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Green Liquid Curing Ham-steak


Joined Nov 22, 2013

I have cured fresh side three times using a very simple recipe and curing with the butcher-packer country brown cure. It has worked for the time I have been able to put into it and I have been satisfied with the results on my bacon. We butchered some pigs a few weeks ago so I thought I would slice of a few pieces of the leg tom try and cure some ham steaks.

The hogs hung for 5 days, then we buzzed them up and I applied country brown at the label rate just as I have for the baconn currently and in the past. They were then wrapped in plastic wrap and placed in the fridge. I got busy and they were in there a week before I opened it up to flip them, only to find a green watery liquid around the pork and pooled up in the plastic wrap.

Other information: I have a dedicated fridge for projects like this, the meat was partially frozen as the temp was turned too low.

Bacon curing from the same hogs appears to be normal.

The greenish liquid drained out when I flipped them and remains only mixed in pockets of cure folded in creases of the plastic.

There is no off-smell.

1 1/2 - 2 inches thick

The only two thoughts I had were, excess blood turning the extracted water green, or bone dust somehow reacting with cure?

Any Ideas?? I would hate to have to throw them out.





Meat Mopper
Joined Aug 5, 2013
Any chance you can supply the ingredients of the cure?  How's it smell?  There are a lot of people here with a lot more experience than me, maybe someone else will chime in.

Everyone here is very safety conscious, so I'm pretty sure the consensus is going to be 'if you have any doubt, throw it out'.  No point in making yourself, friends or family sick.

I can understand you not wanting to waste it, but I don't ever recall where a green discoloration is a good thing.


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Joined Sep 12, 2009
Unless somebody comes up with a positive "It's OK", and tells you exactly what it is, I'd have to go with Swede-----

"When in Doubt, Throw it Out!"

That's "Green Eggs & Ham", not "Green Ham & Eggs".



Master of the Pit
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Joined Jul 2, 2012
That looks like bone sour. I don't know why the cure wouldn't have soaked in sliced like you have it.


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When curing whole legs etc...... You MUST inject curing liquid along the bone..... (there is a recommended way to do this) When curing in a refer, you MUST have the temperature up around 138 deg F so the cure can work....
If you are attempting a "Country Ham"... that is an entirely different ball game..... that method takes up to a year.....

Thanks Bear for finding my error..... 38 degrees is the correct refer temp..... It was early AM when I typed that....
Last edited:


Thread starter
Joined Nov 22, 2013
With the freshness of the pork (10 days from the hoof), and the refrigeration it was kept under, and general lack of foul odor, I would not expect it to go bad no matter what I did to it. However, I will not disagree with green never being a good thing. With the exception of St. Pattys day of course.

Thanks for the replies

chef jimmyj

Gone but not forgotten. RIP
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Cure doesn't work well below 38° as Dave pointed out but partial freezing should not have allowed spoilage. I have no definitive answer here but have always taught that Black or Green on raw meat is not good...JJ

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