far.
Having said that, it would be nice to have your chart in an Excel spreadsheet.
Thanks Jonathon! One question tho! You eluded to 178 being high for a temp! Don’t you guys recommend setting the temp at 175 during the final stage to completion to internal temp? Three degrees shouldn’t make that much difference should it??
Sounds reasonable. Thanks for your input. Pulling the meat at 152 will make a big difference I bet! Thanks again.
@Kinger Thanks for the information. Your process, other than going to 178, is on in my mind. The only thing I do differently is an ice bath for 20 minutes. Showering for 10 minutes, if you are running a cycle and a fan in your smoker can work, but I still think an ice bath would bring it down faster and more. Last time I did thick summer sausage it was down to 110 in 20 minutes, I also tried showering it at 2 minutes on 2 minutes off for 20 minutes and it was only down to 136 (ish) but i did not have a fan running on them.
One more thing you might want to try, if you are stalled towards the end you can finish them up by putting them in a vacuum bag (I have done then hot, right from the smoker, some condensation in the bag but it still gets a good vac) and get some water going at around 165, it should get up to temp in under an hour depending on the thickness.