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Well starting My Ham! /pics

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
Well starting my Ham today. Decided I'd use Hab's Recipe to try this time. I had bought two about 16 lbs + after deboning and removing the fat and skin. Careful not to remove too much fat as thats where all the great pork flavor come from. This one comes out to 6lbs.


Still alls good there is just me and the wife any way. So I started the brine simmering with the spices in a cheese cloth net bag for 20 min.. I did change maple syrup to 1/4 Brown Sugar and 1/4 cup Honey. (My brother in law is a bee Keeper.)


Put it in fridge to cool to around 38-40 Then I'll add the cure and mix with rest of water. I put ham in container and filled with water to Gage the amount of brine needed. While that's cooling I decided to put a sock in it. Or on it or whatever, here it is.


Snug as a bug in the rug and waiting for the spa treatment.
post #2 of 29

Looks like a good start.

post #3 of 29

I'm Inpepsi.gif110.gif

post #4 of 29

Looking good so far Viper.  I'll have to keep an eye on this.


post #5 of 29
I'll hang around for this
post #6 of 29

i will be here with my th_44.gif

post #7 of 29

Hey Viper, could you provide a link to the Recipe...A search for HAB just gives a couple hundred posts on Habanero's. Nice lookin Hog Leg!...JJ

post #8 of 29

Great start!

post #9 of 29

That will be nice! Would you mind sharing the recipe? Thanks

post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
Well time to put in the brine. Injected 10 percent into the ham first. Brine temp is 37.9 So into the pool you go!


Don't forget to use a clean plate to weigh it down. Wouldn't want it to poke it's head above the brine.


This is my new brining container. Big enough but height is just right for the refrigerator and takes up little less space. In case your wondering it's steralite and available at Walmart. I use there smaller meat lugs and other containers for 5 -10 lb batches. This was about 4-5 bucks and the rest are cheaper. Also all their products are food safe plastic. Works for me and my budget.


well guess that's it for 5-7 days. i'll check back when it comes out. Don't for get to pull daily and stir brine.
post #11 of 29
Thread Starter 
I will make sure with the original developer and post if its ok. but the link is on another site. I'm not sure its allowed to post links to other sites. Maybe i'll pot the recipe if he dont mind.
post #12 of 29
Thread Starter 
Well just thinking about it and reviewing pics it really bothered me. So thanks for the people who look close enough to see and let me know. I do appreciate it. I do make mistakes. So i pulled it out of the brine and removed it. Required moving a lot of fat also. But after pulling I couldn't see it again. So I recalled the pic turned the ham the right way and was able to spot it then. Remarkable how the photo made it stand out. From now on I will photograph all my meats and look. For those of you who got here late or don't know what we are talking about. This is the Ham and if you notice the dark spot it's right in the center bottom next to the red. Here is the pic.


Here is what I removed! The gland the dark spot and a lot of fat that wasn't appealing


This is the Ham with it removed. If you notice I left a pretty good hole in it. LOL Well live and learn.


It's a little embarrassing to post pics when you do wrong or make mistakes. But I ask people to do it. It helps others to prevent repeating it.
post #13 of 29

So what was it that you removed?

post #14 of 29

From what little I know about what you are doing you are right on.  Keep us posted,  looking forward to seeing the money shots!

post #15 of 29

This may clarify it.


There is a gland that is buried on the back side of a hog's ham ... under the fat ... between the muscles ... that you need to always remove. If you don't you will know it. Like most glands ... it is nasty tasting. Many times I have helped hunters with their meat and too often they don't know about this hidden gland. In my experience, this is the most overlooked gland on deer or hogs. Even piglets have this gland in the hams. Remove this gland and your hams or sausage will taste much better.

BTW, on deer, it is much deeper and lays next to the bone. Very hard to get out unless you debone the ham.

This is a pic of a normal ham after skinning and trimming.

This is a pic of the back of the ham. You cannot see the gland. It is beneath the layer of fat just to the left of the knife tip.

This is the gland once the fat has been trimmed back. Notice how it lays between the muscles.

The gland is just about the size of a dime.

post #16 of 29

Thanks Grabber! Man you can learn all kinds of stuff on here.

post #17 of 29
Thread Starter 
Thanks Graber well guys a lot of times there removed when you get them. This was under a lot of fat and when I finished I didn't check good enough. Always check hams and butts for them.wont kill you but you will spit it out. I figured it was on the other half. WRONG!
post #18 of 29

Looking great! Good catch on the gland, I'll try to remember that when I finally do a ham. I'll be watching in anticipation 36.gif

post #19 of 29


post #20 of 29
Thread Starter 
Well I've had many requests for this recipe. So here it is.

Smoked Cured Ham
From Habanero Smoker

IMPORTANT: Please read all instructions thoroughly before mixing the brine (pickle). Do not add the pink salt until the brine has been cooled.

Brine Ingredients: Cure -- Pickle Brine (Enough to cure up to a 25 pound ham)
1 Tbsp Juniper Berries; bruised
1 Tbsp Black Peppercorns, cracked
1 Tbsp Mustard seeds
1/2 Tbsp Coriander Seed, toasted and crushed
1/2 Tbsp Red Pepper Flakes
3 Bay leaves, crumbled
3 Garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
5 quarts Water; divided (See note under curing)
*2/3 cup + 1 tsp pickling salt (7 ounces)
*1/4 cup brown sugar; packed
*1/4 cup maple syrup
*3 ounces Pink Salt (aka InstaCure #1, Prague Powder #1; Modern Cure #1; T.C.M.)
* or Substitute 1 pound Maple Ham Cure, by Sausage Makers, for the sugar, syrup, pickling salt, and, pink salt.
10-12 pound fresh ham; shank end
Injector or meat pump
Cheese cloth (optional)
String (optional)

Glaze Ingredients: Glaze and roasting recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated for the Bradley Smoker.
3/4 C. Maple Powder Sugar
3/4 C. Pineapple Juice
1/4 C. Brown Sugar, or 1 cup if you are not using the Maple sugar
1/3 C Dijon Mustard
1/4 C. Whole Grain Mustard
Curing Directions:
In a 2 quart sauce pan add one quart of water. Measure and prepare the first seven ingredients. Wrap ingredients in a double layer of cheesecloth, tie off at the top (bouquet garni), and add to the pot. Bring the water to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
You can skip the step of making the bouquet garni; but you will later have to strain enough of the pickle to use for injecting. In addition, leaving the seasonings in the brine during curing, the flavoring may be too strong; so it is best to strain all of the brine.
Remove from heat and add the sugar, syrup and salt. Stirring until all the sugar and salt has dissolved. Pour mixture into the non-reactive container you will be brining the ham in. Add ice water to bring the amount of brine to 5 quarts. After mixture has cooled, add the pink salt, and stir until it is fully dissolved. Before using the pickle, it has to be between 38 degrees F - 40 degrees F.
The weight of water is equal to it's volume. For example 1 pound of ice equals one pint of water.
Remove ham from the refrigerator and trim off the skin and all outer fat. Weigh out the amount of brine needed to inject the ham; this will need to be 10 percent of the weight of the ham.
Example: If your ham weight 10 pounds; 10 percent of that equals 1 pound. Therefore you will need 1 pound or 1 pint of brine.
Inject ham at the shank and in the front around the bone. If the ham can not hold any more brine around the shank and bone, then start injecting further away from the bone, until all the measured brine is injected.
Injecting Instructions
Fill your injector with brine, and start by injecting around the shank and around all the bones in the ham. When the ham can not hold any more brine around the shank and bone, then start injecting further away from the bone, until all the measured brine is injected.

The best procedure is to insert the needle deep into the meat, and inject as you slowly pull the needle out of the meat. Do not pull the needle all the way out. Stop before the holes in the needles reach the surface. Slant the injector at a 45°angle to the right and again push the needle deep into the meat. Inject using the same procedure as earlier mentioned.

Again do not remove the needle; slant the injector 45° angle to the left and follow the same injection procedure. Stop injecting before the needle reaches the surface, remove the needle, refill the injector, move the needle over two inches and start injecting at that site. Continue injecting in a 2 inch pattern, until you have evenly injected the meat, and all measured brine has been injected. If you have to refill your injector before an injection site is completed, reinsert the needle at the same insertion point.
Place ham in the brine making sure the ham is full submerged. Cure in the refrigerator for 5-7 days, at 38 degrees F - 40 degrees F.

Remove ham from the brine, and rinse off the surface. Soak ham in about 3 gallons of cold water; making sure it is fully submerged; for two hours to remove some of the salt taste. To sample the saltiness, slice a small piece off and pan fry it. If you like your ham with less salt, changed the water and soak for an additional hour. From my experience, the test sample tastes less saltier than the finished product, so you may want to keep that in mind.

Remove ham from the soak, and pat dry with paper towels. Return to refrigerator, and allow to air dry for 24 hours. This time also allows the brine to more equally distribute itself throughout the ham.
NOTE: To calculate how much brine you will need, place the ham into the container you will be curing it in. Add water until the ham is completely submerged, remove ham and measure the amount of water that is left in the container. That is the amount of water you will need to make the brine (pickle) cure. If it is less then 5 quarts, you should make at least 5 quarts of brine, and make sure your container can whole both the ham and the 5 quarts of brine. If it is more then 5 quarts, you will need to adjust the amount of cure used in this recipe. The best brining containers are those that are more tall then they are wide.
Smoking Directions:
Preheat your Bradley smoker to 110 degrees F to 120 degrees F, with vent wide open and no water in the bowl; place ham in the middle position of the smoker and "air dry" for 8 hours. Rotate ham from front to back after 4 hours.

Next increase the temperature to 130 degrees F - 140 degrees F; add warm water to bowl, and apply 4 hours of smoke; I used maple.
If you prefer more smoke, you can apply another 2 hours of smoke, but 4 hours gave it a nice mellow flavor.
After smoke has been applied rotate ham once more, insert meat temperature probe, and increase the cabinet temperature to 210 degrees F -220 degrees F. Roast until internal temperature reaches 152 degrees F.

When ham has reached an internal temperature of 152 degrees F, remove from the smoker and allow to rest. When ham is cool enough to handle, tightly wrap it in plastic wrap, then cover with foil and allow it to age in the refrigerator for at least four days.
Don't be concerned if the outer layer of the ham seems to be as tough as leather. It will crisp up nicely, after you apply the glaze and roast in the oven

Just removed from the smoker.
Roasting Directions:
Remove the ham from the refrigerator, and line a 9x13 roasting pan with a double layer of aluminum foil long enough to wrap the ham in. Make the glaze by combining all ingredients and whisking together. Place ham in pan, and liberally brush with glaze. Wrap tightly in foil, and let sit at room temperature for 1.5 hours.

Adjust oven rack to the lowest level, and preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Bake until the internal temperature is 100 degrees F. This will take about 2-3 hours; calculate about 17 minutes per pound.

Remove ham from oven. Cut off and remove the foil to expose ham; leaving only the foil that lines the pan. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees F. Brush ham liberally with glaze and return to oven.
If you do not cut off the foil, any glaze that is stuck to the foil will smoke up your kitchen once the oven temperature is increased to 450 degrees F.
After 15 minutes, apply another liberal coat of glaze and bake for another 20 - 40 minutes; until glaze becomes a golden brown and sticky. Remove ham from oven, apply another liberal coat of glaze and loosely foil. Allow to rest 30-40 minutes before carving. During resting time, you can baste the ham with its juices once or twice.

Slice and serve. You can heat any remaining glaze to be used at the table.
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