Canadian bacon at home

Rick Tegtmeier

Des Moines Golf & Country Club

Ingredients

For the Brine
  • 1 gallon water
  • 6.4 ounces salt (I use 11/4 cups of the Diamond Crystal brand Kosher salt)
  • 40 grams/3 tablespoons pink salt (6.25 percent sodium nitrite curing salt)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled and rough chopped
  • 4 fresh or dried bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme or a generous handful of fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorn
  • Juice of 2 lemons

For the Canadian Bacon

  • 8- to 10-pound pork loin

Instructions

  • Combine all the brine ingredients in a large, non-reactive pot. Stirring occasionally, heat the brine over medium heat until the salt and sugar are fully dissolved. Let the brine cool, then pop it in the fridge to chill.
  • While brine is chilling, trim the pork loin of any excess fat and slice in half to form two 4- to 5-pound cylinders. Put each piece of pork loin in a heavy-duty, gallon-size freezer bag. Divide the brine and the aromatics evenly between the bags, squeeze out excess air and seal the bags well.
  • Brine the pork in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days, flipping the pork periodically to ensure an even brine.
  • Rinse and dry the pork, then allow to dry to form a pellicle.
  • Hot smoke the pork at 200 until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 150 degrees.
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