I followed more of an "old school" method and didn't use any curing salt (as that's how I've always brined things - famous last words I suppose) and now I'm wondering if I really should. Of course I can't seem to find a local supplier for the curing salt and I'm thinking time is of the essence here.
I have three well-injected hams that have been sitting in a heavy salt brine since Monday afternoon. They are fresh, skinless, bone in hams of various cuts, 8-10lbs each. They are absolutely falling apart at the seams which I am not sure is supposed to happen or not. It makes sense that it would but obviously this lends to an impossible smoke. I've no sweet clue where to get netting to stop this and I've never seen a cured ham do that.
I do not want to have to throw out nearly 30lbs of meat from the only pig I raised this year. At his point the hams are still good and can be whipped out of the brine and frozen to salvage them if need be, or advice on how to keep forging ahead with this endeavour. It'd be much appreciated, I want hams I can smoke and I wouldn't mind the smallest one for Christmas dinner.
My questions are, do they have to be cured to be smoked or can I continue with the salt brine?
How do I counteract the darn things from falling apart?
Should I take my well watered and well salted hams out and freeze them until I can get curing salt and just start fresh in a couple weeks?