2nd attempt at ham........ 2nd fail..

Discussion in 'Pork' started by mowin, Dec 21, 2015.

  1. mowin

    mowin Master of the Pit

    Here's my first fail.http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/237741/my-first-try-at-ham-didnt-come-out-as-well-as-i-hoped

    My second attempt I purchased a boneless butt.
    I put it in pops brine on Dec 2nd. On the 9th, I had to change the brine because it became ropy.
    New Brine was fine when I pulled it on the 19th. Rinced and sat overnight in fridge. Cold smoked for 18hrs. Let sit overnight, and smoked today @ 225* until it of 165* was reached. I foiled it and checked for probe tender every 10*. Probe tender was 195*
    Let it sit for an hr, cut into it and very tender and juicy. I cut a small piece and poped in in my mouth. I barley bit through it, when the rancidness hit me... needless to say I spit it out, but I can't get that taste out of my mouth. 151 rum didn't help..lol.
    Meat had a uniform pink color throughout.

    I know for a fact cure #1 was used for both batches of pops brine, 1 tbsp pre gal. Its always the first ingredient I add.
    I've tested my maverick 732 in ice water and its spot on. So I know the therm in the fridge is correct, as I checked it with the 732.

    The ham smelled good when I opened it, and it also smelled good before I smoked it.

    Worst part, wife came home and asked, what smells soooo good, and I'm starving.

    So if I don't post in the next day or two, I've been poisoned by my own hand..:head-wall:

    Edit: I did inject also....
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2015
  2. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    So it was tender and juicy.

    Rancidness, like rotten?
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2015
  3. mowin

    mowin Master of the Pit

    Yes, spoiled... Taste was nasty...
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Something isn't right. I'd start with new cure. Then if you purchased the meat from the same place try another store. Ive never had an issue with Pop's brine before.

    Are you bring in a bag, or container? The dopey brine does suggest some temperature or moisture fluctuations. Can you monitor the humidity in your fridge? Can you leave a temp probe in for a day to graph the temperature of the fridge over a period of time?
  5. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have had the brine go ropey, just made new and good to go. I have went as long as 25 days on a bone in loin.

    Case has some good questions.
  6. mowin

    mowin Master of the Pit

    Two different cuts of meat from two different stores. Not in bags, in food grade containers, with covers. I do not have a graph to monitor temps. However. When I checked the fridge temps I checked every 2 hrs for a couple days(new project fridge) , except for overnight. Temps held steady at 37-38*. Humidity? No clue. But, I did have 4 venison roasts in the same fridge during the same time with pops brine( different container) as this ham to be, to be made into v pastrami.
    This came out great btw.

    The venison didn't go bad, or get ropy, durring the same time frame as this pork cut. I'm thinking I'm bad luck when it comes to ham.
    Maybe a double smoked ham is the way to go. Something about creating a mouth watering meal from scratch is why I attempted this twice. Maybe its a sign from above. Lol.

    Edit: I don't think it's a issue with pop's brine. I've used it several times with fantastic results. I will use it again with confidence.
    I really think the first attempt I didn't bring it to the proper IT. Very tuff. This attempt was much better as far as tenderness, but something went askew. Bad piece of meat? It happens. I screwed up? I'm not perfect. Could be?

    I think I'm frustrated. It smelled so good. Wife and I were so looking forward to this meal. Only to be severely dissatisfied.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2015
  7. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Did you use the same container for both hams? Different then the venison.
  8. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    So reading your posts, the first ham was edible. The second was not. It may be that you got bad meat to start with on the second one.

    I wouldn't use shoulder for making ham unless I was going to be making pulled ham. The picnic would be better for making ham.
  9. mowin

    mowin Master of the Pit

    I have three containers. All the same. Im anal when it comes to cleaning them. Scalding hot water and dish soap with several rinses. I then store them upside down in a cabinet. I pull one when needed, and rinse and wash and rinse again, several times w hot water.

    Was this the same container as the first ham to be? Maybe? Was it clean, absolutely. No doubt in my mind. Venison was brined the same day, using the same mix, except for pickling spices, in a different container.

    There's only two, ok three things that could have gone wrong.

    1. I screwed up. Not saying it's impossible, but???
    2. Meat was questionable? ?
    3. I have a gremlin looking over me when it comes to making ham from a fresh cut of pork...

    I'm just frustrated. Thanks to all that are trying to help me figure this out. I really appreciate it.
  10. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    We will try to get you through this.
  11. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Picnics and butts are both from the shoulder as i am sure you know ??

    I have made plenty of hams from butts.
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2015
  12. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yes they are from the same primal cut. However the picnics meat is textured differently, and in my opinion lends itself better to being sliced like most serve ham. The fat make up in the picnic comes typically in pockets and not as marbled as the Boston or butt cut.

    Yes you can make good ham from butts, but it's not my favorite.
  13. mowin

    mowin Master of the Pit

    Yes, edible, but not chewable. Lol. Only took first one to a IT of 165* I believe it didn't render or break down enough to make it chewable.

    This 2nd one it was hard to probe at 165*. I decided to foil and steam ( took advice from first post, and several others) to probe tender.
    that happened to be 195*. As stated, it was so juicy and tender. I never thought to give it a sniff. Overzealous? Ya I'll admit that. I poped that piece in my mouth and barely bit through it before I spit it out. Just hoping I don't get sick for Christmas.

    I guess I'm looking for reassurance from you guys that I didn't screw up. Knowing full well you really can't do that. Guess I'm venting.
    Thanks for listening. Thumbs Up
  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    7 days for the brine to become ropy is a sign of bacteria multiplying.... Dirty bucket, bad water, fridge not cold enough, bad salt, bad sugar, bad cure #1.....
    Are you adding herbs and spices.... they could be full of bacteria...

    And then there's the hunk of meat...

    This makes no sense to me...
  15. mowin

    mowin Master of the Pit

    Dave, my salt, sugar, and cure that I used are in there original sealed containers. I used the same for the ven pastrami, and that didn't turn ropey. Water, never thought about that. I do have well water. But I used tap water for the pastrami also.

    I will try again. 3rd times a charm, right?
  16. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    How much brine did you use? Was it a whole gallon? Did you weigh the meat down to ensure it was submerged? Did you cut into it when you pulled it from the brine to make sure it cured all the way through?

    Since you got the vension right it sounds like you have a firm grasp on the steps required. That would leave the meat as the variable and if it was bad to start the brine would not help it. 
  17. mowin

    mowin Master of the Pit

    I mixed up one gal. I put a glass dish on top to keep the meat submerged. I did not cut the ham in half before smoking. However the ham has a very even pink color throughout. I injected brine in several places as this was about 4" thick.

    I'm leaning towards a bad piece of meat. It's must have been on the edge when I started the curing process.
  18. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    It had to be the meat. Your procedure is spot on, the Venison confirms this. Most food poisoning will show in 6-12 hours. If you are upright today, you will have a Merry Christmas...JJ
  19. flareside92

    flareside92 Smoke Blower

    I would say meat as well. I have used Pops brine for everything and only one time did I get nasty brine.
    The bucket I used I put the lid on and I found out later that kids were in and out of this fridge looking for something to drink.
    Pop's brine has never failed me
  20. mowin

    mowin Master of the Pit

    Thankfully I'm feeling ok. Was a little nervous though.

    I'll take a break from curing a ham for a while. But I will win this war, lol. Think I may do a double smoked ham.. hard to mess up.

    Thanks for all your help. Merry Christmas.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2015

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