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.
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.
Edited by Disco - 3/3/15 at 6:42pm