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Is It Safe (Would you eat it)?

endo129

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Merry Christmas everyone!

Just looking for a little advice if anyone is trolling these pages on Christmas. I'm worried that I should just toss my Christmas ham but there are many variables so I want to get some advice. I'm not sure how this went terribly wrong.

Had a recipe from a world class chef for a 20lb bone in, skin on ham. I used half a ham (11lbs) (also missing skin on one side), otherwise tried to follow this as close as I could.

Brined in 2 Gal water, 1 Cup kosher salt, 1 Cup Brown Sugar (and some other herbs) for 4 days, (recipe called for 7 but wasn't possible). Pulled it out of the brine and noticed that the top little bit I had weighted down appears not to have been fully submerged.

Threw it on a 200* smoker today at 10:30. The recipe says it should take approx 7-8 hours for the 20lb ham to get to 165*.

At 1:30 I inserted my probe (wiped clean with tequila before inserting) and it was only 81* in the center.

At 4:00ish I decided something had to be done so I wrapped in foil and upped the temp to about 325.

It's 5:00 now and it is only 132* in the center.

Do you guys think I should trash this ham? Would you still serve it?

Thanks as always and Merry Christmas!
 

endo129

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Just crossed the 140* mark a few minutes ago. In my haste and disappointment for this failure I was thinking 160* was the magic number for some reason. Since I got it over the 140* just inside 4 hours from the time I punctured the ham, I'm thinking I should be ok to still eat it.

Still love everyone's expert opinions though.
 

bmudd14474

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Was the ham already cured and you were just brining?
 

chef jimmyj

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Since you did not add Cure #1, you have a brined Pork Roast. The salt penetrated, maybe 2", most likely less. So like any other Pork Roast, butt, shoulder, you can slice it now, it's over 145, or continue to 205 for Pulled Pork. It will not look like Ham, be pink inside, or taste like a Cured Ham.
Since it was not injected, you did not say it was, the amount of time it takes to get hot internally, doesn't matter. Only the surface needs to get above 150 to kill bacteria. Your meat is safe to eat.
World Class doesn't mean the Chef knows diddly about Curing Hams, and obviously he doesnt. You needed to add 2 Tablespoons Cure #1 to that brine, then because it is more than 4" thick, you needed to inject the brine, 10% of the ham's weight, around the bone and in a grid in 1" intervals. The meat needs to soak in the brine at least 7 days, 14 would be better. You would then smoke, 200° is fine, until the IT reached 150-155°F. ...Sorry to give not so happy news. MERRY CHRISTMAS...JJ
 

endo129

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It was not cured. Wanted to brine for 7 days but due to lack of being able to get fresh ham in time and getting sick myself was unable. That parts on me.

It was not injected. I knew it wouldn't be pink at least.

Happy news is that the experts say it's safe to eat. That's all I was concerned about and maybe it actually getting done.

Thanks for the input!
 

chef jimmyj

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Add the cure some time. It is really easy to make a tasty Cured Ham. DaveOmak has a great tutorial on the process...JJ
 

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