Canadian Bacon

adapted from Rytek Kutas' Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing

Brine for up to 25 pounds of pork loins:
5 quarts of ice water (38-40 deg F.)
1 cup plus 2 TBSP of powdered dextrose (or use 3/4 cup table sugar)
1/4 cup Modern Cure (Instacure #1, Prague Powder #1, or other cure that is 6.25% sodium nitrite on a salt carrier)
3/4 cup canning/pickling salt

Chill the pork loins to 38-40 deg. F. If your pork loins came with bones, remove the bones. Trim off any fat so that only lean meat remains.

Dissolve brine ingredients in the ice water, adding ice, if necessary, to maintain 38-40 deg. F. Inject the loins evenly with the brine until each one weighs 10% more than it did before injection. Place loins in the leftover brine and hold in a refrigerator or cooler at 38-40 deg. F. for 4-6 days. After 4-6 days, remove loins from brine and shower with hot water. Let drain. If you wish, you may stuff the loins into a synthetic casing, being sure to pin-prick the casing to remove any air pockets.

Preheat smoker to 130 deg. F. Put loins into smoker with dampers wide open to allow moisture to escape. Hold at 130 deg. F. for 4 hours without smoke. After 4 hours, increase smoker temperature to 150 deg. F. and close dampers to 1/4 open, and smoke for 3 hours. After the 3 hours of smoking, raise the smokehouse temperature to 160 deg. F. and hold until internal temperature reaches 142 deg. F. (Remember, pork and bear meat must be cooked to an internal temperature above 138 deg. F. to kill trichnosis. If you plan to cut your Canadian bacon into slices and fry them before eating, this is probably less important.) Remove the Canadian bacon from the smokehouse and shower with cold tap water until the internal temperature has reduced to 110 deg. F. (This stops the cooking process.) Hang the Canadian bacon (or place on drying racks) until dry. Hold overnight in the fridge before using.