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If you have followed this blog, you know that I love bacon. I have a friend who uses my recipe and wanted to try maple bacon. I also found a pork butt roast on sale. I decided it was time to do a detailed video on making Maple Buckboard Bacon.

If you don’t want to sit through a video, I will list my steps below.

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.

You can buy a boneless pork butt or shoulder roast, untie it and use the slab to make bacon. I found a whole butt and had to skin and bone it. I cut it into 3 slabs that have to be under 3 inches thick.

I did each piece individually.

I started by weighing a slab. For each kilogram of pork and put it on a plate. I injected 25 ml of maple syrup into the pork with a syringe injector. If you work with pounds, you want to inject 2 teaspoons of maple syrup for each pound of pork.

Then, for each kilogram of pork I mixed together:

  • 3 grams (2 ml) Prague powder #1
  • 15 ml brown sugar
  • 15 ml Kosher salt

I rubbed that mixture into the surface of the pork. I put the pork in a vacuum bag and got as much of the material that fell onto the plate as possible into the bag. I sealed the end of the bag with sucking the air out.

I repeated this with the other two slabs.

You need to put the bacon in the fridge to cure. For each inch of the thickest part of the pork, put the bacon in the fridge for 3 days plus one more day. My slabs were 3 inches thick so I put them in the fridge for 10 days (3 inches times 3 days plus a day). I turned them and rubbed the cure into the meat.

I rinsed the meat off under running water and then soaked it in cold water for an hour, changing the water once. I patted the pork dry with paper towels and then put it in the fridge, uncovered, overnight to let the surface dry. The surface of the pork has to be dry and tacky to get a good smoke taste.

I preheated my smoker to 180 F and smoked the pork until the internal temperature of the pork was between 130 and 140 F. This can be done in a 180 F oven but the bacon won’t have the smoke taste. I let it cool and covered it in the fridge overnight to let the smoke penetrate.

Here is the bacon after I sliced it.

Here is the video I made of the smoke. Please note, it is detailed and 25 minutes long.

The Verdict

This is a great bacon. Buckboard bacon is fattier than Canadian (Back) Bacon and leaner than Belly (Side) Bacon. The maple syrup gives a complex sweetness. Note the maple flavour is not what you get in commercial maple bacon where artificial flavours are used. This is much nicer. Give it a try!

The Old Fat Guy

Maple Buckboard Bacon

Maple Buckboard Bacon


  • 1 kg (2.2 pounds) pork shoulder or butt slab (less than 3 inches thick), weighed after trimming
  • 25 ml (2 tablespoons) maple syrup
  • 3 grams (0.1 ounces) pink salt #1
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) Kosher salt
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) brown sugar


  1. Put the pork on a plate and inject maple syrup into pork slab.
  2. Mix the pink salt, Kosher salt and brown sugar together.
  3. Rub the salt mixture over the surface.
  4. Put the pork in a sealable bag. Scrape as much of the material that fell onto the plate as possible into the bag. Seal the bag.
  5. Put the bag in the refrigerator and let it cure for 10 days, turning the bag every day or two.
  6. Rinse the pork under running water and then soak in cold water for 1 hour, changing the water once.
  7. Pat the pork dry with paper towels and put in the fridge, uncovered, overnight to get a dry surface.
  8. Put the pork in a 180 F oven or smoker and cook until the internal temperature is between 130 and 140 F.
  9. Let the pork cool and put it in the fridge, covered, overnight.
  10. Slice and freeze any bacon that will not be used in the next week.
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16 Responses

  1. very very nice disco … will try this in a couple of weeks … you made this with Prague powder 1 .. instead of insta cure … made some Canadian bacon with a wet cure and number 1 .. going to try your recipe and try and convert it to teaspoons .. lol yours looks super nice ..

    1. Instacure #1 and Prague Powder #1 are different names of the same thing. I think you might be thinking of Morton’s Tender Quick which I have used in the past. It is a different curing salt with less nitrite content. If you are going to use this recipe, check the label on your curing salts. They should be 93.75 % salt and 6.25 % sodium nitrite. As long as that is the make up you will be fine with this recipe’s measurements regardless of the brand name.

      I like wet cure bacon but have a slight preference for dry cure.

      Thanks for the kind words!

  2. Love the Video David! Very informative!
    I like video format because I get to watch exactly how it is done.
    And I can see the changes I’ll make for my next shoulder of bacon.
    Well done! And Thank You!

    Loved the aprons, especially the red chili peppers. ;^)

    I’m dieing to ask, Passing Wind Estates. Good Lord! Sounds like a name I would come up with.
    But maybe it is just the Imp in me showing….

    1. Our first summer on the estate, it was a hot day with a nice cooling wind coming down the mountain. I pointed out I liked passing wind and the name was born.

      A friend gave me the apron. I’ll tell her you approve!

      Thanks for the kind words!

  3. I watched the video, it was very well done, Thank you. My inquiry is about Cottage Ham, you used the same meat, curing process, yet by altering some of the ingredients you could have made a cottage ham. I hope the holidays find you with good company. Please make a video showing how to make a cottage ha.

    1. You are right that this is very similar to a cottage ham. However, When I make a cottage ham, I usually use a wet brine which I inject. I find it gives a moister more ham like texture. I also cold smoke it and then steam it to cook it to get a moister ham. A cottage ham video sounds like a great idea! I will put it on my list.

      1. Thanks, looking forward to that video. I hope you can cover some of the important points of cold smoking, curing salts, curing times, yum

  4. I printed the recipe from this site, and it calls for freezing the meat. I was in a hurry and followed those directions. I came back to the site today to confirm, it seems like the recipe should state refrigerator, not freezer.

  5. I just heard about this type of bacon a couple days ago. My first pork slab is sitting in the fridge curing right now. I can’t wait till January 3rd to give it a go. I’ve done pork belly before but I’m really looking forward to this one

  6. What do you do with the smaller pieces, Do you cure them a shorter time or cure them with the Niger pieces?

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