I’ve done some research on it, and I’m ready to try my hand at some Canadian bacon. I’ll tweak this as I go, and then I’ll document the finished process. So what you read here has already been tweaked. Just follow the way I did it, and know that it will produce perfect results.
The onion and garlic is very pronounced in the finished result, so if you aren’t a huge garlic and onion fan, you could cut those two ingredients in half.
Garlic & Onion Canadian Bacon
2 1/2 lbs. boneless pork tenderloin (average weight per tenderloin – 1 1/4 lbs.)
6 Tablespoons packed brown sugar
3 Tablespoons sugar based curing mixture (Morton or Tender Quick will do)
3 teaspoons garlic powder
3 teaspoons onion powder
3/4 gallon cold water
In a container large enough to fairly snugly fit all the ingredients, combine the brown sugar, the curing mixture, garlic powder and onion powder and water.
Remove all of the excess fat from the outside of the tenderloins. Submerge the tenderloins in the mixture and refrigerate this covered for 6 days.
Once a day, turn the meat over, and re-seal the container. This isn’t a complete necessity, I just like playing with the meat. Just kidding. It helps to move things around once a day, rather than just letting it stagnate in the curing marinade.
After 6 days, take the tenderloin out and completely rinse it off. Pat it dry and put it into a clean container and leave it in the refrigerator for another day. This will allow it to completely dry and form what’s called a pellicle. The pellicle is a shiny, skin that forms on the surface, and provides an ideal surface for the smoke flavor to adhere to, and it helps seal in the moisture throughout the smoking process.
Okay, now we’ve gotten through the long curing process, and we’re ready to smoke up some Canadian bacon.
Fire up your smoker. This is going to be about a 5 hour smoke, so build your fire and adjust your vents accordingly. You’re going to want the temperature to regulate between 200 and 220 degrees F. Once the temperature is stable, put the tenderloins on the grate. Cook until the internal temperature of the meat is at 160 degrees.
Note: I used a good hardwood lump charcoal. And for this cook, I used 3 (fist sized) chunks of pecan, and 3 chunks of peach.
Right at about 5 hours, the bacon, at it’s thickest part, reached 160 degrees, and off it came. I put it into a clean container, sealed it and let it sit for about an hour to allow the juices to redistribute completely.
Then I sliced it up. I sliced it fairly thick, unlike the typical thinly sliced bacon. To me, this was more like tender, perfectly cooked tenderloin. Next time I think I’ll use the loin, rather than tenderloin.
It came out incredibly tender and juicy. And the flavor is great. Like I said at the beginning of this article though, the garlic and onion is very strong. But then, that’s exactly the way I like it!