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CYvilEng 02-28-2013 03:35 PM

Ham in progress
I am making a ham for easter time. I ordered a berkshire ham and a belly this week from a local producer. I picked them up today, and to my surprise the belly was 12lbs and the ham weighed in at a whopping 30lbs. This bugger is huge! The hogs were slaughtered last night. I was told they were oinking and pooping yesterday. It doesn't get much fresher than that.

I started last night by making the brine cure solution and cooling it off over night. I am planning to use the dizzy pig recipie.
Here are the dry ingredients to be mixed with 30 cups of water. I boiled 16 cups of the water and mixed in the dry ingredients. Then I put that in my food bucket with 14 cups of cold water. The bucket then went outside in the snow to cool off.
The ham and belly on the ride home. I'm not anywhere near a good photographer. There is a lot of optical illusions happening to make the ham look smaller. The belly is sitting up 4 inches off the floor and you can't see the face of the ham.

Tonight I'll get more pics of the ham while I'm getting ready to cure it.

My plan is to inject it and cure it for 10 days. Then cold smoke it a few evenings and maybe overnight. I'm not sure how to know when it's been cold smoked enough. I'm guessing it'll look right at a certain point. Then I'll let it sit a couple days and cook it up in the smoker and glaze it at the end.

I'll keep posting updates as progress happens!

HeSmellsLikeSmoke 02-28-2013 03:38 PM

I have been thinking seriously of curing both cuts so will be following this thread closely.

Great looking meat.

IamMadMan 02-28-2013 04:08 PM

Can't get any fresher than that....

Keep us updated on the process...

DownHomeQue 02-28-2013 04:08 PM

nice..doesn't get any fresher than that... will keep glued.. want to see the finished product! :clap:

Titch 02-28-2013 04:10 PM

I am watching this with interest

Fatback Joe 02-28-2013 06:28 PM


Originally Posted by CYvilEng (Post 2387742)
I'm not sure how to know when it's been cold smoked enough. I'm guessing it'll look right at a certain point.

Since you are curing it, the smoking is strictly for flavor so there isn't really a right or wrong on time, just personal preference. It would be different if you were cold smoking as the means of preservation........but you probably knew this. :icon_blush: The longer time will dehydrate it a bit, but a big ol ham can take it.

My grandpa used to smoke hams for about 4 days........I usually go the 8 to 10 hour mark just because my set up takes some attention on my part and I am not going to stay up all night with a least not once I passed 40. :biggrin1:

Good luck! Hope it turns out better than you hope.

Hoss 02-28-2013 06:35 PM

Lookin good.Keep us posted.I have only done the old time cure,smoke,hang method for country ham.I am anxious to see how the fast track liquid brine does.

Smoking Westy 02-28-2013 06:38 PM

Sweet! Curing a ham is high on my list to do, looking forward to seeing the final product.

hamiltont 02-28-2013 07:53 PM

I've had good luck pumping the hams with the brine to make sure the cure is through and through, especially around the bone. Never done a 30 pounder though. Just a bunch of 20's. keep the pics coming!! Cheers!!!

Big M1ke 02-28-2013 08:56 PM

Gonna be awesome :thumb:

Pyle's BBQ 02-28-2013 09:06 PM

Great looking start. Where did you pick this up from? I want to get a belly and do some bacon.

code3rrt 02-28-2013 09:13 PM

Lookin' forward to seeing this of those items on my "to try" list.


CYvilEng 02-28-2013 10:09 PM

I got the ham in the brine cure solution this evening. Here are some pics of the process.
For those not lucky enough to have snow. Here is a pic of the brine solution yesterday cooling off outside
These are some pics of the ham out of the cyrovac.

After unwrapping, it was time to remove the thick layer of fat. I didn't know how to do it so I cut out a large square then worked my way around.
The fat is mostly all removed.
Time to inject it. I injected about 10 full pumps, a lot of it along the bone.
Here is my first shot at filling the bucket. It wasn't full all the way.
Time to make another batch of cure solution.
It's full! I didn't take a pic of the 3rd batch of solution :rolleyes:
Here it is in the fridge sitting next to the belly. I had to add another shelf to make it not bow as much. It's pretty heavy!
Here is the bag of trimmed fat that is waiting to be turned into lard.

I'm not good at words but I can take pics, when I remember. I'll keep updating as the process moves along!

CYvilEng 02-28-2013 10:12 PM


Originally Posted by Pyle's BBQ (Post 2388241)
Great looking start. Where did you pick this up from? I want to get a belly and do some bacon.

I got these from Eden Farms. They have an office in Des Moines where you can pick up stuff that you ordered. They are very friendly. I recommend calling Tina! Email works great too. She responds super quickly.

I can't find cheaper bellies at my local butcher so I get the berkshire bellies from Eden Farms since they are the same price.

LM600 03-01-2013 01:10 AM

Outstanding! When I cold smoke bacon, I go for 12hr smokes over 5 days, this builds up a nice flavour profile and a gorgeous silky, reddish/orange colour.

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