Loin Hams, Bless Me Pop For I Have Sinned.

Discussion in 'Pork' started by disco, Mar 3, 2015.

  1. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Before I typed this, I put on my flak jacket, safety helmet and goggles. I have gone to my basement and I am awaiting the blast.

    I have changed Pop's brine by adding more than a tablespoon of cure per gallon. 

    Before I get too much abuse, I will point out that I am still within the range recommended by Pop in his post:


    So, I don't really feel like I am disagreeing with Pop.

    What happened was I have been making hams out of pork loins for a while now. I find brine works better for ham than dry cure. However, I felt the cure was a little weak particularly when I used lesser amounts of brine. An old fellow who used to live around here had a different rule for using cure in a brine. He would add 2 grams of Prague Powder 1 for each pound of meat and water. So, if you had 4 pounds of meat in 1 gallon of water (8 pounds of water) you would add 24 grams of Prague powder. This is more than the 1 tablespoon (about 15 grams) called for in Pop's post but way less than the maximum he recommends. 

    I got a nice sized loin half on sale. I cut it into two pieces of about 2.5 pounds each.

    The first one was going in a larger container that took 1 gallon of brine. That meant I would have 10.5 pounds of meat and water so I used the following ingredients:

    21 grams Prague Powder #1

    1 cup sugar

    1 cup brown sugar

    1/2 cup kosher salt

    I mixed the brine up. 

    I wanted to add some honey flavour to this loin half. I took a 1/4 cup of honey and put it in a measuring cup. I added 1/2 cup of brine and injected that into the loin every inch or so.

    I put this loin in a container with the brine and put a plate on top to keep it submerged. Then, I refrigerated it.

    The second loin piece was going into a container that would only take 1/2 gallon of water. So, I would have 6.5 pounds of water and meat. So I used the following ingredients:

    13 grams Prague Powder #1

    1/2 cup sugar

    1/2 cup brown sugar

    1/4 cup kosher salt

    Again, I mixed the brine up.

    I wanted a maple flavour in this one so I mixed 1/4 cup of maple syrup with 1/2 cup of brine and injected the loin.

    I put the loin in the container with a plate on top and refrigerated.

    I let the meat sit in the brine for 12 days, turning every day.

    I took the meat out and rinsed the hams. I let them sit in cold water for 2 hours, changing the water every 1/2 hour.

    I dried the loins with paper towels and rubbed a generous amount of Cabelas Pecan Honey Seasoning on the hams.

    I tied the hams to get a bit thicker ham.

     I put the hams on a rack and into the fridge, uncovered, over night.

    I took the hams out of the fridge the next morning. 

    They were still damp and needed more drying for pellicle so I put them in the Bradley at 140 F without smoke for 90 minutes.

    I checked them and they were nice and dry.

    I turned the heat off and started hickory smoke without the heat turned on. I cold smoked for 4 hours.

    I then turned the heat on to 160 F for 2 hours to get some colour.

    The hams came out with a nice colour and an IT of 102 F.

    I wrapped the hams with plastic wrap and put them in an electric fry pan on a rack above water. I steamed until the internal temperature was 150 F.

    I let then sit on the counter for 20 minutes and then in the fridge for a couple of hours.

    I cut each ham into smaller pieces for storage (there is just She Who Must Be Obeyed and me). I froze all but one piece for immediate use.

    Of course I had to try them. First taste, a ham and cheese sandwich.

    The next morning was ham steaks with Haskap Pancakes.

    The Verdict

    I really like loin hams. They aren't as moist as a regular ham but are way better than the pressed hams in the store. Also, they are very lean which is good for my girth control. They make a great sandwich and fry up nicely. This is the first time I have tried injecting the honey and maple syrup into hams. I have done it with back (Canadian) bacon. It worked great with a nice taste of honey and maple in the meat.

    I think the additional cure gave a fuller cure with a nice ham taste. I will be doing the 2 grams per pound from now on.

    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  2. b-one

    b-one Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That sure looks tasty! I love fried ham!,:drool
  3. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks great Disco.

    I will have to try loin hams. Loins go on sale here alot.
  4. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks awesome Disco ! Thumbs Up Great thread & everything looks so tasty !


  5. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I wish our loins looked like yours. Ours no fat means dry meat! I have one brining right now for tomorrow night.

    One of the things I like about here is the "The neighbor did this this way" stories. I have learned a bunch about meats reading them.

    Nice thread Disco and thats some nice looking ham. Now ya need some red-eye gravy!
  6. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, b-one. It is one of my favourites too.
    Thanks, Adam. They make a nice sandwich meat.

  7. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, Justin. It was a fun smoke and I learned a lot.
    We get some pretty lean loins around here too. However, the ones that go on sale seem to be a little more fatty. Heaven is when you can get he rib end of the loin.

    The old guy who lived down the street made great smoked food but moved away just before I started smoking to be near his family. He really should have had his priorities straight. I really could have used his help.

  8. Looks great, I need to give this a try. Thanks for sharing.
  9. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you buy a whole loin, you will get the rib end. Thumbs Up

    Last sale was half loins. I picked all the rib end ones out.:biggrin:
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
  10. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, Kyle! There are so many great things to try, it makes life good!
    We don't get a lot of whole loins for sale around here. However, when they have rib ends they sell them for less. Ace!

  11. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'll tell ya what my loins are saying!!!!

    Looks great Disco! Way to step outside the norm and go against the grain with your brine.

    Now how about some POINTS!
  12. Looks for some good eats! Great job!
  13. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, Case but please don't tell me what your loins are saying. I am Canadian and we are very proper people.

    Thanks for the point!
    Thanks, Grillfather!

  14. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The loins look excellent. Did you get to taste one of the honey pieces?
  15. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, Todd.

    You are forcing me to make an admission. I only did the honey ham to see if I got a lot of maple flavour in a side by side comparison. I thought I would like the maple one better. So, in answer to your question, I tried a slice of each. The honey had a nice sweet touch that reminded my of the ham I used to eat as a kid. The maple ham had a nice maple taste and I would recommend the procedure for someone trying to introduce a maple flavour. 

    The admission, I liked the honey ham better. What I had intended to be a baseline to measure the maple against was absolutely delicious. I will be doing more honey hams from now on.

  16. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    That looks great [​IMG]
  17. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the point, tropics. That is very generous.

  18. capt7383

    capt7383 Fire Starter

    Speaking of honey ham. Have you ever tried to duplicate the crust/glaze on a honey baked ham? I bet it would be good on your loin ham. I know they use a torch to crisp it up
  19. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Can't say that I have. Do you have any more information on it?

  20. aceoky

    aceoky Smoking Fanatic

    Sure is "purdy" - I'm betting it tastes as good as it looks!!

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