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Curing ham HELP?

AmandaW

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In years past I've cured ours hams just doubling/tripling a recipe that I had found. While we all survived I have since learned that it isn't the safest way to do so. Would anyone be willing to tell me a safe brine cure that would be roughly equivalent to the recipe that I used in the past? We like the salty/ sweet levels but I'm concerned with the pink salt safety. I've been attempting the math for 2 hours now and I'm so confused! I have 4 notebook sheets of equations and still no idea what recipe to follow! Also I would like to inject the ham at a 10 or 20% rate. In the past I just injected brine until my hand hurt too much to do more so I need to know the actual safe amounts (yes I'm well aware that I made lots of mistakes!)

In the past I used this recipe for a 23lb whole bone in ham:
8 liters of water
3 cups coarse kosher salt
4 cups brown sugar
16 tsp instacure #1

Soak 1 day/ 2lbs of ham

I have 2 whole bone in hams now to cure. One is 17 pounds 8 ounces and the other is 15 pounds 2 ounces. They will be cured in separate pails so I need amounts for each ham separately. If anyone would be willing to hand hold me through this I would greatly appreciate it. The salt/sugar rations don't have to be exact, just roughly near what we used in the past and I would be happy. Thanks so much!
 

smokerjim

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check out pop's brine, very simple and works great, 1 gallon water, 1/3rd to 1 cup salt, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 tbsp. cure # 1, for thick pieces inject then just soak meat in brine for 1 day for every 1/4 inch of thickness plus two days. doesn't get much easier.
 

AmandaW

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Thanks! I've been searching his posts. How much of that brine can you inject into a ham? Are there rules regarding that with the curing salt? I thought I read some where that the nitrites get locked into the meat when you inject verses the regular salt which reaches equilibrium? ( I could be totally wrong though, I only understand enough to be dangerous lol).


check out pop's brine, very simple and works great, 1 gallon water, 1/3rd to 1 cup salt, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 tbsp. cure # 1, for thick pieces inject then just soak meat in brine for 1 day for every 1/4 inch of thickness plus two days. doesn't get much easier.
 

tropics

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I did 1 using Pops brine in 2018 it doesn't get any easier.


Richie
 

smokerjim

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Thanks! I've been searching his posts. How much of that brine can you inject into a ham? Are there rules regarding that with the curing salt? I thought I read some where that the nitrites get locked into the meat when you inject verses the regular salt which reaches equilibrium? ( I could be totally wrong though, I only understand enough to be dangerous lol).
I really don't know if you could inject too much, I personally never heard about the nitrites getting lock in (not saying it isn't true) maybe someone with more experience will chime in about that. i've injected quite a bit in hams and i'm still alive.
 

smokin peachey

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Here is another method that works well.
I have done it without the phosphate.
 

zwiller

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As usual you guys are on it. +1 on Pops. Works great and simple. From there you go by weight aka Omak method above.
 

jcam222

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With the Pops you can inject away and then just make sure it’s also submerged in the brine the entire time while in the frig.
 

PolishDeli

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For curing meats you have two equations to choose from. Each one contains an assumption about how the curing agent (NaNO2) works its way into the meat.

There is the equilibrium equation:
equl.gif


There is the pick-up/injection equation:
inject.gif

The US government recommends the pick-up equation for Hams.

Pops method is popular here for being simple and successful. But even pops gives min and max values of cure, which if you do the math, each fall into one of the two assumption categories above.

Pops brine (maximum): 3.84 oz Cure#1 per 1 gallon
This is for injection curing. A 10% pump yields 175ppm NaNO2

Pops brine (minimum): 1 tbsp Cure#1 per 1 gal water
This is for equilibrium curing
10 lb of meat will have 125ppm NaNO2
5 lb of meats will have 175ppm NaNO2

The omak method is clever because it calls for an amount of cure that yields roughly equivalent NaNO2 levels regardless of which assumption you apply.

If you like math, I’m happy to help. If you don’t like math, but want a good recipe, the pops method has got you covered.
 

bill ace 350

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For curing meats you have two equations to choose from. Each one contains an assumption about how the curing agent (NaNO2) works its way into the meat.

There is the equilibrium equation:
View attachment 418511

There is the pick-up/injection equation:
View attachment 418512
The US government recommends the pick-up equation for Hams.

Pops method is popular here for being simple and successful. But even pops gives min and max values of cure, which if you do the math, each fall into one of the two assumption categories above.

Pops brine (maximum): 3.84 oz Cure#1 per 1 gallon
This is for injection curing. A 10% pump yields 175ppm NaNO2

Pops brine (minimum): 1 tbsp Cure#1 per 1 gal water
This is for equilibrium curing
10 lb of meat will have 125ppm NaNO2
5 lb of meats will have 175ppm NaNO2

The omak method is clever because it calls for an amount of cure that yields roughly equivalent NaNO2 levels regardless of which assumption you apply.

If you like math, I’m happy to help. If you don’t like math, but want a good recipe, the pops method has got you covered.
I like math, LOVE Pop's Brine!
 

AmandaW

Newbie
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Joined Nov 15, 2018
Thank you!!
For curing meats you have two equations to choose from. Each one contains an assumption about how the curing agent (NaNO2) works its way into the meat.

There is the equilibrium equation:
View attachment 418511

There is the pick-up/injection equation:
View attachment 418512
The US government recommends the pick-up equation for Hams.

Pops method is popular here for being simple and successful. But even pops gives min and max values of cure, which if you do the math, each fall into one of the two assumption categories above.

Pops brine (maximum): 3.84 oz Cure#1 per 1 gallon
This is for injection curing. A 10% pump yields 175ppm NaNO2

Pops brine (minimum): 1 tbsp Cure#1 per 1 gal water
This is for equilibrium curing
10 lb of meat will have 125ppm NaNO2
5 lb of meats will have 175ppm NaNO2

The omak method is clever because it calls for an amount of cure that yields roughly equivalent NaNO2 levels regardless of which assumption you apply.

If you like math, I’m happy to help. If you don’t like math, but want a good recipe, the pops method has got you covered.
 

pops6927

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It doesn't matter on the math, just follow my recipe (regular or lo-salt) -


no math required, just measuring. Doesn't matter the amount of curing brine, either - it is the CONCENTRATION that matters. I've cured a single chicken in a 55 gallon barrel of curing brine before, no more cured than in a 1 gallon pail!

And, for the meats touching while curing? See:


 

daveomak

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Amanda, evening.... I see smokin peachy put up my ham curing thread.... Let me explain how it works here...
Generally, 1.1 grams of cure#1 is what's needed per pound of meat to obtain ~150 Ppm nitrite... Which is a safe amount of nitrite in an injected whole muscle hunk of meat... 200 Ppm is the maximum allowed using the injection method...
NOT bacon... bacon has different rules....

Nitrite and Nitrate  max ingoing amounts.png


I don't care for a ham that's too salty so I shoot for a total of ~2% salt...
For sweetness, I shoot for 1% sugar...
Using the injection method, the skin and bone weights should be subtracted from the total weight of the ham, if you are a commercial smoker selling on the retail market... Since we are doing this at home, I skip the skin and bone thing....
As far as nitrite in the ham, the nitrite will slowly dissipate once the meat temperature reaches ~130F, so it is not a problem.... Other curing methods for different hunks of meat allow for nitrite additions as high as ~2000 Ppm... The dissipation of nitrite is accounted for in those methods.....

So, for the salt I add ~1.75% by weight...
The cure#1 is ~94% salt so for every 1.1 gram of cure you add, you are adding ~ 1 gram of salt...
A 15# ham (6,810 grams) needs....
salt... 1.75% (0.0175 x 6810 = ~119 grams salt)
Cure#1... 1.1 grams per pound = (15 x 1.1 = 16.5 grams cure which is ~ 15 grams of salt...)
adding the 119 grams and the 15 grams = 134 grams total salt = 1.97% total salt)
Sugar at 1% = ( 0.01 x 6810 = 68 grams of sugar... )
Those above numbers are what's needed for the meat ....
As far as the injection goes, you can add the above to 5 or 10% the weight of the ham in liquid.. The amount of liquid makes no difference as the cure, salt and sugar will be dissolved in it.. the meat will be happy...
I have found a no salt added vegetable stock, to use as an injection liquid, makes a great ham... You can add any other seasoning you like... Just don't plug up the injector... Add you favorite seasoning to a muslin bag and throw it in the veggie stock to flavor it... on the stove at a medium heat... Be sure to COOL the stock before adding the cure#1 as a precaution....

veggie stock.jpg


I hope this helps you out.... If you have any questions.... I'm here.... Dave

The injection.... 6810 gram ham at 10% = 680 grams liquid... If you inject 10cc's each injection that will be about 68 injections... Start with the bone and inject all around it an around any joints... then inject around the ham about every 1.5"... That will insure the meat gets full coverage... The ham should be placed in a 2.5 gal zip bag and refrigerated for ~5 days... turn the bag and ham daily.... The ham will be ready to smoke.... I smoke my hams at
~120 for 6-8 hours adding smoke then up the temp to ~200 to finish the cook... OR it can be finished in your oven.....
Temperature Time
°F (°C) (Minutes)
130 ..... 112 min
131 ..... 89 min
132 ..... 71 min
133 ..... 56 min
134 ..... 45 min
135 ..... 36 min
136 ..... 28 min
137 ..... 23 min
138 ..... 18 min
139 ..... 15 min
140 ..... 12 min
141 ........ 9 min
142 ....... 8 min
143 ....... 6 min
144 ...... 5 min
145 ...... 4 min
Table C.1: Pasteurization times for
beef, corned beef, lamb, pork
and cured pork (FDA, 2009, 3-401.11.B.2).
 
Last edited:

PolishDeli

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Joined Oct 9, 2018
Doesn't matter the amount of curing brine, either - it is the CONCENTRATION that matters
Isn't this only true in the pick-up/injection assumption?

...a single chicken in a 55 gallon barrel ...no more cured than in a 1 gallon pail!
Very interesting! This observation is consistent with the pick-up/injection assumption. I've found the same to be true based on analyzing NaNO2 concentrations in the brine before and after curing.
 

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