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Best Canadian Bacon Recipes

Best Canadian Bacon Recipes

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Top Rated Canadian Bacon Recipes

What do you get when you mix eggs, bacon, cheese and bread? A morning to remember.Recipe courtesy of Phil's Fresh Eggs.

This recipe comes from my childhood, perfected by my mom, who was a McDonald's employee back in the 1980s.

Eggs Benedict might very well be the single best brunch dish, and with this recipe a classic, restaurant-worthy version with freshly poached eggs and a quick and easy hollandaise comes together in less than an hour. Hollandaise recipe courtesy of Belly Full.

Typically a breakfast sandwich, turn your eggs benedict into a delicious burger. This recipe is courtesy of Christine Hadden, Foody Schmoody.

Too busy to commit to cooking real eggs benedict? Consider this make-ahead option topped with an easy hollandaise sauce made from lemon juice, egg yolks, heavy cream and Dijon mustard.This recipe is courtesy of Belly Full.

While the dish's history is muddled, it doesn't take away from the fact that it's delicious. To make the perfect one, you have to remember the four components of the dish: the bread, the meat, the egg, and the sauce. As long as you follow the basic principles behind each of these, you can create any type of eggs Benedict you crave — just make sure it has hollandaise.

With this easy recipe, you can make a delicious and comforting eggs benedict that will have your brunch guests asking for seconds. In just half an hour, you'll have perfectly poached eggs drenched in creamy Hollandaise sauce on top of a warm and crispy English muffin.Recipe courtesy of Leena Asuma, Gals That Brunch

Original Smoked Canadian Bacon Recipe

This Original Smoked Canadian Bacon recipe is a modification of Morton Tender Quick recipe and curing methods. Also I followed Mallard Wacker&rsquos cooking guidelines for Buck Board Bacon.

You can add or subtract as many spices and flavoring you want to this recipe, as long as you maintain the correct amount of Tender Quick.

The dark brown sugar gives it a nice distinctive flavor, but you can replace it with light brown sugar, regular sugar or use maple granules.

You can increase the amount of applied smoke, but I like my Canadian bacon and pastrami lightly smoked. Keep in mind that smoking a 225 F, your loins are going to reach 145 F -150 F in about 3 to 4 hours.

*OPTIONAL: At this point I used butcher&rsquos twine and tied the loin every 2-3 inches. This helps the bacon maintain a more rounded shape, and the even shape helps all parts cook more uniformly.


Boneless pork loin (size will depend on how much bacon you want to make)
1 Tbl. Morton Tender Quick (or Basic Dry Cure) per pound
1 tsp. dark brown sugar per pound
1 tsp. garlic powder per pound
1 tsp. onion powder per pound


Trim fat and silver skin from pork loin.
Cut into 3 to 4 pound sections.
Weigh each section.
Make a note of the weight of each piece before measuring the dry ingredients.
Measure all dry ingredients for each section of meat based on the weight of each section, and thoroughly mix.
Example: if you have two sections one weighing 4 pounds and one weighing 3 pounds, measure all the dry ingredients for the 4 pound piece and place that in one bowl&rsquo Then measure all the ingredients you will use on the 3 pound piece and put that in a separate bowl.
Rub the entire mixture on to the loin.
Make sure to cover all surfaces, and work the dry cure into any crevices in the meat.
Place loins into separate one gallon sealable plastic bags, and remove as much air as possible.
Cure meat in the refrigerator at 36- 40 F
My refrigerator was at 38 F.
Due to the thickness of the loin, you will need to cure them for 6 days.
Once a day turn meat over.
You do not have to open the bags, If some liquid has formed, give the bag a few shakes to redistribute the liquid.
When the loins are fully cured, remove them from plastic bags and thoroughly rinse off.
Soak loin pieces in about three gallons of cool water for 30 minutes remove from soak and pat dry.
Refrigerate uncovered overnight, or long enough to allow to dry and to form pellicle on the surface.
You may also see an iridescent sheen on the surface.
Place loins into a 225 F preheated Bradley.
Apply maple smoke for 1:40 to 2:00 hours.
Continue to cook until an internal temperature of 140 F &ndash 150 F is reached. The higher you take the internal temperature, the less moisture will remain in the meat.
It is important to take the internal temperature of each piece of loin.

I now only take may Canadian Bacon to 140 F. The texture and moistness is much better. If you decide to use the 140 F temperature, make sure that your probe is in the thickest part of the meat.

After it the meat reaches 140 F, slowly move the probe in and out. If there is a drop in temperature, leave the probe at that spot and continue to cook until the 140 F internal temperature is reached. If you have a good instant read thermometer, also use that to get your final reading.
Remove loins from smoker, and tent foil until loins are cool enough to be handled by hand.
Wrap each piece tightly in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate for at least two days.
Cut into 1/8 inch thick slices and serve
(if serving with crackers you may have to quarter each slice.)

For the brine:

  • 6 whole star anise
  • 1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 quarts warm water
  • 1 cup kosher or sea salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pink curing salt (Prague Powder No. 1 or Insta Cure No. 1)
  • 1/2 cup sliced fresh fennel fronds and bulb
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove garlic, flattened with the side of a cleaver
  • 2 quarts ice water

  • 1 gallon water, divided
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pink salt (aka InstaCure, Prague Powder)
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 boneless pork loin, trimmed of excess fat (about 4 to 5 pounds)
  • 1 to 2 fist-size chunks of light smoking wood, such as apple or cherry
  • Type of fire:Indirect
  • Grill heat:Low

To make the cure, combine 1 quart of water, Kosher salt, maple syrup, brown sugar, pink salt, bay leaves, garlic, and peppercorns in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve salts and sugar. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat. Transfer to a large container and stir in remaining 3 quarts of water. Place in refrigerator until completely chilled. Fully submerge pork loin in cure and let sit in refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

Remove pork from cure and place in large container. Add enough fresh water to fully submerge loin. Let sit for 30 minutes, then remove pork from water and pat dry with paper towels.

Fire up the smoker or grill to 225°F, adding chunks of smoking wood chunks when at temperature. When wood is ignited and producing smoke, place pork in and cook until an instant read thermometer registers 140 degrees when inserted into thickest part of the pork loin, about 2 to 3 hours.

Making Canadian Bacon: Step by Step with Photos

Make your brine. This is as simple as bringing all the ingredients up to a simmer just to ensure all the salt is dissolved. I’ve played around with slight variations on the aromatics in the brine and all versions have turned out well. You can also scale this brine as needed. Just keep the ratio of water, salt, sugar and pink salt the same. Let the brine cool all the way and pop it in the fridge to chill before you use it.

While your brine is cooling, meet your meat!

Get yerself a full pork loin. It should weigh about 10 pounds. A bit more or less isn’t that big of deal, but if you have some massive 14 pound pork loin, you may have to cut it into thirds and scale up the brine to compensate. Alternatively, if ten pounds of Canadian bacon sounds intimidating, halve the brine quantity and use a 4 or 5 pound center-cut pork loin roast instead of the full loin.

Trim up the pork loin. After some debate with myself I left the silverskin on the loin on this batch. I wanted to keep that thin layer of fat. This was a risk – silverskin can be impossibly chewy but it turned out fine – no rubber band quality. So I say trim your pork loin and remove visible silverskin but don’t strip it of fat to do so.

If you are using the full lion, cut it in half as shown below and place each half in a heavy-duty, gallon-size zip-top plastic bag. If you are using a 4 or 5 pound roast, you’ll only need one bag. Duh.

Add the cold brine to the bags with the pork loin, dividing up the brine equally and trying to get the aromatics more-or-less evenly represented in the bags, too. Squeeze as much extra air out as you can and try to get the meat fully surrounded by the brine.

Pop the brining pork loin in the fridge and leave it there for 3 to 4 days. If your chunk of pork loin is small, err on the side of a little less time and if it’s jumbo, err on the side of a little more time. Don’t exceed 5 days though or your loin will be too salty. Once a day, or when you think of it, give the bag a little flip to keep the meat brining evenly.

When Brine Time is up, it’s time for the fun part: drying and smoking. Before you smoke meat (or fish), the outside of the meat should be so dry that it feels a bit tacky. This layer of dry meat is called the pellicle and is important for good smoke flavor and color. To form the pellicle, you’ve got two options:

Pellicle Option #1: Slow, Easy and Health Department Approved

Rinse off your brined pork loin, then pat dry with a lint free towel. Set the loin pieces on a cooling rack set over a sheetpan and place the loin pieces uncovered in the refrigerator for a day or so.

Pellicle Option #2: Faster, More Work, Freaks Out The Health Department People

Rinse off your brined pork loin, then pat dry with a lint free towel. Set the loin pieces on a cooling rack set over a sheetpan and place the loin pieces on your counter. Set a big fan in front of the loin pieces and dry them in front of the fan, turning the loin pieces periodically so they dry uniformly.

Your loin isn’t going to spoil, since it just spent 4 days absorbing salt and nitrite, but don’t be stupid. Don’t dry your pork at room temp in summer in Arizona in a house without AC. And don’t let the drying go on more than two hours or so – if you don’t have a powerful fan that can get the job done in that timeframe, go with the Slow Dry Method.

Whatever method you opt for, make sure the pork loin has full air flow all around it and isn’t touching anything.

Now it’s time to smoke! Get your smoker set up and loaded with applewood chips or your chips of choice. Different smokers require slightly different set-ups, so just follow the instructions for your particular smoker. I use dry smoke. As a reader commented on the big bacon post, dry smokes and wet steams.

Load your brined, dry pork loin into your smoker and hot smoke until the pork hits an internal temperature of 150-degrees. If you are using a smoker with a temperature control, set your smoker to somewhere around 225-degrees.

When your Canadian bacon is fully cooked but juicy with a beautiful smoked exterior, remove it from the smoker.

If you possibly contain yourself, wrap the Canadian bacon well and let it chill well before slicing into it. I did not have that level of self control. This stuff is incredible. It will last for a few weeks in the fridge, and if you wrap it well in reasonable-sized hunks you can freeze it for 6 months.

Putney Farm

Home Cured Canadian Bacon.

Also known as “back” bacon, “Irish” bacon, “rasher” bacon, or just “bacon” (in the UK), what we have here is a cured, smoked, boneless pork loin. Much leaner than bacon from pork belly (American Bacon or “streaky bacon” in the UK), Canadian bacon is very tasty and pretty good for you. If you worry about the fat in bacon, Canadian bacon is a good choice. We eat both types of bacon, you just can’t have enough bacon in your life.

Most Americans are familiar with Canadian Bacon as a featured part of the Egg McMuffin, and while it does go well with eggs (and we do make a better McMuffin at home), Canadian bacon has other uses. We use our Canadian Bacon in grilled cheese sandwiches, diced in soups, and simply as a snack. The best way to serve it is sliced thin and lightly browned in a skillet. The flavor is like smoked ham, but with some of the piquant flavor of bacon. Good stuff and a fun project.

Making Canadian Bacon at home takes no special skills, just time and a key ingredient. The key ingredient is “pink salt” or curing salts. You can order them here. And if you want your bacon to taste like bacon, you need to use curing salts. Curing salts do contain sodium nitrites / nitrates and there have been some questions on their impact on health. We looked into it and any health risks seemed minimal. In fact, a little more research told us that fresh vegetables are very rich in nitrates (celery in particular) and there is no health risk associated with nitrates from veggies. So, as vegetable gardeners, we get plenty of nitrites and our health is fine. So we may as well enjoy some home-cured bacon. (Michael Ruhlman has a good, if somewhat heated, piece about overblown Nitrites / Nitrates risks here. It also includes some other scientific links on the subject. )

As for making Canadian Bacon you simply create a brine from salt, sugar, curing salt and herbs. You then brine / cure the pork loin for a few days, dry it for another day and then slowly smoke the loin to cook it. And then you have Canadian Bacon. It looks great, tastes better and you can even say you’re eating “healthy” bacon. Of course, if you want to “unhealthify” your Canadian Bacon and make Eggs Benedict…..we won’t tell anyone…

Home Cured Canadian Bacon:

(Adapted from Michael Ruhlman’s Charcuterie)

What You Get: Tasty, smoky and “healthier” bacon.

What You Need: Curing salts and a hot smoking setup. If you don’t have a smoker or grill you can use for smoking, you can finish the pork in a 200 degree oven, but you will miss out on some of the smoky flavor.

How Long? About 4 days. But only 30 minutes of active time. This is a project.

What is Canadian bacon?

To answer simply, Canadian bacon is bacon made from a cured pork loin. But a more exact answer is tricky, and depends on what you mean by Canadian bacon. First, there is the cured, smoked loin of pork known to the Canadians as back bacon. But there is also another bacon that is exclusively Canadian: peameal bacon.

Let’s take a closer look at both kinds.

Peameal bacon

First, let’s consider the native bacon of Eastern Canada. Called “peameal bacon” in its home and native land, this bacon is a cured pork loin that is rolled in cornmeal, sliced raw, and usually pan-fried. It gets its name from the 19th-century Torononian practice of rolling cured pork loins in ground yellow peas, which was meant to draw out water and help prevent spoilage during shipping. After the wars, they switched from peameal to cornmeal, but never changed the name.

Peameal bacon has a subtle flavor and—because of its wet cure—is juicy and tender. The cornmeal crust gives the slices a pleasant toastiness and the faintest hint of a crunch. In Toronto and the surrounding areas, th is fried bacon is piled on a roll and eaten as a delicious, hearty sandwich at breakfast or, really, any time. Often just served as meat on a bun, it might sometimes be dressed with a little mustard, some cheese, or maybe an egg, but they are not necessary additions by any means.

Any trip to Ontario should include a stop at a shop that sells these simple, delicious sandiwches.

A note on brining safety

When curing peameal bacon in brine, it is important to keep the temperature of the curing brine below 40°F (4°C) for the duration of the cure. Though the cure does include curing salt, it will not prevent all pathogenic bacteria from forming if it is allowed to remain in the temperature danger zone. The recipe calls for making a strong brine and mixing it with col water to cool it and dilute it to proper strength. Use a Thermapen® Mk4 to make sure the brine is below 40°F (4°C) before you start to brine your pork loin, and keep the brining bucket in the refrigerator throughout the process.

“Canadian bacon”/ back bacon

What the American’s call “Canadian bacon” is actually called “back bacon” by the Canadians. And, like peameal bacon, it is made from a cured pork loin. It gets its Canadian name from the loin’s location on the back of the hog, and is thereby differentiated from side bacon, which is what Americans typically eat. Back bacon is descended from British bacon, slices of which are known to the English as rashers.

Back bacon is cured in the exact same way that peameal bacon is, but it is then smoked (without cornmeal) until cooked through. The low-heat smoking—225°F (107°C)—combined with the 140°F (60°C) pull temp leaves the loin juicy, delicious, and with a decided smoky flavor and a beautiful auburn color. (This is the version off of which the imposter “Canadian bacon” is based. A far cry from the real thing!)

Because back bacon is smoked until fully cooked, it can be eaten without further cooking—though it is delicious pan-fried—and can be used on sandwiches, pizzas, as a breakfast side, or anywhere ham would go. If you have a deli slicer, smoking then slicing a large loin’s worth of home-cured Canadian bacon and freezing it in small packages for gradual use would be a fantastic idea.

Canadian bacon and peameal bacon share the same brining process, so back bacon is also juicy and tender, even when cooked. But remember that it is important to follow the same temperature safety rules for brining as outlined for peameal bacon. Keep it cold during the brine!

Which bacon is better, Canadian or peameal?

We followed Michael Ruhlman’s lead and brined a large chunk of loin before cutting it in half to make a half-chunk each of back bacon and peameal bacon. It was fun to try both versions, and they both had serious redeeming qualities. The peameal was easier and offered a clean, direct, cured-pork flavor, while the Canadian (back) bacon came away with far more smoke flavor than I expected. If you’re game, I recommend trying it both ways. They’re both so tasty that I’m going to incorporate both versions into my personal kitchen.

Making Smoked Canadian Bacon

A few days ago I started some pork loins curing to make Canadian Bacon. When they have cured for about a week I'll smoke them in my Bradley smoker.

I used a basic dry cure, plus additional herbs and dark sugar.

These two dry cures are from Michael Ruhlman's Chartcuterie. 2 ounces/50 grams of the basic dry cure for every five lbs./2.25 kilos of meat.

Basic Dry Cure with granulated sugar
1 pound/450 grams pickling salt/Kosher salt
8 ounces/225 grams granulated sugar
2 ounces/50 grams pink salt = 10 tsp. (InstaCure #1 or DQ Powder or Prague Powder #1 or Cure #1 or TCM)
Makes about 3-1/2 cups

Basic Dry Cure with dextrose (less sweet than granulated sugar)
1 pound/450 grams pickling salt/Kosher salt
13 ounces/425 grams dextrose
3 ounces/75 grams pink salt = 10 tsp. (InstaCure #1 or DQ Powder or Prague Powder #1 or Cure #1 or TCM)
Makes about 3-1/2 cups

Dry curing like this needs a minimum of five days, and up to ten days, but six to seven days seems to be best. After the meat is cured it needs to be washed very well to get off all the herbs and cure. Then it needs to be soaked in fresh water for 1-2 hours, changing the water a few times.

After soaking, which removes excess salt and cure, the meat needs to be dried well, and then placed on a tray and left uncovered in the fridge overnight. This dries the surface of the meat out and a sticky film forms on the meats surface. This is called the pellicle, and makes the smoke adhere to and soak into the meat better. Wet meat doesn't take up smoke well. Also the cure is still distributing itself through the meat and averaging out what was removed from the soaking.

When the meat has developed the pellicle I will smoke it. I first bring the smoker up to 150F and place the meat inside and let it sit for 45 minutes without smoke. Then I raise the temp. to 200F or 225F (I still have to see which works best, most folks like 225) and give the meat two hours of smoke. Light smoke would be 1 hour, but I like a medium smoke. More than two hours would be too much. I smoke until the meat has an internal temp. of 140-150F. 140 is the minimum needed, 150 may make it a bit dry. There seems to be a sweet spot of 142-146F that will have the meat fully cooked, but still juicy. Then the meat needs to rest and cool to room temp., this takes about an hour. Then the Canadian bacon needs to be well wrapped in plastic or vacuum sealed and stored in the fridge overnight for the smoke to fully penetrate. 2-3 days is even better. the bacon can stay wrapped in the fridge for up to two weeks. Or well wrapped and frozen for up to six months.

I used a bit more pink salt in my basic dry cure, taking it up to 2.4 oz./68 gm. based on someone whose meat curing skills I trust recommendation. I want to see how it compares to Ruhlman's. The other ingredients are the same, but instead of granulated white sugar I used dark Japanese sugar that I ground up in the food processor.

On 9/28/13 I measured out the dry cure for the total weight of the pork loin. To this I added about 25% more sugar and about 25% more of a bunch of dry herbs I ground up in the spice grinder. Garlic powder, sage, rosemary, celery seed, black pepper, a tiny bit of cumin, etc. I then cut the 8 lb. pork loin into two pieces about 14 inches long, sliced off as much fat as I could, just leaving on a 1/8-1/4" thick layer. Then I rubbed them down on all sides with the weighed cure plus herbs and sugar, and immediately sealed them together in a vacuum seal bag. I then massaged the cure/spice mix into the meat. The meat immediately gave off some juices that melted the salts and sugars and wet down the herbs. I then put the meat into the fridge, making sure that it was just under 40 F where the meat was located. Every day I take out the meat, massage, and place the bag upside down to the way it was before, to distribute the liquids and cure.

On 9/30/13 I did the same for a 5 lb. pork loin. To the cure I added a different blend of herbs and sugar, making a much less spiced version with no garlic.

Here's a pic taken just after the first loin was sealed and massaged. Sorry no other pics, but I will take more as the cure is done.

Cook's Notes

Let the strata chill 2 hours, and it will be nice and moist. If you leave it overnight in the refrigerator, it will be even more custardy.

To test for doneness, pierce center of strata with a sharp knife it should feel firm and the knife should come out clean.

The muffin halves and Canadian bacon are arranged upright in the baking dish for easier serving. When cutting, you'll be able to see the layers and make sure each portion contains a few pieces of bread and bacon.

Recipe Summary

  • 4 pounds raw pork belly
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup sugar-based curing mixture (such as Morton® Tender Quick®)
  • 1 gallon cold water, or as needed
  • 1 (10 pound) bag charcoal briquettes
  • hickory or apple wood chips

In a 2 gallon container, mix together the brown sugar, curing mixture, and water. Submerge the pork belly in the mixture so that it is covered completely. If the meat floats, you can weigh it down with a dinner plate or similar object. Refrigerate covered for six days.

Light charcoal in an outdoor smoker. Soak wood chips in a bowl of water. When the temperature of the smoker is between 140 and 150 degrees coals are ready. Smoke the pork belly for 6 hours, throwing a handful of wood chips on the coals about once an hour. Store in the refrigerator. Slice and fry as you would with store-bought bacon.

Additional information

This recipe is a modification of Morton Tender Quick recipe and curing methods and Mallard Wacker&rsquos cooking guidelines for Buck Board Bacon.

You can add or subtract as many spices and flavouring you want to this recipe, as long as you maintain the correct amount of Tender Quick.

The dark brown sugar gives it a nice distinctive flavour, but you can replace it with light brown sugar, or regular sugar or maple granules.

You can increase the amount of applied smoke, but I like my Canadian bacon and pastrami lightly smoked. Keep in mind, that smoking a 225 F, your loins are going to reach 145 F -150 F in about 3 to 4 hours.

There are many different wood choices that work great for smoking bacon, so try our 5 Flavour Variety Pack of Bisquettes.

*OPTIONAL: At this point I used butcher&rsquos twine and tied the loin every 2-3 inches. This helps the bacon maintain a more rounded shape, and the even shape helps all parts cook more uniformly.

** I had two pieces in the smoker, and the tapered piece took 45 minutes longer to reach 150 F.

Watch the video: Homemade Canadian Bacon Recipe - How to Make Canadian Bacon Easy (May 2022).