Canadian Bacon, Irish Bacon, And Back Bacon

Curing meats such as bacon, ham, or pastrami is fun and the results are often better than storebought. But curing is very different from any other recipe because you are using a preservative, sodium nitrite. You must read and thoroughly understand my article on the Science Of Curing Meats before attempting to cure meat or before you ask any questions. That page also contains info on scaling the recipe up or down.

Canadian bacon is made from loin meat and is often called back bacon. It is much leaner than American bacon, perhaps 10:1 meat to fat, and, because it is thicker, the curing time will be at two weeks instead of one week. Order boneless loin (not tenderloin) if you want to make this. In Canada you can also find 'peameal bacon' which has been rolled in cornmeal. Irish bacon is made like Canadian bacon but it is not smoked so just leave out the wood.

Makes. 3 pounds of bacon

Takes. 10 to 14 days to cure


3 pounds of pork loin, you can leave the fat cap on if you wish

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup of kosher salt

2 teaspoons Prague Powder #1

1 tablespoon powdered garlic

1 gallon distilled water


1) Put everything except the loin in the distilled water in a very clean nonreactive pot. Dissolve the salts and sugar. The garlic will not dissolve thoroughly. Let it cool in the refrigerator.

2) Scrub the exterior of the meat thoroughly to remove as much bacteria as possible (don't use soap). Put the pork in the pot and keep it submerged for two weeks. If necessary weigh it down with a plastic tub filled with water or cure.

3) After the cure, it is time to smoke. Before smoking, rinse the surface really well since there will be a heavier concentration of salt on there. Smoke at 325°F until it is 145°F in the deepest part of the center. This will probably take up to 4 hours. The reason we cook at 325°F is to prevent the stall which will happen at lower temperatures and that can result in a much longer cook and drier meat. You can refrigerate it for up to two weeks or freeze it for longer. If you vacuum seal, it will keep longer still. 


canadian bacon

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