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Curing and smoking fresh Ham Login/Join
 
posted
I had promised Vicky B. to post my trial with Ham. That was a couple of months ago so with Thanksgiving coming close, and others might want to give this a try for the Holiday get together.
I have been having problems posting this so I hope it works this time.
My first try on Ham ended up with a nice piece of smoked pork because I realized to late that the books I had were talking about smoking already cured ham. Thanks to postings of this group I ended up buying Charcuterie, ordered the pink salt and was much better prepared for the second try.
My ham was 12.10 lbs. that I left in the Fridge for two days to start defrosting before putting in the brine.
I followed the instruction for American-style brown sugar glazed holiday Ham pages 93-94 in Charcuterie. The only thing I did different was not take the bone out. That probably would have cut the cooking time by quite a bit.
Attached I put my day by day instructions and results.
Hope this will inspire some others to try and post their results

Zip/GZ archiveCuring_and_Smoking_Ham_day_by_day.zip (294 Kb, 77 downloads) Day by day process for Ham
 
Posts: 24 | Location: Northern Michigan | Registered: June 26, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yea Maria-Anne! You did it....

I cant wait to go to the store and buy the ham. This is gonna be a great addition to my Smoked Turkey on the Thanksgiving table. I am glad it worked out well and every bit of it was edible.

Would you do it again??? Sounds like a funny question, but is it definitely worth the effort than buying an already prepared one?

Vicki

Thanks so much for posting the pics and the step by step. It should be a big help.

By the way, my mouth is watering just thinking about a nice pea soup or a ham sandwich on some nice crusty bread Yeah, its almost dinner time...
 
Posts: 904 | Location: Northern New Jersey | Registered: December 02, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Yes I would do it again. Once a year in late spring we buy half a pig. The butcher cut the ham in two so that gave me two hams a little over 12 lbs. each. The second one is still in the freezer.
We're in the process of building an outdoor shed to house the smoker so that I will not have to worry about weather conditions when smoking. I know some people smoke in snow and rain but the Amerique was a lot of money and I want to make sure it will last a long time. Northern Michigan climate is not exactly the best to accommodate outdoor smoking for most of the year and this will allow me to use the smoker all year long.

By the way this was much better tasting than any store bough ham. The closest to compare that I know off would be a Harrington Cob smoked ham but I liked mine better. Also this was a fresh pork ham not cured at all. Don't know if you can get that at the store?
 
Posts: 24 | Location: Northern Michigan | Registered: June 26, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Sounds great. I wish I had the Amerique. I wish I had a special shack close to the house to smoke in. You are gonna love it I'm sure!

Now I am really excited to get this ham done!
 
Posts: 904 | Location: Northern New Jersey | Registered: December 02, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I did two hams over a year ago. Both with the same recipe Maria-Anne used from Charcuterie.
The first ham still had the full skin on it and I brined it for the recommended time. The only place the brine soaked into the ham was on the cut end of the muscle. No curing anywhere the skin was. I ended up with about 3/4 inch of ham and about 18 pounds of smoked pork.

The second time around I trimmed all the skin and left about 1/4 to 1/2 inch fat and brined a little longer than recommended- about 8 days.
Turned out a very tasty fully cured ham shank.
Plenty for everybody with enough left for ham and beans, scrambled eggs and ham, ham steaks, etc.


"Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death" Rosalind Russell in "Auntie Mame"
 
Posts: 389 | Location: Denver, CO | Registered: August 28, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Good to know Quenrn. was your successful one with.or wo the.bone? I may just.debone the whole.thi.g and.retie.it tightly. Depends what I can get my hqnds on. Sorry. Cant type on my phone.
 
Posts: 904 | Location: Northern New Jersey | Registered: December 02, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Both were bone in- I prefer the bone for a good pot of ham and beans to follow.


"Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death" Rosalind Russell in "Auntie Mame"
 
Posts: 389 | Location: Denver, CO | Registered: August 28, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I re-read the instructions in the book and it said to remove the aitch bone (long flat bone). I looked that up and that isn't the only bone in there, so perhaps yours had that bone already removed? I will have to talk to a butcher when I go buy it.

Thanks!
 
Posts: 904 | Location: Northern New Jersey | Registered: December 02, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Vicky
Both me and my husband watch on the internet how to remove the Aitch bone and neither one of us was sure afterwards what needed to be done, so we decided to leave the ham as it was.
You might be correct at the possibility that the Aitch bone was already gone.
It's going on my list of questions to ask the butcher when getting my order next spring. Maybe when I take the second ham out the freezer it might look more like what I saw on the Internet.
 
Posts: 24 | Location: Northern Michigan | Registered: June 26, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ok. I will have to find pictures. I did not do much research to start with. I am not sure wy they tell u to remove it. Maybe for ease of carving, or maybe if its a thin bone it can break down too easily when brining and cooking??? Gonna have to do more research. I'll post if I find anything new.

Vicki
 
Posts: 904 | Location: Northern New Jersey | Registered: December 02, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Ok - a rookie here. I read this thread, bought an uncared ham, then charcuterie. Recipe calls for pink salt. Had trouble locating pink salt (franklin tn). Co-op said they had it. Turned out to be curing salt w/o nitrite. Meantime - ordered pink salt from butcher-packer.

Question is - can I go ahead and start the brining process and add the pink salt when it arrives (approximately 4 days)? Salt company told me the pink salt was simply for retaining color.

Thanks in advance.
 
Posts: 11 | Registered: February 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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The pink salt we refer to is cure #1, or Prague powder. It has or had a bunch of names. It most definitely has nitrites in it 6.25%. Used in an amount of 1 tsp per 5 lbs of meat. Those amounts are sometimes adjusted depending on the recipe, but usually not by much.

http://www.americanspice.com/p...-1-pink-curing-salt/

The above link is what I found just by googling really quick and chose the first one that looked to explain pretty good.

Did you want this ham for Thanksgiving? The ham needs to cure for 1/2 day per pound of meat as per the charcuterie book. It then needs to dry at least 24 hours on a rack in the fridge before smoking it.

If you spoke to Butcher Packer, they would know what you needed. What salt people did u talk to?

I think the cure should be in the brine from the get go. Besides color retention, it adds to the flavor as well, and it doesn't hurt for safety, as it is in the smoker for a long time before the internal temp hits above the safe 140 area.

Check page 38 in Charcuterie that explains why Pink salt is used.

By the way, how big is your ham?
 
Posts: 904 | Location: Northern New Jersey | Registered: December 02, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Thanks for the response. I'm in no hurry on the ham. Just got the smoker and was experimenting. Ham is probably too big for a first time effort - 23 lbs. I know, I know. But it was all the butcher had at the time. Frozen, so he couldn't cut it. And I don't know how - other than to just cut it. I watched the very amateur aitch bone removal video, but found it to be no help.

The salt person was Tom at Tru-Flo - who works for Blue Ridge. BR is the manufacturer of the alleged pink salt I bought at the local co-op today. He's the one who said the nitrite was for the coloring.
 
Posts: 11 | Registered: February 20, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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If he said the nitrite was for the coloring only, then someone needs to report that guy to his bosses. He could kill someone. that stuff is poison if not used in the proper amts. Thats sad. But you know the truth, so your good. I am not sure, but I would hope it has to be labeled by law. Thats a queation for the experts. i am betting the ham wont be too big for your first time. It should fit and it wont be too diff than smoking a big butt for p pork. Brine makes everything moister even if u over cook it a bit. Just read the book and it explains to brine it the 1/2 day per lb of meat. So ur at about 11 1/2 days. You just need a big enough container. You may want ro buy a big food safe plqstic one like a cambro. just google it. And youll def. need to double that brine at least. we'll all be here when u r Ready.
 
Posts: 904 | Location: Northern New Jersey | Registered: December 02, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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