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ham plan

 
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deersteak
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Joined: 24 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09 13 8:22 pm    Post subject: ham plan Reply with quote

Hey folks. I've got two pieces of raw ham thawing in the fridge and I would like to lay out my plan and see if any of y'all have any suggested changes since this is my first time for ham. What I'm after is sliced ham for sandwiches etc

- thaw ham pieces in fridge (small one is 2" thick, large one is 4" thick)
- once thawed, trim off all fat possible
- inject brine in thicker piece especially around bone
- submerge in brine in fridge (planning on using large zip lock bag)
- brine is 1 gallon of water, 1/2 cup salt, 2/3 cup white sugar, 2/3 cup brown sugar, 1 TBS cure #1
- brine for 10-12 days, rotating bag each day
- remove from brine, rinse, pat dry
- place on rack in fridge to form pellicle 1-2 days
- smoke at 225 ish with Apple chunks,
- remove from heat at 150 deg,
- wrap and insulate for one hour
- slice and allow to cool
- eat
- vacuum seal extra and freeze.


So that's the plan. Whatcha think? Timelines OK? Add spices to brine? Different temps? I'm all ears Smile
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ComradeQ
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Joined: 05 Jul 2012
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Location: Toronto, ON, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Sep 09 13 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What's the weight of the hams? The amount of cure #1 looks on the low end for a brine. Depending on the weight of the meat you may need to adjust it for more cure. Typically cures and pickles use higher levels of cure as only a small percentage is absorbed into the meat. A little more info and we can help find the answer for you.

Depending on the flavour profile I would also consider some pickling spice, bay leaves and some lightly crushed juniper berries. The process itself sounds good to me, however you may want to consider soaking in some cold water for a hour or two after removing from the brine, changing the water every half hour. This will offset some of the saltiness.
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deersteak
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Joined: 24 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 09 13 11:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ComradeQ wrote:
What's the weight of the hams? The amount of cure #1 looks on the low end for a brine. Depending on the weight of the meat you may need to adjust it for more cure. Typically cures and pickles use higher levels of cure as only a small percentage is absorbed into the meat. A little more info and we can help find the answer for you.

Depending on the flavour profile I would also consider some pickling spice, bay leaves and some lightly crushed juniper berries. The process itself sounds good to me, however you may want to consider soaking in some cold water for a hour or two after removing from the brine, changing the water every half hour. This will offset some of the saltiness.


I'm not sure on the weight but will weigh them tonight and report back.

On the salt level/ water soak, I will test fry a piece from each cut to check saltiness and soak if needed.

I thought the cure seemed a little light given that its appx 1/4 of safe max level but I've seen that ratio repeated frequently. Something to look into though.

Pickling spices and bay leaves will be easy. I can look for juniper berries.

Thanks!
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deersteak
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10 13 6:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK the weights are right at 3 and 6 pounds. Skinless but with fat to be removed.

Should I do 2 TBS of cure #1 per gallon?
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ComradeQ
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10 13 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

deersteak wrote:
OK the weights are right at 3 and 6 pounds. Skinless but with fat to be removed.

Should I do 2 TBS of cure #1 per gallon?


Ok, I did the calculations and since your nitrite level should be 200ppm it works out to just under 20 grams so we will call it 20 grams for simplicity's sake ... that is roughly 2.5 tbsp of cure #1. I prefer weighing cures but 2.5 is a safe amount for the weight of meat you are curing. Hope this helps and please make sure to post pics!
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deersteak
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 10 13 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks comradeq.

Can I ask what the formula is for your calculations for future reference?

Edit: a link to formula would be awesome so I can bookmark it. Thanks!
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deersteak
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 11 13 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK I did a little more looking on the internet. As you said comradeq 200 ppm seems to be the desired level of cure #1 for immersion curing (called making a city ham apparently). However according to a PDF I found on sausagemaker.com it says that 120 grams will equal 198 ppm per gallon of water. Did you mean 120 by chance?

I figured out that I can change my kitchen scales to metric so weighing in grams is no problem. I didn't think I could convert because in standard mode it is only accurate to an eighth of an ounce so conversion would not be super accurate. Not an issue now though.

So new brine plan is:
1 gallon filtered water
120 grams cure #1
2/3 cup.white sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 1/2 TBS pickling spice
1 1/2 TBS lysanders meat rub for pork

Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated. The ham pieces are pretty well thawed so they need to go in the brine tomorrow.
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deersteak
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12 13 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK so more reading and I think I understand the 20 vs 120 gram thing. 20 grams of cure #1 would work out to 200 ppm in the brine. However because cure #1 is only 6.25% sodium nitrate the ppm of sodium nitrate would be much lower. The 120 grams cure #1 would equal 200 ppm of sodium nitrate in the gallon of water. I apologize I can't post the link but I'm typing on my phone just look up the breakdown of nitrate level PDF on sausagemaker.com.

I read the label on pickling spice and decided I already had most of it so I this is what I threw together:
1 gallon water
7 crushed bay leaves
3 crushed cloves of garlic
1/2 cup kosher salt
2/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 rounded TBS black peppercorns
1 tsp ground allspice
1 stick cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper
10 whole cloves
120 grams cure #1/Prague powder

Just waiting on the brine to cool down so i can inject.

On that PDF he suggests a much greater salt content... something about needing a certain degree of salinity. I think I have appx 1/3 of his suggested amount. I tasted the brine before I added the cure #1 and I felt like more salt would be too much. Hopefully I did alright.
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ComradeQ
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12 13 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

deersteak wrote:
OK I did a little more looking on the internet. As you said comradeq 200 ppm seems to be the desired level of cure #1 for immersion curing (called making a city ham apparently). However according to a PDF I found on sausagemaker.com it says that 120 grams will equal 198 ppm per gallon of water. Did you mean 120 by chance?

I figured out that I can change my kitchen scales to metric so weighing in grams is no problem. I didn't think I could convert because in standard mode it is only accurate to an eighth of an ounce so conversion would not be super accurate. Not an issue now though.

So new brine plan is:
1 gallon filtered water
120 grams cure #1
2/3 cup.white sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 1/2 TBS pickling spice
1 1/2 TBS lysanders meat rub for pork

Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated. The ham pieces are pretty well thawed so they need to go in the brine tomorrow.


Sorry, crazy busy week! I rechecked and you are absolutely right! Lesson to self, don't do calculations at 5am when you can't sleep, makes for major errors, lol!

Looks like a really good recipe, excited to see your results!
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deersteak
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Joined: 24 Sep 2008
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 12 13 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Phew!!
Glad to hear. Got them injected last night... they really surprised me how much liquid they held. Will probably take them out of brine next Thursday and smoke them next Saturday or Sunday.

I wound up taking the bone out of the smaller piece. It was a crosscut right at the knee joint so the bone was right at the edge. also while cutting away a fatty area on the other side two muscle sections separated so now I have the large piece that's probably almost 6 pounds and the two smaller pieces maybe 1.25 lbs each. Will have to watch those closely on the temps.

Im anxious to see how these work out... I've got another larger ham section in the freezer that is appx the top third of a ham that I can practice on. After that we've got 4 hogs to slaughter on October 4th and I want to do a whole ham if these trial runs work out well.

Thanks again for the help comradeq!!
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