Ham safety question

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Jul 28, 2013
I got a fresh ham that had been cut in half by my butcher.  I cured it using pop's brine.  Yesterday I warm smoked the havles at 100 degrees for 8 hours.  I broght them in, let them rest for an hour or so, and then bagged them and put them in the bottom drawer of my fridge.

I think that is where I went wrong.  This morning when I went to get them out to hot smoke/cook them they didn't feel cold.  I used my thermometer to check and they were about 55 degees (fridge is 36-38 or so in general).  Guessing being in the drawer kind of insulated them and they didn't cool off fully.  My question is are these hams still good?  They have been cured, so will sitting overnight in the fridge and not getting below 40 degrees be ok?  Appreciate any input from you folks who know curing and food safety better than I do.
The drawer and the bag were the problems....   bagging hot food doesn't allow the cold to get through to the meat....  same with the drawer... 

Once food has been put in the smoker to cook, it should finish the cooking to proper Internal Temperature...   Bacteria starts to grow when the meat gets above 40-50 degrees...   keeps growing while in the smoker...  keeps growing while it cools down to 40 or below....   so it could have 16-20 hours of growing opportunity...

Cure #1 does not inhibit the growth of all bacteria....

Now for the question...   What were you planning to do with the ham after you put it in the fridge ??

Get Chef JJ on this...  he knows a lot more than I do....

I fried up 10#'s of hind quarters last night...   On a tray and in a pan and into the refer to cool...  FWIW....   Dave

Dave is correct in recommending smoking start to finish, in most cases. Here you essentially have a similar situation as cold smoked bacon that sits at a 50 to 100 degree temp for a long 24 hour smoke session. The cure and salt in the brine allows for the long smoke time at low temp. You are perfectly fine to finish the meat to an IT of 145 making the meat ready to eat...JJ
Thank you all. Appreciate all the input and help as always.
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