Canadian Bacon


  • 4L water
  • 350g salt
  • 225g sugar
  • 42g pink salt
  • 1 large bunch fresh sage
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, left whole
  • 2kg boneless pork loin, all fat and sinew removed

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 Canadian bacon is brined with a curing salt and herbs before it’s smoked. The brine, of course, results in a moister loin than one that hasn’t been brined. The herbs season it, the pink salt gives it the cured flavour, and then the smoke adds a third layer of flavour. Alternatively, you can make a perfectly tasty Canadian bacon without smoking, by roasting the loin in a low oven (93°C) to an internal temperature of 63°C. However, the smoke really does add an important dimension to this lean cut.


Combine all ingredients (except pork) in a large pot and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Remove from the heat and let brine cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled. 

Place pork loin in the brine and weight it down with a plate to keep it completely submerged. Refrigerate for 48 hours.

Remove pork from brine (discard brine), rinse under cold water and pat dry. Place on a rack set over a plate or tray and refrigerate for 12–24 hours.

Hot-smoke the pork to an internal temperature of 65°C, around 2–3 hours. Allow pork to cool completely then refrigerate for up to 10 days.

Wine match: 2015 Equinox Waipara Valley Pinot Gris


Aromas: Crisp red apple, quince and a hint of nougat. 

Palate: Flavours of apple, pear and nougat with a touch of ginger and crisp acidity.

This lively Pinot Gris will complement the layers of flavours in this cured and smoky Canadian bacon.