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Fresh Ham Brine and/or cure

 
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jimmy3323



Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon Oct 16 06 2:36 am    Post subject: Fresh Ham Brine and/or cure Reply with quote

I am going to cure and/or brine a ham for thanksgiving. I have the curing salt and a basic recipe for a brine. Has anyone ever brined or cured a FRESH ham and then smoked it? I would love to do a sugar/salt cure and then inject with a sweet pickle then smoke. Anyone have any suggestions?
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Mark H
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Joined: 08 Apr 2006
Posts: 200

PostPosted: Mon Oct 16 06 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've done quite a few of these.

The basic injection is 3 1/2 oz of salt, 4 oz of white sugar, and 1/2 oz of sodium nitrate 6.25% cure. This gets dissolved in 1/2 galon of water.

The next part is the trick.
There is a main artery that is located near the aitch bone. This feeds blood to the entire leg. It hangs out perhaps 3/4 of an inch, and a 1/8 dia needle fits in pretty well. You need to inject 10% of the weight of the ham into this artery. For instance, if the ham weighs 20 lbs, after injection, it should weigh 22 lbs. Error on the plus side. Nothing wrong with 22 1/2 lb ham when you finish injecting.

This is THE way to do this. If you spray pump the ham, you won't get cure into the bone, and when you cut the cooked ham, there will be a grey looking bone, and everyone will wonder if the ham is spoiled.
If you shoot too much cure into the ham, the thing will be considered a water added product, and IMO, you can buy one of those.

Rub the outside down with cloves, dark brown sugar, or whatever suits you.

Process to 160 internal temperature and you're a hero.
Mark
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FairWeatherSmoker
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Joined: 21 Mar 2006
Posts: 157
Location: Kingwood, TX (N. Houston)

PostPosted: Mon Oct 16 06 7:08 am    Post subject: Hmmm Reply with quote

I take a pork shouder, inject with pickling salt & sugar - eqaul parts in a gallon of water, marinate in refrig for 2 or 3 days, then cook or smoke. Rub the outside with cloves,garlic,onion, papkika - or what ever suits your taste buds. Cook to 160 - 165.
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jamiebodie
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Joined: 06 Sep 2006
Posts: 52
Location: Bluffton SC

PostPosted: Tue Oct 17 06 10:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark, how long do you let it cure?

Jamie
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Mark H
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Joined: 08 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18 06 8:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jamie, When I was in the butcher shop we let these rest for about a week. The reason for the length of time was so the cloves and brown sugar had a chance to flavor the ham. Brown sugar is only used as a rub, if you try to inject it, you get weird colors. The other thing with brown sugar is it has a nice molasses flavor to it.

If you inject the ham via the artery, you will have a cured ham in 48 hours. The rest of the time is just to achieve flavor. I've always wondered what a ham with a molasses rub would be like? I've never tried this.

If you can't get at the artery, and this does happen some time, we always boned the ham out, cured the meat without the bone, then tied it back together. Now you know why old time butcher shops had a few boneless hams. LOL
Good luck on this. It's not really hard, the hardest part is finding a container, and room in your refrigerator.
Mark H
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jamiebodie
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Joined: 06 Sep 2006
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Location: Bluffton SC

PostPosted: Wed Oct 18 06 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark, it seems like you have some real experience at this so I would like to ask you a few questions that may sound dumb.

I was looking at using this method to cure the meat although your method sounds better and easier.

http://www.dizzypigbbq.com/recipesHam.html

Using the method that you describe do you soak the ham in a brine/cure at all or just inject it, rub it and put it in the fridge for a week or so?


We will take this one question at a time so I don't get confused or overwhelm your fingers.

Thanks in advance,
Jamie
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Mark H
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Joined: 08 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18 06 10:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jamie,
I do not soak the ham in a brine. The exception to this would be a ham that cannot be artery pumped. That does need to be submerged.

Artery pumped:
Inject a good honest 10% ham weight or better of the salt, white sugar, Prague powder, water solution into the artery. Rub the outside with brown sugar, salt, and prague powder rub. Use whatever other spices you want. Cloves, crushed black pepper, pickling spice, whatever.
This outside rub does have to be a curing agent, otherwise the green ham will get smeary on the outside.

Spray pumped:
Remove the bone from the ham, and inside fat. With a spray needle, inject the clear cure at various parts. You need to be sure this cure reaches ALL parts of the meat. (The injecting they did in the article will not cure the bone. The bone will be grey, no good for bean soup, and may even spoil inside the ham.) This meat needs to be submerged, the cure should be the same proportions as the clear injectable, but substitute dark brown sugar. Here is where you add spices.

Both methods of curing need to rest, to distribute the favorings of the added spices. The artery pumped ham will be cured in 48 hours, but the spray pumped boneless ham needs time for the injectable to distribute itself. This happens by capillary action, or osmosis. In the artery pump, the circulatory system takes the cure throughout the ham very quickly.

You might want to take off some of the skin on the ham, but no way would I remove that much fat. Processing to a higher temp will give you a firmer product. All bets are off here if you have an enhanced or sodium phosphate water ham. I work very hard at avoiding that kind of meat. I've only ever worked with natural pork, the way God grew it.
Mark

P. S. I'm always glad to help a guy out. There are no dumb questions.
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jimmy3323



Joined: 16 Oct 2006
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue Nov 21 06 5:18 am    Post subject: Fresh Ham results Reply with quote

Okay I did the ham...I did not receive the results I was hoping for..such as a nice pinkish color from the meat with that "hammy" flavor and smell. Below is my brine and I would appreciate any advice or suggestions...By the way Jamie....how do you find the artery? I never saw it or maybe I just did not what I was looking for.

12 tsp curing salt (DQ curing salt 6.25% sodium nitrite
1 gal apple juice
.5 gal h20
4 heads garlic sliced in half
6 cups brown sugar
3 TB ground thyme
1 bunch fresh thyme
2 whole sticks cinnamon
3 TB ground Cinnamon
4 bay leaves
8oz maple syrup
1/4 cup pickling spice
1 TB celery seed
1 TB allspice
1 TB cayenne pepper
1/2 cup Black peppercorns
8 oz dijon mustard
1 cup spiced cider such as wassel mix

I combinned all and brought to boil...reduced heat and simmered for 1 hour. Cooled in refrigerator...then submerged in brine for 7 days in refrigerator.

Any suggestions will help!!!
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