I am using Pops brine/cure for fresh ham, CB, and pork belly bacon and have a few questions. Sorry for all the questions but I would like to go into this with some confidence, I have done a great deal of reading on this site but never cured meat or cold smoked. Thank you to everyone who has provided information on other posts and can share advice here and maybe will help others along the way, I will make sure to add plenty of Q view soon.
1 gal. cold water
1 cup salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. DQ Cure (or any #1 cure, but not Tenderquick with salt added)
Instructions I followed for curing fresh ham:
22lb bone in fresh ham. I plan on making this 12/18 which will make 36 days in brine. I injected with Pops brine/cure as shown on Hog leg to Easter Ham. Not sure if I found the right hole by aitch bone but did my best to inject as much cure as I could. I also didn’t have the 360deg spray nozzle. I was a bit worried about my fridge temp as I think for 4-5 days it might have been 40-45deg. And I didn’t add ice to brine. I have corrected fridge temp to 38deg. About 20 days in fridge I made fresh brine as it was pretty slimy and a bit ropy. Meat looked great and didn't smell at all… So I have my fingers crossed all is well and nothing bad happened due to high fridge temp or not properly injected?
I have WSM 22.5” smoker and I am set up also for cold smoking, just bought a amnps 5x8 pellet smoker from Todd. I think I am planning on just hot smoking ham unless directed otherwise..
· Is there any way to tell before or after cooking if the meat has spoiled or just not good/safe to eat?
· What IT temp should I shoot for 145? smoker temp 225? average hours this will take?
· Also should I let the leg sit out to form pellicle? If so how long?
(2) 5lb loins I plan on making this 12/19 which will make 14 days in brine, I also injected. Picked up 4oz injector with 360 spray nozzle from Pops recommendation on hog leg to Easter ham, very good purchase!!
· Seems like CB is normally hot smoked, what IT temp and smoker temp am I looking for?
· Also should I let the loins sit out to form pellicle? If so how long?
(3) 3lb bellies I plan on making this 12/19 which will make 14 days in brine, did not inject.
I was thinking of cold smoking (2) 3lb bellies and hot smoking the other.
· My main question on this is how long I can have the meat not under 40deg. From reading it sounds like a lot of people let the pellicle form for 10 hours at room temp. I am a bit worried about this I have not cured meat before and never left meat sit out that long, is this safe? I also read people let pellicle form uncovered in fridge overnight, any difference? It will be 40deg in Cleveland and I think pellet smoker will give of 15deg heat, seems like that is a decent cold smoking temp of 60deg? My concern is If I smoke this for 12 hours will make it close to 24hours of not being refrigerated(over 40deg), again is this safe?