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Old 11-11-2007, 08:17 AM   #1
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: West Seneca NY
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How to make Canadian Bacon

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It’s fall in upstate NY and a young man’s mind turns to matters of sausage making and curing meats. This is the first part in a three part series on how to make Canadian and Peameal Bacon. Canadian Bacon (also called “back bacon“) is made from pork loins that have been cured and then smoked. Peameal bacon is just cured (not smoked) and then rolled in cornmeal and fried.

The first step is to trim the loins. The second is to mix the brine and inject the loins. The third step is to let them cure for 5 days. I prefer to inject my cure as opposed to doing a dry cure*. I have found that I get better results by making a wet cure and injecting the meat and then brining them. This is a matter of preference and by all means try different methods and see what works for you. You should have a food grade bucket if you plan on doing a wet brine. Over the course of the five days we will move the loins around so that they are not touching and will brine evenly. The next part of our series will cover the smoking of the loins.

*dry cure-- mix the cure and salt and then coat the loins with honey and let them make their own brine.
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This is the second video in our 3 video series on how to make pea meal and Canadian Bacon. In this video we cover what needs to be done after the loins have been brined for 5 days and how to make a fry up some pea meal bacon. The first step is to remove the loins from the brine and then rinse with cold water and scrub the outside down with a stuff brush. We do this so the bacon will not be to salty the excess salt tends to stick to the outside of the bacon.
A word about salt when doing cures or rubs for BBQ make sure to use no iodized salt. The Iodine can leave white streaks after the meat has been smoked. Kosher salt does not contain iodine so it is ok to use.
As the smokehouse is preheating to 160* (the meat will take the temp down to 140*) place the loins on cooling racks to dry some. This will speed up the drying process in the smokehouse. When the smokehouse comes up to temp then either place on bacon hooks, stuff into stockenetts or into casings or lie flat on the racks to cook. I prefer just to hang the bacon from the hooks, they can be difficult to stuff into casings and the stockinet bags and they both cost extra and the only benefit is cosmetic. If you chose to use the bags the night before soak the bags in vinegar. If you don’t want the diamond patter on your meat from the bags you can add a little liquid smoke to the vinegar for coloring. It won’t change the flavor. I’m talking like a teaspoon of liquid smoke to 2 Cups of vinegar. The vinegar will make it easier to remove the bag from the meat. If you use casings dust the loin with Soy Protein or Powdered milk this will make it easier to remove the casing as well. I don’t like to lay them flat on the rack in the electric smokehouse because the area is so small and it doesn’t cook evenly. Again this is a personal preference. And depending on what type of smoker you are using will also dictate what method you use.
When the smokehouse is at temp hang the bacon and keep the temp at 140* for about 4 hours or until the outside of the bacon is dry to the touch. Then add the sawdust and smoke for about 4 more hours. I time it by 2 pans of sawdust at a temp of 160*. I like to use hickory wood for the first pan and mostly hickory with a touch of cheery for color and sweetness in the second pan. After the smoke has cleared let the smokehouse ride at 160* till the meat hits 142* for fully cooked Canadian bacon leave in smokehouse till the internal temp is 152*-155*. If you pull the bacon at 142* its not considered complete cooked and will need to heated before you eat it.
After the bacon reaches your desired temp remove from smokehouse and shower with cold water till the internal temp is 110*. Let bloom for a few hours and refrigerate. The next morning slice and use as needed.
For the pea meal bacon after it has been removed from the brine and dried some just roll it in cornmeal. Slice what you need and fry it with a little bit of butter. When it starts to become white flip it over and brown the other side. Remember when cutting the loin even though it is cured it is still raw pork and should be handled as such.
We also made some tasso which I am told is a Cajun delight. We just sprinkled a little Cajun rub on the outside and will smoke it like that.
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In part 2 we prepped the Canadian Bacon for the smokehouse in the part we will be smoking the bacon. The first step was to preheat the smokehouse to around 160* with a target temp of 140* once the meat goes in. That amount of meat will drop the temp. Hold the temp at 140* for 4 hours till the meat is dry to the touch. Then add the wood chips and smoke at 160* for about 4 hours or two tightly packed pans of sawdust. For this project our first pan of wood contained just hickory wood. We preheated the pan in order to speed up the smoking process. We sprayed it down and left an opening in the middle of the pan so that we would get a nice smudge. After it burnt down we added more wood a mix of cheery and hickory. I like the cherry to mellow out the hickory add some sweetness and some nice color. After the second pan of wood was done we then stop smoking the meat and basically “cook
Save the gas for the criminals Q with wood...

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Never trust a skinny cook!!!!!!!!
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