Canadian bacon started, equilibrium dry brine

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Regular Contributors Power User Arizona

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    Started a pork loin for Canadian bacon today, 7lbs. My first try at this.
    Read a ton of different recipes. Was going to go with the pumped brine method in Marianski’s Home Production book, even bought a good injection pumper from Walton’s. That is a liquid brine, pump meat to 110% it’s start weight with brine, and soak in brine. But it is done brining in 5 days, and keeps getting saltier after that… and I will be on a trip unable to finish it then.

    So I went with a dry rub or dry brine, using just the correct amount of salt etc, an “equilibrium brine”. Eric at 2guysandacooler youtube channel uses that method almost exclusively. Since I had a video of his to reference for good results with the recipe, I used his.
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    Read some outstanding dry brine research by former Bell Labs director Greg Blonder on rates of salt and nitrate penetration, final chemical distribution, etc, at genuineideas dot com if anyone us interested in some clever science, processhead mrobisr .

    In 14 days or so I will smoke to 155 IT and see how it is!

  • Team Orange Masterbuilt Sous Vide Team Blue Power User

    Keep us updated

  • Regular Contributors Power User

    Dave in AZ
    Thanks for including the link to genuine ideas. Very informative read for those with interest in curing brining and nitrite levels.

    Good luck with the cured pork loin. It is on my to-do list as well.

  • Regular Contributors Veteran

    Have been making it for years just using tender quick and sugar. 1 tablespoon tender quick per pound 1 teaspoon sugar per pound. Mix together and rub on pork loin place in ziplock bag refrigerate for 5 day flipping bag every day. Rinse well in water then I smoke mine to about 150 degrees then slice for sandwiches. Easy and turns out great.

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Regular Contributors Power User Arizona

    shoprat53 Good to know, thanks! I actually had a hard time finding good dry rub or dry brine recipe. All of my books use a liquid brine, about a gallon. Most of the things I found on the internet were from people who may be made it once, so I didn’t really trust their results or flavor findings. I ended up using 2.8% salt, 0.25% cure1, 2% brown sugar, half percent black pepper, and 1% granulated garlic. So for the 3180 gram pork loin, that was 31 grams of garlic! So I’m a little worried they will have an overly strong garlic flavor. Luckily I love garlic. We will see how the flavor of this turns out.

    Have you ever had it with black pepper and or garlic? Thx!


  • You can make all of your bacon using the equilibrium process. You can do it as a dry brine or a wet brine. The wet brine does take more cure because you are figuring both the weight of the meat and the water instead of just the weight of the meat. I have been using this process for a number of years and have made regular bacon or “Side bacon” using pork belly, Canadian bacon or “Back bacon” using pork loin, and “Buckboard bacon” using pork butt. There is a calculator that many people use at: http://www.diggingdogfarm.com/page2.html . I have a program that works in Excel that does basically the same thing as the diggingdog farm calculator but is printable. I found it on another f***m years ago. I can’t remember which f***m or who came up with it. I can’t post it here, I have tried. I can send it to anyone that wants it via email ([email protected]). The great thing about these calculators is that you can change the amount of salt and sugar you use in the cure. JUST DO NOT CHANGE THE AMOUNT OR CURE #1. We found that the 2% salt used in the diggingdog calculator wasn’t salty enough for us and the 3% salt used in the Excel program was too salty. Through trial and error we hit on 2.125% salt and have been using since. Once you find the amount of salt and sugar you like you can repeat your results every time. You can add other flavorings to your bacon, just remember that any flavor they add will be subtle. I do my bacon using Black Rifle coffee as an added flavor. I also do one with a Sweet Heat rub. Most of these rubs do contain salt and or sugar so they can effect how salty or sweet your bacon turns out. Making bacon isn’t that hard and your end results will be better than anything you can get in the store.

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Regular Contributors Power User Arizona

    Idaho Smokey great info, thx! I know I like my bacon a bit salty and we always prefer the saltier brands, so your 2.12% preference is good to know as a reference point. I’m glad to hear you say spice additions are subtle.

  • Team Blue Cast Iron Sous Vide Canning Dry Cured Sausage Masterbuilt Military Veterans Power User Regular Contributors

    Dave in AZ said in Canadian bacon started, equilibrium dry brine:

    genuineideas

    Thank you for the link, great info. I have dry cured Canadian bacon for years and really like the control over salt, sugar, and flavors that it gives the producer. In the commercial business we pumped everything, but it was also about getting the product out the door as fast as possible.

    1 5# pork loin
    5.67g/1 tsp #1 pink salt cure
    45g/2.0% salt
    34g/1.5% white sugar or 1/2 cup brown sugar/maple syrup

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Regular Contributors Power User Arizona

    mrobisr thx for the recipe!
    I can tell I will make a lot of this as I like both it and ham for breakfast. And pork loin is cheaper than pork belly every place I’ve seen so…

  • Team Blue Cast Iron Sous Vide Canning Dry Cured Sausage Masterbuilt Military Veterans Power User Regular Contributors

    Dave in AZ You can also add California ham spice to your cure mixture and get a ham flavored loin or you could even grind a loin and add ham spice and stuff into 4-5" casing and make a cheap restructured ham.

  • Team Blue Masterbuilt Canning Kamado Joes Regular Contributors Power User Sous Vide Oklahoma

    Idaho Smokey thanks for sharing 👍

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Regular Contributors Power User Arizona

    RESULTS:
    Last night I smoked the pork loins. Overall, fantastic success, loved it! Some results notes.

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    1. Cure time. 4.25" max diameter, I used dry brine calculator at genuineideas dot com to get 11.3 days, plus 20% gave 13.5 days. Alternatively, because I had a pastrami sitting on top of it in fridge the loin flattened out a bit to 2.5" thick x 4.25 wide, using the calc for 2.5" flat meat gave 9.3 total days, so good either way on 12 Apr.
      – indeed, cure had complete penetration and was perfectly uniform. Salt from center matched saltiness at edge.
    2. Salt. Both my wife and I thought the saltiness was perfect, and she leans towards less than me usually. I used 2.8% salt in equilibrium cure, with some liquid expressed in cure bag so probably ended up at 2.7% actual. I will use this amount again for ham.
    3. Sweetness. I used 2% brown sugar, and 7 T maple syrup, so 2T per 1kg meat. Good ham taste with decent sweetness. I think I like this amount, but it is more subtle than I expected.
    4. Garlic. I used 1% powdered garlic so 32g for this 3209g meat…it looked like a lot, I wa sworried. No issues though, it was a good amount. There is a decent garlic note but not too much. I could see reducing by half if you wanted to emphasize other flavors. It still clearly says Canadian bacon or ham, but on garlic side.
    5. Maple syrup. It is detectable, but barely. I think it could be skipped with no flavor change, the brown sugar carries more flavor. Or rub finished product with syrup then cornmeal coat maybe for peameal bacon look.
    6. Bay leaves, used 7, strangely you can really taste these. Comes across almost like rosemary. Decent, hard to ID but a nicely odd note. I picked all bay off meat before smoke.
    7. Black pepper, used 0.5%, good amount of spice and heat, will use this in future. And that is allll that I used.
    8. Dryness-- definitely drier than normal ham, and I didnt pump. Final weight 2613g, so 82% of start. I can see pumping up 10% would help a moist ham, not sure I want that for Canadian bacon though.
    9. Smoke. Used 100% hickory pellets from Lumber Jack. Loved it, great flavor and color.

    COOK. I put on Traeger on smoke or 180f setting. Temp was unreliable on smoke thus time, spiking to 230-245 at times where it held 150 in past. So I used 180 setting which gave 185 to 210 range. Smoked for 5.5 hours until Internal Temp reached 156 or 157 in center.
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    I then let cool on rack at around 70f for 10 min, then vac sealed and dumped in ice bath for 1 hr. Then fridge.

  • Team Orange Masterbuilt Sous Vide Team Blue Power User

    Dave in AZ Nice review and reasons for amount of spices used and result. Thanks.

  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Regular Contributors Power User Arizona

    samspade thx much!

  • Regular Contributors Power User

    You all have got me motivated to try a cured smoked pork loin. This morning for the first time I began curing a 3.5 lb (56 ounce) boneless pork loin.

    I chose to keep the ingredients very basic like I do on most new projects, my theory being, the fewer the variables, the easier the troubleshooting will be if something goes south. I figure that in future projects, I can add other ingredients if I am satisfied with the balance of salt/sweetness.
    For this one, my ingredients are just salt, cure #1, and dextrose.

    I also chose to use the EQ method, but rather than use a dry brine, I dissolved the ingredients in a solution of water equal to 10% the weight of the loin (5.6 ounces of water). My decision to add water to the loin was to attempt to have a juicier finished product after smoking.

    I used the diggindog calculator which I had converted to an Excel spreadsheet like Idaho Smokey discusses above. I adjusted the amount of cure ingredients to compensate for the weight of the added water. Using my Walton’s brine pump, I pumped loin with the entire brine amount, most of which remained in the loin.

    I then bagged the loin and the small amount of liquid brine overflow, expelled air from the ziplock bag, and placed it in the refrigerator.

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    After a quick rinse I put the cured loin in the electric smoker and started it at 120 F with no smoke. After an hour I raised it to 140 and applied smoke for 2 hrs. Stepped up to 150 for 2 hrs. Then shut of smoke and raised the temp to 180 for 1 hour.
    At an IT of 140 I pulled the loin out of the smoker, bagged it, and put in the sous vis for a quick finish at 150.

    Chilled the loin in cold water while still bagged and had a taste when it had dropped to 110.

    Great balanced cured/smoked meat flavor and color, without any overpowering off flavors . Seems like a good starting point for future experimentation with other sweeteners or seasoning. Saltiness is just about where it needs to be to make everyone happy that will be eating it. I like it a just a little saltier, but salt can always be added, much harder to take away salt.

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  • Military Veterans Sous Vide Canning Traeger Regular Contributors Power User Arizona

    processhead this is fantastic! Almost exactly what I was going to try next for a bit juicier end result! I was going to use 20%, so I pumped 10% and had 10% around it in bag as I’d want to be sure I was using all that surface area to cure and not just relying on my newb pumping skills.

    What are your thoughts on dextrose vs. Brown sugar? I had planned on only using my dextrose when bacteria needed food, and easy to get known sugar flavors for flavoring.

    Keep us updated, I want to knie how yours turns out for sure!
    P.s. I bought that pump too, it really looked like the best I saw anywhere. Was gonna get that expensive bbq circuit one, cancelled order for this one.

  • Regular Contributors Power User

    Dave in AZ said in Canadian bacon started, equilibrium dry brine:

    processhead this is fantastic! Almost exactly what I was going to try next for a bit juicier end result! I was going to use 20%, so I pumped 10% and had 10% around it in bag as I’d want to be sure I was using all that surface area to cure and not just relying on my newb pumping skills.

    What are your thoughts on dextrose vs. Brown sugar? I had planned on only using my dextrose when bacteria needed food, and easy to get known sugar flavors for flavoring.

    Keep us updated, I want to knie how yours turns out for sure!
    P.s. I bought that pump too, it really looked like the best I saw anywhere. Was gonna get that expensive bbq circuit one, cancelled order for this one.

    I don’t expect the dextrose will be as sweet as brown sugar. One reason I went with dextrose was I thought it would be more soluble in water that brown sugar. All the solid cure ingredients fully dissolved in the small amount of water I was using, so I was pleased with that.

    This is the first time I have tried the pump in an actual piece of meat. It is a good piece of equipment and works the way it is supposed to. I like the fact that you can continuously draw up brine through the suction hose when pumping.
    In the past I have just used large plastic syringes and big bore needles . This new one is a marked improvement.

  • Team Blue Cast Iron Sous Vide Canning Dry Cured Sausage Masterbuilt Military Veterans Power User Regular Contributors

    The cure is not really long enough for the dextrose to do much for the bacteria, but with that being said it does not hurt anything either and since it’s 70% as sweet as sugar that might be what a person would desire. Sugar actually helps the meat with the red color, so it really depends on your personal preference and your desired end results.

  • Regular Contributors Power User

    mrobisr said in Canadian bacon started, equilibrium dry brine:

    The cure is not really long enough for the dextrose to do much for the bacteria, but with that being said it does not hurt anything either and since it’s 70% as sweet as sugar that might be what a person would desire. Sugar actually helps the meat with the red color, so it really depends on your personal preference and your desired end results.

    The major function of a sweetener in cured meats is to take the harsh edge off the saltiness. Different sweeteners will all do this and also add their own little signature-flavors to add another dimension to the flavor. I don’t expect the dextrose to add much of anything in the way of “added dimensions”.

  • Team Blue Cast Iron Sous Vide Canning Dry Cured Sausage Masterbuilt Military Veterans Power User Regular Contributors

    processhead said in Canadian bacon started, equilibrium dry brine:

    mrobisr said in Canadian bacon started, equilibrium dry brine:

    The cure is not really long enough for the dextrose to do much for the bacteria, but with that being said it does not hurt anything either and since it’s 70% as sweet as sugar that might be what a person would desire. Sugar actually helps the meat with the red color, so it really depends on your personal preference and your desired end results.

    The major function of a sweetener in cured meats is to take the harsh edge off the saltiness. Different sweeteners will all do this and also add their own little signature-flavors to add another dimension to the flavor. I don’t expect the dextrose to add much of anything in the way of “added dimensions”.

    Ok, I don’t think my comment made any illusions to the fact that you expected “added dimensions” to your product by the use of dextrose. As a matter of fact I think my comment stated that it is truly up to the producer except that sugar could help enhance the color, but that is still subjective. Sorry if I offended you that was not my intentions I was just making comments as I seen could be useful.

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