Bad City Ham?

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hickorysmokes

Newbie
Original poster
Jan 7, 2024
6
1
Does the color of the fat around the artery indicate this ham is bad?

I just completed my first wet/city cured ham followed by hot smoking. The ham was then frozen.

I followed this recipe, adjusted to the weight of the ham, and wet cured in a cooler.
  • 1 (5-pound) ham, uncured and uncooked
  • 2 litres of water
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon Insta Cure No. 1 pink salt
 

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Last edited:
Looks to me like it didn't fully cure . Personally I wouldn't eat any of it .
several ham curing methods on here . Tried and true , so let this be your resource for curing .
I see Ruhlman mentioned , I stay away from him . To many errors in my opinion .
Here's what I use .

Here's the curing section . Pop's brine is a go to for a lot of members . I use it for poultry , but it's an easy way to get started .
 
That looks alot like what some old timers used to call bone sour. I agree with chopsaw chopsaw I would sadly toss that one.

I may have missed it, but did you inject the wet curing solution into the meat before starting the curing process?

+1 for trying Pop's brine to get started. It's almost foolproof.
 
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Another question, you say you wet cured in a cooler. How did you maintain the brine at, or below, 40 degrees for the entire time?
I did not inject the curing solution.

I also had trouble regulating the temperature of the cooler and the brine temperature rose the the upper fifties about day four before I brought it back down with dry ice.
 
Looks to me like it didn't fully cure . Personally I wouldn't eat any of it .
several ham curing methods on here . Tried and true , so let this be your resource for curing .
I see Ruhlman mentioned , I stay away from him . To many errors in my opinion .
Here's what I use .

Here's the curing section . Pop's brine is a go to for a lot of members . I use it for poultry , but it's an easy way to get started .
Thank you for the advice.
 
When I wet cure a ham, and other large cuts of meat, I inject the curing brine into the meat until I've increased the weight of the meat by 10%. I also inject heavily around the bone areas to make sure that the potential for bone sour is avoided.

Temperature control is vital in this hobby of ours as I'm sure you know.
 
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I did not inject the curing solution.

I also had trouble regulating the temperature of the cooler and the brine temperature rose the the upper fifties about day four before I brought it back down with dry ice.
Live & learn. You'll get it next time.
 
Happy you asked before getting someone sick .
The temp thing was big factor so you need to get that figured out first . You need fridge space . Nix the cooler .
Then get a pork loin or maybe a pork butt ( whichever is cheaper ) , then come back here and start simple with Pop's brine .
We'll get ya set up and in the right direction .
 
When I wet cure a ham, and other large cuts of meat, I inject the curing brine into the meat until I've increased the weight of the meat by 10%. I also inject heavily around the bone areas to make sure that the potential for bone sour is avoided.

Temperature control is vital in this hobby of ours as I'm sure you know.

Thank you. Injecting didn’t cross my mind, but it makes a lot of sense.

My initial plan was to put the ham in the refrigerator, but the cooler became a backup plan after the brine bag failed. I was shocked how quickly the temperature rose and how difficult it was to regulate.

Lesson learned. Thank you.
 
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H hickorysmokes If you're ok with it, I'm going to quote something you said above about the dry ice and get some other opinions.. I may be off base, but I'm curious if anyone knows what, if any, issues the carbon dioxide in the brine could have.
 
H hickorysmokes If you're ok with it, I'm going to quote something you said above about the dry ice and get some other opinions.. I may be off base, but I'm curious if anyone knows what, if any, issues the carbon dioxide in the brine could have.
Sure. If you’re creating a new post, please tag me so I can follow along.
 
Any standout examples? I use his book a bit, just curious.

His salt levels go from heavy to extreme in my opinion . The Corned beef uses 2 cups kosher salt to 1 gallon of water . I use 1/2 cup to 1 gallon .

40 grams of salt for 5lbs. of sausage grind is heavy in my opinion . He never adjusts that , no matter what type of sausage it is .

Some of his methods or instruction leave a lot to be figured out on the user end .
I believe that causes failure in people just starting out .
Like his ham curing instructions .
 
His salt levels go from heavy to extreme in my opinion . The Corned beef uses 2 cups kosher salt to 1 gallon of water . I use 1/2 cup to 1 gallon .

40 grams of salt for 5lbs. of sausage grind is heavy in my opinion . He never adjusts that , no matter what type of sausage it is .

Some of his methods or instruction leave a lot to be figured out on the user end .
I believe that causes failure in people just starting out .
Like his ham curing instructions .
The Canadian (back) bacon recipe was OK until it got to the part of adding lemon juice to the brine. Citric acid is a nitrite accelerator. It needs to be used carefully.
I tried to find it, but the recipe was taken off the website. The recommended smoke temperature also overcooked it imho.
 
The Canadian (back) bacon recipe was OK
The one thing I use from the book is the pickling spice on page 68 . I use it to cure beef for pastrami . It's a keeper for me .

On page 195 , he's talking about a salted air dried ham . There's a lot I don't agree with , but he says " You will know when it is ready when when there isn't much give when you squeeze it " Lol .
 
The one thing I use from the book is the pickling spice on page 68 . I use it to cure beef for pastrami . It's a keeper for me .

On page 195 , he's talking about a salted air dried ham . There's a lot I don't agree with , but he says " You will know when it is ready when when there isn't much give when you squeeze it " Lol .
I don't have the book. I found the recipe for back bacon on-line about 10 years ago when I started curing meat. I got lucky and the cure was perfect, but following his IT guideline, it was way overcooked and dry.
 
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