Home » All Recipes » Dinner Recipes » How To Make Peameal Bacon

How To Make Peameal Bacon

No ratings yet

Did you know you can make peameal bacon at home? Forget over-salted and over-priced store-bought peameal bacon, and make your own with oodles more flavor at a fraction of the price! It’s not hard, and the flavor is incredible!

Cured and sliced raw peameal bacon on a cutting board.

This post may contain affiliate link(s). As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. See Disclosure.

Chances are that if you know what peameal bacon is, that you love it. There’s nothing quite like it, and it’s so versatile. You can slice it and put it on sandwiches, serve it griddled for breakfast or brunch, or smoke the whole chunk for a delicious roast.

Typically only available in Ontario, Canada, peameal bacon is a provincial treasure, but you can make peameal bacon at home, and it’s more delicious and flavorful than anything from the store!

What you’ll love about Making Peameal Bacon


  • Much cheaper than store-bought!
  • Control the salt; control the sugar.
  • It’s so much more delicious than any purchased brand!

What Is Peameal Bacon

A close relative of back bacon, peameal bacon isn’t really bacon at all. It’s pork loin – cured pork loin, to be exact. Created in Toronto in the 1850s, the story goes that a meat packer by the name of William Davies trimmed pork loin, cured it, and then rolled it in ground dried yellow peas to help extend its shelf life.

Cured in a brine of Prague Powder #1, salt, and sugar, and then rolled in cornmeal (nobody uses dried and ground yellow peas anymore) peameal bacon is a thing of beauty. It is easy to make, and once you’ve tried it homemade, you’ll never want it any other way! Just don’t call it back bacon – back bacon is similar to peameal, but it is smoked and not rolled in cornmeal.

Ingredients

  • Boneless Pork loin – This batch is scaled for about 5 pounds of pork loin in one solid piece. Trim off excess fat, but leave a 1/4-inch layer of fat on the top.
  • Water – Use distilled or boiled and cooled water to reduce impurities and keep the flavors clean.
  • Kosher salt – You can’t have a wet cure – or brine – without salt. I use kosher salt, but if you use table salt, use half as much.
  • Sugar – White granulated sugar does the trick. Don’t worry, the meat won’t be sweet tasting.
  • Peppercorns – Whole black peppercorns.
  • Bay leaves – Whole dried bay leaves.
  • Garlic – Fresh garlic cloves, and give them a good smash.
  • Prague Powder #1 – Don’t have a clue what this is? See below.
  • Cornmeal – Peameal bacon was traditionally rolled in pea meal (ground yellow peas). These days, we use cornmeal.
peameal bacon on a blue plate with toast and eggs.

What Is Prague Powder #1?

Many, many years ago, I tried to make my own corned beef without Prague Powder #1. It was a nasty disaster. Then, I learned from an expert how to cure meats, and I’ve never looked back. The secret ingredient to a successful cure is Prague Powder #1. Also called tinted cure or pink curing salt, it is a combination of 6.25% sodium nitrite and 93.75% sodium chloride.

Prague Powder #1 is the secret behind cured meats keeping their flavor and long shelf life. This curing agent inhibits the growth of bacteria and helps preserve flavor and color.

**Warning – Prague Powder #1 is NOT table salt! DO NOT use it in place of pink Himalayan salt or any other salt. Keep this product out of reach of children and label it appropriately.

Peameal bacon sandwich with onions.

How To Make Peameal Bacon

For a full list of ingredients and instructions, please scroll down to the recipe near the bottom of this page.

  1. Trim off all but about 1/4-inch of fat from the boneless pork loin if it isn’t already trimmed.
  2. Mix the distilled water with the kosher salt, sugar, peppercorns, garlic, bay leaves, and Prague Powder #1 until dissolved.
  3. Add the pork loin to the brine and refrigerate for 5 days, turning it over and giving the mixture a stir once a day.
  4. Remove the pork and drain the brine down the sink. Refill the container with cold tap water and put the pork loin into the clean water, and refrigerate for 2 hours. After 2 hours, drain the water and replace it with clean water, and soak for another 2 hours in the fridge. You are desalinating the pork, so it’s not too salty.
  5. Pat the pork dry and roll it in the cornmeal pressing down lightly for even coverage.
  6. Cook and enjoy!

How To Cook Peameal Bacon

Peameal bacon can be prepared in several different ways. Here are some suggestions:

  • Slice it into 1/4-inch thick slices and grill them over low heat.
  • Slice into 1/4-inch thick slices and pan-fry them.
  • You can roast a whole peameal bacon at 350-F until it reaches 145-F, then rest for 5 minutes, slice, and serve.
  • You can pop the whole thing onto the rotisserie.
  • You can also smoke peameal bacon.
A top-down shot of raw sliced peameal bacon on a cutting board.

Serving Suggestions

Wondering what to serve with peameal bacon? It’s really quite versatile and can be used as an ingredient in other dishes or just be cooked and served. Here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy cooked peameal bacon:

  • Pan-fried and served with eggs, toast, and all your favorite breakfast dishes.
  • Forget an Egg McMuffin, make your own at home with peameal instead of ham!
  • Fried or grilled slices piled high on a sandwich with fried onions. Insider secret: peameal bacon and fried onions is knock-your-socks-off good!
  • Roasted and served with au gratin potatoes and all your favorite sides.
  • Smoked – Smoked peameal bacon is a thing of beauty!

Storage

Cured peameal bacon will keep for a week or more in the fridge if tightly wrapped. I like to freeze smaller portions of it so that I can thaw one for breakfast or brunch. You can also freeze individual slices to heat up whenever you’re hungry for it. To freeze peameal bacon, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then pop it into a freezer-safe plastic bag for up to 3 months. To keep it longer, vacuum seal it.

Step By Step Process

Cured and sliced raw peameal bacon on a cutting board.
Print Pin
No ratings yet

How To Make Peameal Bacon

A regional delicacy in Ontario, Canada, peameal bacon is available everywhere. Making your own peameal bacon is so much better! It's less salty, has more flavor, and is far cheaper to make from scratch than to buy already prepared!
Course Main Course
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword cornmeal, curing, peameal, peameal bacon, pork, pork loin, prague powder #1
Prep Time 10 minutes
Curing time 5 days
Servings 20 servings
Author Chef Jenn

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds boneless pork loin
  • 1 gallon distilled water or boiled and cooled
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt or half as much table salt
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic smashed
  • 2 teaspoons Prague Powder #1
  • 2 cups cornmeal

Instructions

  • Trim off all but about 1/4-inch of fat from the boneless pork loin, if it isn't already trimmed.
  • Mix the distilled water with the kosher salt, sugar, peppercorns, garlic, bay leaves, and Prague Powder #1 until dissolved.
  • Add the pork loin to the brine and refrigerate for 5 days, turning it over and giving the mixture a stir once a day.
  • Remove the pork and drain the brine down the sink. Refill the container with cold tap water and put the pork loin into the clean water, and refrigerate for 2 hours. After 2 hours, drain the water and replace it with clean water, and soak for another 2 hours in the fridge. You are desalinating the pork, so it's not too salty.
  • Pat the pork dry and roll it in the cornmeal pressing down lightly for even coverage.
  • Cook and enjoy!

Notes

There are no nutritional values for this recipe because it is impossible for this chef to calculate how much of the brine the pork will absorb.

A Note on Nutritional Information

Nutritional information for this recipe is provided as a courtesy and is calculated based on available online ingredient information. It is only an approximate value. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site cannot be guaranteed.

Want More Delicious and Easy Recipes?

By Chef Jenn

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.