Making homemade smoked Canadian bacon turned out to be easier than I expected and the maple brine was amazing. If you are like me and load up on pork loins when they are on sale, this is a great way to use them.
The Difference Between A Pork Loin And A Pork Tenderloin
Before we dive into the recipe, I want to briefly touch on the differences between pork loin and pork tenderloin. On social media it is not uncommon for people to think they have a pork loin when they might have a tenderloin or vice versa. So what exactly is the difference?
What Is Pork Loin?
Pork loin is a leaner cut of meat from the back of the pig. It is most likely to be bought boneless but can be found with the bone in. If you are a Costco shopper you will find the boneless version there. It is thicker and longer than a tenderloin. It will also have a decent fat cap on it. Pork loin is better smoked hot and fast, or if grilled, seared and then roasted over medium heat. Because it is leaner cut of pork, it is not good for a shredded pork and is best served sliced or as pork chops. This is what we are going to be using for our smoked Canadian bacon.
What Is Pork Tenderloin
Tenderloin is also a leaner cut. It is the muscle that runs along the backbone of the pig. It is always going to be boneless. If you are buying at Costco it is sold in packs of two. When compared to a loin, it is smaller and not as thick. There is no real fat cap on a tenderloin. In a similar fashion to the loin, smoked pork tenderloin needs to be done hot and fast or if grilled done so in the same manner as the loin. Both, if not cooked correctly are subject to being dried out.
The smaller size of the tenderloin lends itself not so much to a pork tenderloin sandwich as much as it does a slider.
Looking for some other recipes to smoke pork loin or delicious smoked pork tenderloin recipes, try these:
- Smoked Pork Loin Recipe
- Shaved Pork Loin Sandwich (perfect for leftover pork loin)
- Smoked Pork Tenderloin
- Smoked Pork Tenderloin Sliders
How To Make Canadian Bacon
First thing we are going to do is remove as much of the fat cap and silver skin as we can. Your best bet is to get under the skin and peel up what you can. Anything that does not easily peel off you will need to cut. Get what you can without cutting into the loin too much. If there is some fat and skin left on, its not a big deal. From experience, it does not make a huge difference if you do not get it all.
Canadian Bacon Cure
After having completed that step we are going to prepare our brine and cure solution.
For the maple-cured Canadian bacon recipe you will need the following:
- 1 gallon water
- kosher salt
- brown sugar
- maple syrup
- Prague powder
- garlic powder
A quick note on the Prague powder or sometimes called pink salt. This is not pink Himalayan salt, but a curing salt. It is a very fine powder that cures your meat, thereby allowing it to keep longer and also gives it a pink hue you are familiar with in cured store bought meat. Per Hoosier Hill Farm, you only need 1 level teaspoon per5 pounds of meat. You can store the smoked meat for about 2 weeks in a Rubbermaid type container.
You will start by combining all the ingredient into a pot and cook over medium heat until the sugar and salt have dissolved. After the sugar and salt are dissolved, you will let the solution cool. When it has cooled down, take the pork loin, place it in a gallon bag and then add the solution to the bag. You will then place it in the regfrigator for 4-5 days. If you are getting aggressive, no more than 6. I would suggest rotating it once a day just to ensure nothing has settled and its all being covered in the solution.
After that 4-5 day period you can pull the cured pork loin. You will pat it dry and it will be ready to smoke. You will not need to to add any dry rubs to this, the maple syrup, sugar and salt give you all the flavor you need on this smoked Canadian bacon.
Making Canadian Bacon On The Smoker
Pork loin, because its a leaner cut does much better hot and fast. I did this recipe on my Weber Kettle and got it up and running to 325°, using apple wood. You will put the pork loin on and get it started smoking. Once on there is nothing you need to do except let it smoke. The process will take about 1.5 – 2 hours.
I smoked this to an internal temperature of 140°, because I have the intention of slicing it and warming it up on our griddle. If you are planning eating this immediately I would take it to an IT of 145°. After pulling it off the smoker, I would let it rest for 15 minutes, slice and then serve. I sliced the smoked Canadian bacon in about 1/4″ slices.
Making homemade Canadian bacon is a great addition to your breakfast menu. It is super easy to make and incredibly quick to smoke. The family will love this for breakfast or a quick afternoon snack.
Thanks for being here and checking out this smoked Canadian bacon recipe. I hope you enjoy it! We always appreciate comments, 5 star recipe rating and social media shares. As always, keep that smoke rolling!
If you are looking for some other breakfast recipes, here are some suggestions:
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- 4 lbs boneless pork loin
- 1 gallon of water
- 3/4 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 1/2 cup of maple syrup
- 1 tsp. Prague powder
- 1 tbsp. of garlic powder
- Trim off any excess fat/fat cap on the pork loin and the silver skin
- Mix your brine ingredients and simmer until the salt and sugar are dissolved
- Place the pork loin and brine in a 1 gallon bag or larger container and brine for 4-5 days
- After brine period, set smoker for 325°, using apple wood
- Remove pork loin from brine and pat dry, removing any excess salt
- Smoke at 325° for until you reach an IT of 145°
- Remove, slice and serve while hot