I made another of my series of videos giving detailed instructions on how to make bacon. It is of one of my favourite bacons, Pepper Canadian Bacon. You should know us Canadians call it back bacon but I have given up on that for the purpose of my blog and will call it Canadian bacon. Chalk one up to my American friends!
To make dry cured bacon you need to understand the process of curing. You make a mixture of salt, curing salt and a sweetener.
The salt pulls the moisture out of the meat.
The curing salt is a mixture of salt and sodium nitrite that gives the bacon its cured flavour and red colour. It also inhibits bacterial growth. Bacon is cooked at low temperatures and cured for a long period of time. Without the curing salts, the meat may spoil. The curing salt usually used is called Prague Powder #1, Instacure #1 or many other names. Whatever it is called, you are looking for a product that is 93.75% salt and 6.25% sodium nitrite.
It is important that you don’t use too much curing salt as excessive sodium nitrite is bad for you. It is important to not use too little or the pork may spoil during smoking.
Some pork loins have a thick fat cap. You can trim the fat or leave it on depending how much bacon you like on your bacon.
Weigh your piece of pork. For each kilogram of meat, mix together:
- 3 grams (2 ml) Prague powder #1
- 30 ml brown sugar
- 15 ml kosher salt
If you work with US measures, for each pound of meat, mix together:
- 0.05 ounce (1/5 teaspoon) Prague powder #1
- 2 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Make sure you adjust the proportions to the weight of the pork. If you have kilograms of meat, double the rub ingredients.
Put the meat on a plate or tray. You will be rubbing the cure rub into the meat and you want to catch any that falls off.
Rub the cure rub into all surfaces.
Put the meat in a resealable bag or a vacuum bag sealed on one end. Get as much of the rub that fell onto the plate or tray into the bag as you can. Seal the bag. If you are using a vacuum bag, seal it but do not suck the air out.
Put the bag in the fridge. Some people use the calculation of three days for each inch of thickness plus one day. I like to let it sit for about 12 days. Turn the meat every day or two and rub the meat. There will be a lot of liquid form in the first day or two. That is normal.
Take the meat out of the bag and rinse it under cold water. Soak it in cold water for 1 hour, changing the water once. Put the meat on a rack and pat it dry with paper towel.
You need to get the surface of the meat very dry. You can put it in front of a fan or in a ventilated smoker or oven without smoke at 140 to 150 F. I find what works best for me is to put it in the fridge, uncovered, overnight.
When the surface is dry, rub the cracked pepper on all surfaces. I used 20 ml per kilogram or 2 teaspoon per pound. This gives a mild heat. You can use up to twice as much if you like spicier.
I preheated my smoker to 180 F and smoked the bacon to an internal temperature of 140 F. This took about 3 1/2 hours.
I brought it in and let it cool in the fridge overnight. Then I slice it up.
I fried some up!
This is a great bacon. Pepper just goes so well with the sweet/salty bacon taste. You really have to give this a try.
Here is the video of the process:
The Old Fat Guy.