Anyone Use Star Anise for Curing Hams?

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tallbm

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Hello everyone.

I'm looking to wet cure two 12 pound pork shoulders to be holiday "hams".

I was curious if anyone ever puts any Star Anise in your cure/brine for hams. I think it would be awesome but I can't find much info on how to use it in a brine like I plan to do. I just want to add some to the cure but not overdo it.

I have 25 pounds of pork shoulder plus the water. Besides the star anise it's pretty much cure #1, salt and sugar, so super simple.

Any input in this situation would be helpful as I am looking to prep this today or tomorrow to smoke next weekend.
 
Well, this is to taste kinda thing. But when I do holiday ham, I use pickling spice, slightly crushed, and 3-4 star anise in a gallon of water (pops brine kinda) I like anise but I error on the side of caution, but everyone’s taste is different. I grew up on biscochitos, basically a sugar cookie with cinnamon and anise. Here is about what I put in my 1 gallon brine slightly crushed, ymmv.
DD6904C4-DE75-47EA-AEB0-95FA975E2F23.jpeg
 
Not yet but plan on it. I have brewed with with it and it's well known to be potent so use restraint. Clove is the strongest/worst. People have made Christmas beers that made their mouth numb :emoji_laughing: Holiday ham idea sounds GREAT and is like something I want to do. I want to do a holiday spiced pineapple ham sausage of sorts. With some hot pepper I think too.

Anyhow, anise not listed in Marianki but clove is 1-2g per Kg. Sounds about right but as SmokinEdge SmokinEdge says VERY subjective. For me, BIG fan of orange peel mixed in my holiday spices.
 
Not yet but plan on it. I have brewed with with it and it's well known to be potent so use restraint. Clove is the strongest/worst. People have made Christmas beers that made their mouth numb :emoji_laughing: Holiday ham idea sounds GREAT and is like something I want to do. I want to do a holiday spiced pineapple ham sausage of sorts. With some hot pepper I think too.

Anyhow, anise not listed in Marianki but clove is 1-2g per Kg. Sounds about right but as SmokinEdge SmokinEdge says VERY subjective. For me, BIG fan of orange peel mixed in my holiday spices.
One average star anise is about 2.0g water weighs 8.33 pounds per gallon or 3.78kg. Then do the math. I agree with your 1-2g per Kg. Of brine. It works fine. I cut the clove to half that amount, but that’s me.
 
Well, this is to taste kinda thing. But when I do holiday ham, I use pickling spice, slightly crushed, and 3-4 star anise in a gallon of water (pops brine kinda) I like anise but I error on the side of caution, but everyone’s taste is different. I grew up on biscochitos, basically a sugar cookie with cinnamon and anise. Here is about what I put in my 1 gallon brine slightly crushed, ymmv.
View attachment 515587
Not yet but plan on it. I have brewed with with it and it's well known to be potent so use restraint. Clove is the strongest/worst. People have made Christmas beers that made their mouth numb :emoji_laughing: Holiday ham idea sounds GREAT and is like something I want to do. I want to do a holiday spiced pineapple ham sausage of sorts. With some hot pepper I think too.

Anyhow, anise not listed in Marianki but clove is 1-2g per Kg. Sounds about right but as SmokinEdge SmokinEdge says VERY subjective. For me, BIG fan of orange peel mixed in my holiday spices.


Thanks for the info guys, this is the kind of stuff I was looking for.

I just finished putting it all in the garage fridge to brine/cure until next weekend.

I did an equilibrium brine with all the proper measurments. I threw in 1 good sized star anise and 1 small clove.
25pounds of meat and 2 gallons of water I figured are on the side of caution. If no flavor is imparted then no big deal but there is no way to undo the flavor from those strong aromatics.

Oh, I also injected the crap out of the shoulders with the cure/brine solution so they will cure up in no time, easily in 6-7 days.
 
For me, BIG fan of orange peel mixed in my holiday spices.
Orange in spice is very solid in taste profile. For something different, I have found grapefruit to be very satisfying as well. I use it a lot in citrus marinades, it’s delicious. Food for thought.
 
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Any input in this situation would be helpful
Ok , you asked . My opinion is what ever flavor you are trying to impart needs to be in liquid form for a 7 day soak . I will say I like the approach of starting " slow " to see what happens , but unless the star anise dissolves I don't think you will get much out of it .
I use lemon extract in Pop's brine for poultry . Works great .
I have Anise extract , but have not had a chance to use it yet . I have used Anise seed with cured pork loins ( Dave's injection method ) The taste was there , but more on the surface . I think because the seed was whole , just mixed into the injection .
Just my experience . I'll be watching for your results .
 
Ok , you asked . My opinion is what ever flavor you are trying to impart needs to be in liquid form for a 7 day soak . I will say I like the approach of starting " slow " to see what happens , but unless the star anise dissolves I don't think you will get much out of it .
I use lemon extract in Pop's brine for poultry . Works great .
I have Anise extract , but have not had a chance to use it yet . I have used Anise seed with cured pork loins ( Dave's injection method ) The taste was there , but more on the surface . I think because the seed was whole , just mixed into the injection .
Just my experience . I'll be watching for your results .
I agree, however, anise star is a whole nother animal. Slightly crushed is up again and ground is it’s own flavor level. The husk or pod, packs some flavor.
 
First off let me say I LOVE these discussions but all this stuff is HIGHLY debatable. My homebrewing has shed some light on this. Extraction and potency of spices are a HUGE issue. It is very romantic to think that MFR use spices but doubt it happens nowadays. Modern distillation of spices (extracts) has really gone farther than we pull off at home. IE chopsaw chopsaw Rich's use of lemon extract. I seriously doubt using zest, juice, etc will compete with the results using an extract.
 
Sam , I agree . I have a fair amount of testing on some of this , as do the rest of you . Makes this a great discussion. I know the star anise is strong . That's one reason I haven't tried the extract yet and tried seeds first . Always start at a base line and go from there . I've also been using citric acid in some brats with good results .
 
I've also been using citric acid in some brats with good results .
I stumbled across the cure accelerator affect of citric acid some 12 years ago....quite by accident. It also has anti-oxidizing properties. I use it in my smoke sausage when I can not let the meat paste sit overnight and need to smoke the same day. The color is almost as good....
 
Agree^^^^^^ above. To add to that, the freshness of your spice vs. mine may be different (as they age they lose potency) and the variety (non of us know) makes a big difference as well as the palette.
 
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I stumbled across the cure accelerator affect of citric acid some 12 years ago....quite by accident. It also has anti-oxidizing properties. I use it in my smoke sausage when I can not let the meat paste sit overnight and need to smoke the same day. The color is almost as good....
I have sodium erythorbate I use for that same thing . I have the citric acid because some of the sausage formulas I've made call for it .
Edge , I agree with your comments .
 
I use erythorbate at 0.05% can stuff and smoke, but I prefer a nights rest, it’s just better, but the erythorbate fixes the color very nice accelerates the cure and preserves the flavor in the freezer. I use it in most all my sausages.
 
Cool. I am wondering why citric acid is used in a fresh sausage brat recipe? antioxidant maybe?
I think yes partly but also for flavor. A little acidity helps the flavor of many foods. It's one of my secret weapons but is a little dangerous since as you say it accelerates cure.
 
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Thats why I bought that lemon extract. Had forgot why I had it.
Brian , I figured out through some " field testing " that 1/2 tsp per gallon of Pop's brine is what we like .
I mix the brine with a 1/2 cup of salt , 1/2 cup of brown sugar , 1/2 cup of white sugar .
 
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