This is one of my favorite recipes when it comes to flavoring BACON. I am sure you could use this if you use belly or butts.
- One whole Pork Loin, they run about 9+lbs.
- About *3.2ozs of Maple flavored cure. I buy mine from Butcher-Packer. This amount of cure is enough for 10lbs of meat.
- Maple Syrup, #2 Dark. Buy the good stuff, I have used cheap and it does make indifference.
- Gallon sized zippered freezer bags, use the good ones…you will be glad you did.
- Plastic container to put the three pieces in the fridge with.
Directions for Curing:
- First, take you time here, you will be rewarded.
- Cut your loin up into three equal pieces using a ruler. Trim the fat off and rinse well, then dry with a clean old towel.
- Divide your dry cure up into three equal amounts and then rub each amount into a piece of meat-thoroughly, working the cure in well.
- Place each piece of meat into it’s own Ziploc bag, pushing out the air before you seal it up then place in a *about 40 degree fridge in a plastic container. (just in case you have a leak)
- Three(3) days later, put about 1/3 cup of Maple syrup into each bag and message in well.
- I let my BACON cure for 21 days, just my preference. But during this time, every few days or when it comes to you, pull out the bags and message them again working the fluid into the meat. Depending if your loin was injected with some foreign juice, the amount of fluid will very. I always leave the fluid alone and do not drain it off.
Preparation for smoking:
- After it has cured rinse the meat well and let soak for two hours. Rinse the meat WELL, when you think you are done, do it again. Unless you want really salty meat skip this and you probably won’t want to make bacon again. Let the meat stand at room temp for 1 hr.
- After the meat has been rinsed and you getting ready to let it sit for an hour get the Maple syrup out again and pour enough over the meat so you can massage the loin well with the syrup and let let sit, I massage it a couple of times during that hour.
Directions for Smoking:
- Put meat in smoker and bring up the heat to 150° and cook for 45 minutes WITHOUT SMOKE.
- After 45 minutes raise the temp of the smoker 200° and let the smoke roll. Smoke till a internal temp of at least 150°, I do mine to 152°. This usually takes 2-4 hrs, depending.
- AT THAT POINT turn off the heat and let stand IN THE SMOKER for 1 hour.
- After the this process I wrap in plastic wrap well and put into the fridge. It will taste better after sitting in the fridge for a while.
A WORD ABOUT THIS METHOD OF SMOKING…
To me if you follow this to a “T”, your BACON will come out with GREAT flavor, not over powered with smoke, but just right. I have done variations of this and have always come back to this.
THE * is for my reference to my STICKY on the Bradley Forum for “BACON: List of curing , smoking times & temps… ”
Click To Enlarge All Images
This is just a pic just before I pulled the meat to rinse.
This is what it looks like after soaking.
After resting and being massaged in Maple Syrup.
Smoked with Maple pucks till an internal of 152.
It came out very flavorful, very tender and was a winner in my book. All the flavors were there, syrup-smoke and cure…nothing that really over powered each other. If you are looking for this bouquet of pronounced Maple, I don’t think it exists and if it does it’s only done artificially. I like the lite flavor of the way this turns out. You can fry it in a pan and your whole house does not reek in some weird aeromatic concoction that was injected into the meat.
Some suggestion and or variations:
I would not go over 21 days, I don’t think it helped the flavor at all and maybe broke down the meat too much.
I think I will roll the next batch in Maple Sugar crystals after the resting period in Maple Syrup.
Feel free to contact me on the Bradley Forums if you have any questions.