Boild Ham questions

Nakom
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Ham curing question

Post by Nakom » Sat Apr 07, 2012 14:58

If you can dry cure a ham at high temp why cant you brine cure one as long as you keep it sealed?

The reason i am asking is because I have 4 large hams to cure and not enough room to cure them in the fridhge for 30 days.

thanks

Nick
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Post by ssorllih » Sat Apr 07, 2012 15:08

Eternity has been discribed as two people and a ham.
Why not cut those hams down into manageble pieces and cure them that way.
How will you store them after they are cured and smoked?
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Post by Nakom » Sat Apr 07, 2012 15:13

I was trying to do them whole. I have room in the freezer but not the fridge. I have two of each but I just got my 2 hogs butchered so now thw work is on me.
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Post by ssorllih » Sat Apr 07, 2012 19:17

Somebody? Can he pump them and shorten the time?
Nakom, does your butcher have room in his cooler to keep them as you cure them?
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Post by Nakom » Sat Apr 07, 2012 20:27

nope unfortunately he cannot. I just thought since you dry cure them for 9 months making proscuito it might be possible to do in brine as well.

I live in TN and I do not trust dry curing them here. I dont have a place that says 50-70 year around.
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Post by ssorllih » Sat Apr 07, 2012 21:49

You may need to read this link about hams by Stanley Marianski: http://www.wedlinydomowe.com/hams-other-meats/hams
If you have a space that you can close off and put in a room size air conditioner you could easily make a cool storage room.
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Post by Chuckwagon » Sat Apr 07, 2012 22:46

Hi Nakom,
When I've been out in the wilds for extended periods of time, I've just used a Coleman cooler. Just be sure to cover the meat with plenty of icewater (curing brine) and then fill the leftover space with cubed ice placed in ziplock bags. Keep the cooler in a cool place with a blanket for a little insulation, and the ice should last quite a long time actually. Remove the bags of (melted) ice as necessary and replace them with fresh ice in ziplocks. This will keep the solution from becoming diluted.

In the old days before ziplock bags, we had a problem with keeping the brine strength adequate. We had to compensate with a bit more added cure as the diluted brine was drained away. We didn't get carried away and only added back about 1/4 the amount of nitrite we placed in it originally... along with another half cup of salt. In a pinch, on the trail, this has worked just fine for me many, many, times.

I've re-written the recipe for this type of ham so it would be a little more clear and understandable. It is at this link: http://wedlinydomowe.pl/en/viewtopic.php?t=4830
How about taking a peek at it? Good luck with your project.

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
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Post by Nakom » Sun Apr 08, 2012 00:47

thanks alot this place is great wealth of information.

Nick
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Post by ssorllih » Sun Apr 08, 2012 02:36

If you choose to go with the ice chest solution consider jugs of ice rather than zipper bags.
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Post by Butterbean » Mon Apr 09, 2012 03:12

I thought this was a trick question the way it was worded.

I would suggest freezing two of the hams and work with one at a time as space permits. Once they are cured, you can age them together.
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Boild Ham questions

Post by Nakom » Fri Apr 20, 2012 21:42

I have 2 hams in cure right now following these http://wedlinydomowe.pl/en/viewtopic.php?t=4830 directions. They are 26.6lbs and 26.7 lbs. I started them curing l14th of April but i have a couple questions. I have them in a tub curing but they are touching each other and in fact they are rather tightly packed. I injected them as the directions said. My questions are; should i refresh the cure and leave them in the cure an extra week because they are packed tight or should i just leave them in the cure longer? As it stands I was planning on cooking 1 saturday and 1 sunday. They will have been in the cure 7 days by then. Will it hurt them to cure longer? I also removed the hock and it is curing seperately as I just did not have the room to cure a whole leg at a time.

Any comments or thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Nick
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Post by ssorllih » Fri Apr 20, 2012 22:27

It helps if you can shift them around some. If they don't get moved they think that they are two hams thick and one ham wide. It has only been a week now. My inexperienced head says too soon.
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Post by Devo » Sat Apr 21, 2012 01:18

You plan on smoking to big hams like that in two days? Me thinks its not going to happen, one ham that size will take close to 24 hours.
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Post by Chuckwagon » Sat Apr 21, 2012 03:20

If a brine is made a bit strong and the meat spends too much time in it, the texture could come out mushy. But in a ham that large, I wouldn't worry. Are you keeping them covered? Are they at 38°F.? Yes, the hams should have a little room and not touch each other. On hams that large, it is best to use separate containers - even if it is just a plastic "twenty dollar special" at WalMart. Turn them over once a day, keep the brine strength and temperature uniform, and you'll be just fine. It is important that the brine remains at full strength. That's why we use ice in plastic bags or a "blue ice pac" to keep it cold. If the temperature gets much over 40 degrees, spoilage may actually begin. On the other hand, if the temperature goes much below 36 degrees, the nitrite conversion to nitric oxide is hindered and slowed up quite a bit.

It is very important to inject ten to twelve percent of the ham's weight in brine - throughout the meat. Use short injections as you withdraw the needle. Keep it uniform and use a perforated needle. It won't hurt to get a little too much brine inside the meat... just as long as you get enough inside.

If the actual "strength" of the cure is diluted due to melting ice water, the brine must be replenished with a bit more nitrite and salt.
On hams that large, you'll no doubt have to make extra brine to keep them fully covered. The important thing is not to let the air get to the meat while curing or you will have dark, hard, spots in the meat. Seven to ten days should do the trick. Personally, with hams that large, I'd let them stay in the brine ten days.

We'd sure like to know how they turn out. Keep the brine strength uniform and I think they'll be just fine. Get ready for some Grrrrrreat ham! I just updated that recipe a couple of weeks ago and it is my favorite. I make the stuff all the time. The only problem you'll have is that people wolf it down so quickly you'll have to make more soon! After you've "prep cooked" it and it has spent a night in the refrigerator, bake it for company and make some great mustard sauce to go with it. People will think you are some kind of wizard like the Nor Cal Kid :lol: !

Best Wishes,
Chuckwagon
If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably needs more time on the grill! :D
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Post by Nakom » Sat Apr 21, 2012 17:55

Thank you for the information I will let them stay in the brine alittle longer. They are fully covered and kept around 36 deg. I have Bacon/Jowls and Hocks to do anyway so alittle longer wont hurt a thing.

Nick
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