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Raw 18lb Ham with skin - Questions

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

So just bought be a 18lb raw ham for .99/lb and want to hot smoke it for Easter. After some searching around on here, I have a couple of questions:

I want to wet cure it with Prague Cure #1. How long in the fridge and what other ingredients besides the cure itself? I can start the cure today, but want to make sure it will do its thing (pinkish color mostly) by Saturday morning.

Thanks all!
post #2 of 6
I don't think you're gonna make the deadline for a cure on something that large. I'd have to say you'd be looking at over two weeks to get a full cure...I may be wrong on the total cure time, as I haven't used Prague powders, and without measurements of the thickest portion of the meat it is difficult to estimate cure time, but I know with Morton's Tender Quick, you need a lot more time than what you're planning for. You'd get a partial cure, but only an inch or two deep with the time you have to do it in.

If it were me in your shoes right now, I'd go ahead and do the full cure and smoke it for another occasion. It would be a great experience to cure a full ham like that, and I'd want to go for it. I don't see them stocked in stores around here, so, I'd really want to do the cure...that's just me. Maybe plan on grabbing something else to smoke for Easter Sunday dinner?

Another option would be to smoke the ham fresh for slicing, but I just don't see that as doing piece of meat like that any justice.

Some of this is probably not what you wanted to hear, sorry...I just don't see it happening with the results you'd be hoping for.

Good luck, brother!

post #3 of 6
I don't think you are going to have time to cure a ham this close to Saturday. I believe you need to figure it will cure at about 2 lb per day on curing times. Injecting it may help but I am not sure, so hopefully someone else can give you a better answer.
post #4 of 6
I don't know much about curing something that big, but I think you have to inject it quite a bit to get it safely cured. "Pops" and a few others can probably give you a better plan.

post #5 of 6

Check out this post

Hers'a a great post on curing a ham. Pops knows what he's doing. I think in it he said to cure the ham for 30 days. Might as well give it a go -- but pick up something else for Easter.

Good luck - post your results!

post #6 of 6

Pumping Pickle

Paul's mention of injecting the cure is another option, or the pumping pickle method which entails pumping the cure through the blood vessels to get it throughout the entire meat cut, for the fastest and most even distribution of the curing agents.

I've never used this method so can't say how much it will speed up the cure, and I don't have a recipe for it either. Concentrations of the cure are different for pumping than brining. From what I've read on this process, you need to have a proven recipe/method or the results could be far less than desirable.

Someone with experience doing this may have more info to offer.

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