How to Make Peameal Bacon and Back Bacon
Peameal and Back Bacon are ubiquitous in Canada, but hard to come by elsewhere. Luckily, they're both easy to make, here's how!
Servings 4 Lbs of finished bacon, approximately
Wood chips of choice (for Back Bacon)
- 1 Pork Loin About 4 lbs
- 12 Cups Cold Water Divided
- 1 Cup Maple Syrup
- 1/2 Cup Pickling Salt
- 2 Tbsp Prague #1 Cure
- 2 Tbsp Mustard Seeds
- 2 tsp Black Peppercorns
- 4 Garlic cloves Pressed
- 3 Whole Cloves
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 Lemon Sliced Into Wedges
Cut pork loin into 2 approximately equal sized chunks (crosswise, NOT lengthwise!). Trim most of the visible fat, if you’d like. Some people don’t both, I don’t like the extra fat on mine. Set aside (in fridge).
Measure 4 cups of of water into a large pot, add remaining ingredients (aside from rest of water!). Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, add remaining water, stir to combine. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Place one chunk of pork loin in each of 2 gallon sized freezer bags. I like to manually divide the lemon wedges and bay leaves equally between the two bags before pouring half of the brine into each bag. Push out most of the air, seal the bags, and put them in the fridge – I put both bags into a 9 x 12 cake pan, just in case of leakage, etc.
Allow the pork to brine for 5 whole days, turning once daily to ensure the pork loins are completely submerged.
After 5 days, discard brine, and rinse pork loins with cold water. Use paper towels to pat dry.
For Back Bacon:
Hot smoke it with your choice of wood chips until it reaches an internal temperature of 145-150 F. I left this completely up to Porter, here’s what he has to say about how he did it. (This was the very first thing he’s ever smoked!):“First I put it in the propane grill at about 225°F for one hour. Then I transferred it over to the charcoal grill for about 2 1/2 hours. The charcoal grill was about 250°F (that wasn’t intentional, was trying for 225°F). While on the charcoal grill I put on soaked applewood chips about every twenty minutes or so, just a small amount each time. I put the wet chips directly on the coals.”