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Unread 12-20-2010, 01:26 PM   #1
IbrahimSS
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Default Curing a ham sans nitrates/nitrites

Hello

Does anyone have any experience curing a ham without Prague powder, cure #1, or cure #2? Basically I'd like to avoid nitrates and nitrites as much as possible.

Thanks
Sam
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Unread 12-20-2010, 01:40 PM   #2
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Where's Derrick? Didn't he cure something with celery juice or something like that?
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Unread 12-20-2010, 01:50 PM   #3
IbrahimSS
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Yeah... where's Derrick?

(Who's Derrick? I haven't been on this forum long enough to know everyone by first name yet )
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Unread 12-20-2010, 02:31 PM   #4
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??? Brine for a looong time. Hang and hope. ???
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Unread 12-20-2010, 02:38 PM   #5
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Back in the old days, they cured ham with just salt. It was a dry cure. I've never tried it though, but I am sure it can be done this way.
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Unread 12-20-2010, 02:56 PM   #6
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I did one last year and lived to tell about it. Not sure I have all that much knowledge to share on the topic, but here is a link to what I posted.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=71701
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Unread 12-20-2010, 03:38 PM   #7
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You can use celery seed or concentrated celery juice - it has (or produces) natural nitrates versus the chemical ones you get from pink salt. When you see "nitrate free" bacon/ham in the market this is what they use, it produces a different taste and color but does cure.

I have yet to find a recipe that details how to cure this way.

The alternative is to make country ham and pack dry in salt for 40ish days.

Either way, smoking meat adds nitrates (the smoke) - that pretty pint ring we all strive for is a chemical reaction between the meat and nitrates in the smoke
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Unread 12-20-2010, 04:23 PM   #8
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Salt is how they do Country Hams.

And are you using any smoke? Burning wood cares the stuff you're tyring to avoid.
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Unread 12-20-2010, 08:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_T_BBQ View Post
Either way, smoking meat adds nitrates (the smoke) - that pretty pint ring we all strive for is a chemical reaction between the meat and nitrates in the smoke
Hmm... I checked this out and it appears your right. It seems carbon monoxide and nitrite ions do the coloring. Interesting indeed...

Thanks everyone for the feedback. I think I'm just going to suck it up and use some pretty pink salt.
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