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Unread 10-31-2007, 12:08 PM   #1
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Default Curing Ham

Tried to do a search on curing hams, but didn't see much. I have the ham curing process that Dizzy Pig has on his website, and was going to use that to do a ham. Then I found another method that did not call for removing the skin and extra fat prior to brining.
Any of you guys do your own hams???? Looking forward to starting this this weekend.
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Unread 10-31-2007, 02:26 PM   #2
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Bump.

I am also looking for info on curing. I just picked up a shoulder roast and was wondering if I should remove the thick skin before brining.

Mike
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Unread 10-31-2007, 02:58 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Lakeside Smoker View Post
Bump.

I just picked up a shoulder roast and was wondering if I should remove the thick skin before brining.
I do.

I do two hams for Thanksgiving every year. If you have some specific questions about my process I would be happy to answer them. The Dizzy Pig website is a great place to start.

This year I scored big. I talked to a place (Double G Hams) by my work that sells hams to grocery stores. They have agreed to sell me two city cured green hams. All I have to do is smoke them.
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Unread 10-31-2007, 03:58 PM   #4
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If you have some specific questions about my process I would be happy to answer them.
Cool!
I have a small bone-in shoulder roast (5lbs.) I use tender quick for curing. What would you do?

Thanks
Mike
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Unread 10-31-2007, 04:27 PM   #5
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Brewmaster, a question about terminology.

I thought "city cure" or "city ham" refered to a pork rear leg that had been cured by the mild, sweet-brine method.

I thought a "green ham" was the raw, un-cured leg of a pig.

So, just what is a city cured green ham?

PS, I understand a "country ham" to be a dry cured and aged ham, usually cold smoked.

Standing by for enlightenment.
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Unread 10-31-2007, 04:44 PM   #6
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I've done the Dizzy Pig method before on a picnic. It worked OK but be very careful to inject the brine heavily around the bone. Mine could have used a little more injection.

We decided to leave the ham curing to the pro's from now on. It was just too large a chunk of meat to cure at home in our opinion.
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Unread 10-31-2007, 04:57 PM   #7
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I typically make hams about that are about 16lbs. I make my brine using prague #1, pickling salt, some type of sugar (honey, brown sugar, molasses, ect..) and some other seasoning (bay leaves, ground cloves, pepper corns, ect..). I make it different every time.

Since you are using TQ I would start with enough water that will cover your piece of meat by a couple inches. Remove your meat from the water. Add the correct amount of TQ per the volume of water that you have. Then add the salt, sugar, and spices till you can float an egg. Any more than that is a waste. Once you have your solution ready I would boil it for a few minutes with a lid. You don't want to have any water loss.

Ok, at this point you need to cool your solution back to less than 40 degrees. What I like to do is use a couple two liter bottles full of water that I have frozen. You don't want to add ice directly. This will change your solution.

With a piece a meat this small I don't think you really need to inject it but hey, I have an injector, it wouldn't hurt. Now submerge you meat in this solution for about 36 hours in a refrigerator you don't open much. Pull the meat from the solution and submerge in plain water for a couple hours. Dry the ham before smoking. This will give you a more even smoke color.

Then I think you can take it from there. I typically wrap the ham once it gets to the color I like. Near the end I typically glaze the ham to make it sweet and shiny.

Good luck. Let me know if you have any questions.

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Last edited by Brewmaster; 10-31-2007 at 09:02 PM..
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Unread 10-31-2007, 05:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CajunSmoker View Post
I've done the Dizzy Pig method before on a picnic. It worked OK but be very careful to inject the brine heavily around the bone. Mine could have used a little more injection.

We decided to leave the ham curing to the pro's from now on. It was just too large a chunk of meat to cure at home in our opinion.
How large was your hunk o' pork? This sounds like it could be upwards of 16 - 18 pounds after trimming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewmaster View Post
I do.

I do two hams for Thanksgiving every year. If you have some specific questions about my process I would be happy to answer them. The Dizzy Pig website is a great place to start.

This year I scored big. I talked to a place (Double G Hams) by my work that sells hams to grocery stores. They have agreed to sell me two city cured green hams. All I have to do is smoke them.
Terms aside, Both recipes called for a fresh hog leg with rind (skin). Dizzy Pig calls for removal of the rind and most if not all of the fat. The one in a sausage book states to brine the entire thing with no mention of removing the rind and fat. Makes me lean towards Dizzy Pig.
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Unread 10-31-2007, 05:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewmaster View Post
I typically make hams about that are about 16lbs. I make my brine using prague #1, pickling salt, some type of sugar (honey, brown sugar, molasses, ect..) and some other seasoning (bay leaves, ground cloves, pepper corns, ect..). I make it different every time.

Since you are using TC I would start with enough water that will cover your piece of meat by a couple inches. Remove your meat from the water. Add the correct amount of TC per the volume of water that you have. Then add the salt, sugar, and spices till you can float an egg. Any more than that is a waste. Once you have your solution ready I would boil it for a few minutes with a lid. You don't want to have any water loss.

Ok, at this point you need to cool your solution back to less than 40 degrees. What I like to do is use a couple two liter bottles full of water that I have frozen. You don't want to add ice directly. This will change your solution.

With a piece a meat this small I don't think you really need to inject it but hey, I have an injector, it wouldn't hurt. Now submerge you meat in this solution for about 36 hours in a refrigerator you don't open much. Pull the meat from the solution and submerge in plain water for a couple hours. Dry the ham before smoking. This will give you a more even smoke color.

Then I think you can take it from there. I typically wrap the ham once it gets to the color I like. Near the end I typically glaze the ham to make it sweet and shiny.

Good luck. Let me know if you have any questions.


Nate
Wow, only 36 hours? I did my picnic for 10 days after injecting and still wasn't satisfied with the cure around the bone. Maybe the back leg is more porous or something.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roo-B-Q'N View Post
How large was your hunk o' pork? This sounds like it could be upwards of 16 - 18 pounds after trimming.



Terms aside, Both recipes called for a fresh hog leg with rind (skin). Dizzy Pig calls for removal of the rind and most if not all of the fat. The one in a sausage book states to brine the entire thing with no mention of removing the rind and fat. Makes me lean towards Dizzy Pig.
To the best of my memory it was just less than 10#, pretty much a typical little picnic cut off the shoulder.
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Unread 10-31-2007, 05:17 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CajunSmoker View Post
Wow, only 36 hours? I did my picnic for 10 days after injecting and still wasn't satisfied with the cure around the bone. Maybe the back leg is more porous or something.


To the best of my memory it was just less than 10#, pretty much a typical little picnic cut off the shoulder.

That does sound like a realatively short time. Everything I have been reading says 8-10 days.

A picinic eh? Never thought of that. Again have only read about the leg.
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Unread 10-31-2007, 05:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qman View Post
Brewmaster, a question about terminology.

I thought "city cure" or "city ham" refered to a pork rear leg that had been cured by the mild, sweet-brine method.

I thought a "green ham" was the raw, un-cured leg of a pig.

So, just what is a city cured green ham?

PS, I understand a "country ham" to be a dry cured and aged ham, usually cold smoked.

Standing by for enlightenment.
I'm sorry, maybe my terminology or the way I worded it is not 100% correct. What I'm trying to say is that I am buying a couple green hams that have been wet brined and raw.
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Unread 10-31-2007, 05:24 PM   #12
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[quote=CajunSmoker;489579]Wow, only 36 hours? I did my picnic for 10 days after injecting and still wasn't satisfied with the cure around the bone. Maybe the back leg is more porous or something.

He is only curing a 5lb piece of meat. 10 days would be way too long for me. For a 16lb ham, 10 days for sure.
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Unread 10-31-2007, 05:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roo-B-Q'N View Post


Terms aside, Both recipes called for a fresh hog leg with rind (skin). Dizzy Pig calls for removal of the rind and most if not all of the fat. The one in a sausage book states to brine the entire thing with no mention of removing the rind and fat. Makes me lean towards Dizzy Pig.
I have always removed the rind and most of the fat. I can't speak about leaving it on. Sorry. I've never had a problem with removing it.
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Unread 10-31-2007, 07:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewmaster View Post
Add the correct amount of TC per the volume of water that you have.
Thanks for the info Nate!! One thing. I don't know what the 'correct amount of TQ' would be

Mike
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Unread 10-31-2007, 07:44 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brewmaster View Post
I'm sorry, maybe my terminology or the way I worded it is not 100% correct. What I'm trying to say is that I am buying a couple green hams that have been wet brined and raw.
Brew, my bro. Thanks.
I was not trying to rag on you or anything. True-ly seeking enlightenment. The words used concerning hams and curing in general can be confusing.
I think I know what you mean now.
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