Hi everyone. I'm new to the forum (and smoking) and looking forward to becoming a better smoker. I recently shot my first black bear and was excited to try making a homemade ham. I researched ham curing and found some supplies at CTR refrigeration. I got an injector, brine bucket, and FS cure. The FS cure is their curing salt which is a 5% sodium nitrite blend. I have a new to me Char Griller Pro which I have done a few recommended mods that I smoked on.
Here is the recipe I used, brining time, and cooking times and temps
bear ham - 1 10lb bone in
water - 4.25 L
Pickling Salt - 1.5 cups
brown sugar - 2 cups
FS cure - 9 tsp of 5% sodium nitrite (most cures I see 6.25% so I added 1 extra tsp, I later calculated it and will use 10 tsp next time)
pickling spices - 1/2 cup
garlic cloves - 5
-Boil all ingredients except FS cure. Let cool then add cure. Smells good!
-Trimmed fat off bone in ham
-Inject 8 oz of brine into meat getting next to bone
-submerged in brine for 7 days, injected more brine on day 6
-take out of brine and rinse throughly
-pat dry and let air dry over night in the fridge
-took out of fridge and rested at room temp for 1.5 hrs
-tied up with butchers string
-bbq over water bath at 400-450 F for 2 hrs (wife didn’t want bear cooked in her oven!)
-internal temp 148 F to
-moved to smoker preheated to 200 F
-smoked for 1.5 hrs with applewood and cherrywood chips
-internal temp rose to max 172 F
-pull from grill and wrapped in foil for 15 minutes
-cut a piece near the end and beautiful dark pink almost red meat
-very tasty and not too salty. Not gamey at all
-cut through the thicker part and 2 grey dime sized areas appear indicating the cure didn't make it all the way through the meat.
-cut another section and the non cured spot has grown to the size of a quarter (would the 1 extra tsp have helped)
-did not eat anymore and dissapointed because the cure went to the bone nicely
-go on google and read about botulism from uncured ham
-read advise to throw ham out
-sign up on smoking meat forum to gain more knowledge!!
I realize it was quite an ambitious project for my first meat curing and full smoke endeavour but all in all I thought it went really well and I'm really disappointed about the cure not fully penetrating. It looks like it is the centre of an internal muscle group that I must not have hit with the injector? Does cure have a tough time going through facia in the centre of muscles?
Please offer comments and recommendations on my overall procedure, risk of botulism and if I really have to throw this ham out. It has now been in the fridge for a day and half as I've searched for info and put together this post!!
I'm not deterred though and have a batch of Canadian back bacon in the brine now!
Thanks for your input!!