Author Topic: Wet Curing Hams  (Read 2285 times)

Offline Al Lewis

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Wet Curing Hams
« on: January 13, 2013, 03:28:43 PM »
Yeah, it's that time of year to be making, and curing, all of those things that have to be kept cold in the process.  Did my beer yesterday so it's downstairs with all of the little yeast critters flatulenting flatulating farting in it.  Today is ham day.  Went to Cash & Carry to pick up a couple of fresh picnic shoulders.  These things are dirt cheap at $1.35 a pound.


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Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Wet Curing Hams
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2013, 03:37:59 PM »
So here's the recipe, and the process, I use for the cure.

4 liters of cold water
1½ cups of non-iodized salt
2 cups of brown sugar 
8 teaspoons of pink salt (insta cure #1)

Stir all ingredients together until dissolved. Place your ham in a container with a lid that is large enough to hold the meat completely submerged in the brine, but one small enough to fit in your fridge or a cooler. Add the cold brine to the ham and use a large injector to inject the brine in around the bone from both ends and into the large muscles.  Completely cover the meat with the brine.

Keep it in the fridge or the cooler in a cold room until done. Ideally you want this to be at 38° - 44°f.  I shake it up every day to make sure the sugar etc. stays in solution. It will cure at the rate of 2 pounds per day. A large ham will take about a week.  After it's done wipe it dry and let it sit overnight in the fridge to form pellicle, little droplets, on the surface.  This will hold the smoke so don't wipe them off.  Smoke skin side down at 170°f using apple and hickory for 8 hours.  Turn over half way though smoking.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 11:35:19 PM by Al Lewis »

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Wet Curing Hams
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2013, 03:40:17 PM »
Okay, so here's a couple of tips I use to make things simpler.  First off mix your cure ingredients in a blender and add some of your water and blend to make sure they get well mixed and into solution.

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Wet Curing Hams
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2013, 03:43:44 PM »
Prior to placing them into the brine, and injecting, rinse the hams off in cold water and trim any silver skin from the face.

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Wet Curing Hams
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2013, 03:48:15 PM »
Once you have mixed you brine, I do mine in a cooler and keep it outside with a large weight on top, you can put the hams into it and inject the brine down around the bone from both ends.  This is prevent a condition called bone taint where the meat touching the bone will go bad.  I use a injector from a turkey fryer brine.  You can find these in any store these days.  Make certain that your brine covers your hams.  Check them daily.  If you need to you can add a little more water to the brine to cover them but if you need a lot more then mix up a second batch of brine.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 04:04:14 PM by Al Lewis »


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Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Wet Curing Hams
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2013, 04:02:41 PM »
Okay, these hams are just under 8 pound each so they'll be in the brine for a week (4 to 5 days).  Then one night in the fridge and straight into the smoker.  I'll be happy to give you updates as they happen but for now here's a picture of one of the hams I did last year.  They say you eat with your eyes first so enjoy!!
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 11:36:06 PM by Al Lewis »

Offline H-K-J

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Re: Wet Curing Hams
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2013, 04:11:28 PM »
Oh boy Al, Ham, Beer, n, cheese, sounds like a party to me :)
"Happiness is not the absence of conflict,
But the ability to cope with it."

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Wet Curing Hams
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2013, 04:17:37 PM »
Don't forget the home cured bacon for breakfast!! LOL
« Last Edit: January 13, 2013, 04:22:46 PM by Al Lewis »

Offline Mike Richards

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Re: Wet Curing Hams
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2013, 04:19:15 PM »
Impressive.  Do you do sausages too?
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Wet Curing Hams
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2013, 04:24:44 PM »
Yeah Mike.  The wife is from England so I make some bangers up for her a couple times a year.  Do a couple of others on occasion too.  Curried, spicey, etc.


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Offline Mike Richards

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Re: Wet Curing Hams
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2013, 04:45:42 PM »
Sausages are next on my list to try.  I'll get to it when my interest in doing so outweighs my interest in making another cheese.  I've still got a lot of cheeses to go, but I figure I can start collecting information (and equipment) for sausages while I work on cheeses.  My boy who doesn't like to eat anything really enjoys salami and cheese on crackers.  I figure if I can make a cheese and a salami he likes, I'll be the most impressive person he knows.
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Wet Curing Hams
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2013, 04:51:03 PM »
Sausages are next on my list to try.  I'll get to it when my interest in doing so outweighs my interest in making another cheese.  I've still got a lot of cheeses to go, but I figure I can start collecting information (and equipment) for sausages while I work on cheeses.  My boy who doesn't like to eat anything really enjoys salami and cheese on crackers.  I figure if I can make a cheese and a salami he likes, I'll be the most impressive person he knows.

Sounds like a great plan to me.  I have a friend I work with that is getting into salami making.  Another fellow is making his own pastrami this weekend.  Iratherfly does a lot of this so you might want to contact him.

Offline Al Lewis

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Re: Wet Curing Hams
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2013, 04:54:36 PM »
Sausages are next on my list to try.  I'll get to it when my interest in doing so outweighs my interest in making another cheese.  I've still got a lot of cheeses to go, but I figure I can start collecting information (and equipment) for sausages while I work on cheeses.  My boy who doesn't like to eat anything really enjoys salami and cheese on crackers.  I figure if I can make a cheese and a salami he likes, I'll be the most impressive person he knows.

Sounds like a great plan to me.  I have a friend I work with that is getting into salami making.  Another fellow is making his own pastrami this weekend.  iratherfly does a lot of this so you might want to contact him.

Offline Mike Richards

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Re: Wet Curing Hams
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2013, 05:57:54 PM »
iratherfly does a lot of this so you might want to contact him.

I didn't know that.  I'll keep that in mind when I really get started.
If only I could make cheese as well as I grow a mustache...

Offline Schnecken Slayer

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Re: Wet Curing Hams
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2013, 11:22:45 PM »
OK, I am going to try that.
It looks like a trip to the homebrew supply is coming up.
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