Originally Posted by Chef JimmyJ
Sorry I am too late to the party but Dave is correct with one caveat not mentioned. You did not inject and if your pic is a single 5lb piece then your were in fact fine to eat it. However if the boned ham was part of multiple muscles that were rolled and tied together then there would be a risk of bacteria in the cut then tied closed areas. Your pic looks like one piece so you would be fine. General guide line for this stuff is 7 Days per inch with Dry cures and 4-6 Days in a Brine like Pops. That needed to cure A LOT longer...20-30 days with a Dry Cure from the looks of it...
I am a Certified Food Safety Instructor and am happy to handle questions directly if you are ever in doubt. Many folks around here like Dave have followed me a long time and are also familiar with the guidelines I have posted...JJ
Hi Chef JJ,
Thank you so much for your reply, and I really appreciate the offer to answer questions directly regarding food safety. I guess I should have hung on to the ham instead of throwing it out, but at least now after your reassurance I can stop watching for symptoms of botulism.
So, just to make sure I've got this straight. My pork was 3 1/2 " thick at thickest point. So the center is at 1 3/4". That means 7 days + 2 days for CYA minimum?? Plus of course injecting around any bones, but I like to debone the pork just to avoid bone sour.
Thanks again for your help, Chef. Have a great night!
Originally Posted by DaveOmak
Clarissa, evening..... I don't understand this "fast cure" technique you have posted about.... I've seen you post about it previously... When cure has to penetrate inches of meat, there is no fast way for the penetration to occur, unless you inject into the meat itself...... every method is equilibrium to one extent or another.... salt, cure, spices etc. have to move, migrate etc. through the muscle... at their own sweet time.... increasing the strength of the brine or cure won't "push" the ingredient faster to the center of the cut of meat....
Maybe I'm not understanding this method fully....
Sorry if I'm confusing the issue... Dave
Looking at the ham, and counting the days, you had it refered for 6 days including the cold smoke..... looks like the cure etc. penetrated about 1 1/2" from each side.... didn't quite make the center.... that's about right for cure to penetrate... 1/4" per day.... the residual cure in the outer sections of the meat did penetrate farther during the cold smoke and rest period in the refer.... just what it's supposed to do.... whether or not there is enough cure near the uncured portion is a different story... it may only be at 30 Ppm.. while the outside could be at 250 Ppm or what ever strength your brine was.... If this "fast cure" calls for higher strength of cure than we would recommend, resting the meat for an extended period of time, to allow equilibrium to occur in the meat itself, is a very important step in the process... (cram the outer layer with cure, let it equillibrate in the refer)... Not very scientific or something I would do.....
Your explanation made perfect sense. And you nailed it on dimensions and times. It was about 3 1/2 " thick at the thickest part, and around a 3/4" area of grey uncured meat in the center. The recipe I was following was from a Bruce Aidells cookbook. I've followed the recipe a few times before in making ham, but I'd given an extra day in the refrigerator after cold smoking before I baked it to let the smoke mellow. Maybe that extra day was enough to get the cure to the center. In any case, sounds like I've just been squeeking by on cure times, and a longer cure is needed to be sure nitrite ppm is adequate all the way through.
I really appreciate you walking me through your thought process. I'm pulling another leg section out of the freezer tomorrow, and will try again with more appropriate cure times.
Originally Posted by S2K9K
Thanks Dave! Very informative and makes a lot of sense!
I've never done a ham but have done quite a few pastramis and I usually use sirloins which are about 4" thick. I always inject the brine/cure all over it very deep from all sides and then let it soak for 10 days in the brine/cure. I want to make sure it penetrates fully.
When I read 3 1/2 days and a quick cure I really didn't understand, didn't see how it could work especially without injecting.
Hi again Dave,
Thanks for sticking with me through this thread!! I am definitely all for food safety and learning how to cure the correct way. My husband and others trust me not to be getting them sick, and I want to be sure I never put them at any risk with my meat projects.
After reading the comments from all of you, I am also puzzled why the cookbook I followed is recommending such short cure times without injecting. I guess it is a good reminder to me that we need to educate ourselves and not to blindly follow any recipe without validating that it is a good recipe.
As I mentioned above to DaveOmak, I've got more pork leg sections in the freezer. I'll pull another one out tomorrow and give the ham another shot with more appropriate cure times.
Thanks and have a great night!!