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My first attempt on curing my pork legs ( proscuitto)

dave54

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Joined Dec 12, 2009
I've had mine hanging for 3 months now.  Vegas is dry - so it began drying fast.  No odor.

The one thing all the info I found said not to do was to put cure it in anything reactive.  So Plastic, glass or wood were recommended. Many suggested not allowing the leg to sit in any fluid it drained off - better to have it drain away entirely.  So I used a turkey cradle - covered with plastic wrap.  All fluids flowed cleanly away.   When it came time to rinse, I mostly found advice to not get it wet - water that is.  Wine or vinegar and a good towel dry before final coating.  

I'm not totally sure - this too is an experiment for me.  As the weather heats up for the summer - I'm moving my hanging to the fridge.  Can't leave it where it is now.  Maybe with a small computer fan.  

Any ideas or wisdom on the above? 
as long as it's some place cool ,should be good

 I'd love to see how they cure them in Southern Italy

where it's hot /warm all year ,but haven't found much info , tho
 

shoneyboy

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This is some very interesting work that you all are doing…..I would love to give it a try, but I know I don’t have the patents to wait that long for it right now ……… I guess I just need to be in the right mind set…….
 

mr t 59874

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as long as it's some place cool ,should be good

 I'd love to see how they cure them in Southern Italy

where it's hot /warm all year ,but haven't found much info , tho
I am doing my first true country ham.

Although the process is somewhat different ,  the ham has been cured and is now in it's equalization period where the tenperature is 50 degreese.  It will then be moved to an area where the temperature will be kept between 70 - 90 degreese while it ages. If cured properly,  I don't see where yours could not do the same.  It's my understanding that the warmer temps are needed to improve flavor.

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/134415/country-cured-ham-from-go-to-show-q-view
 

spartan1967

Smoke Blower
83
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Joined Jan 21, 2013
@ SmokinK

Containers

In the very beginning , I didn't know, that the container had to be wood or plastic or glass, it was only after the first week that i came upon

some info that mentioned the metal containers, so I took the legs out and got rid of the foil pans and plastic, I then cleaned off the old salt

and then I added some new salt on the legs, I then put them back into the wooden box which had lots of salt on the bottom of the box .

Liquid

Most of the liquid that came out was absorbed by the salt, its not like the meat was swimming in it , so I wasnt too concerned about that.

Rinsing

I haven't heard of anything bad about rinsing the meat with water and then drying it right after, I mentioned in and earlier post that my childhood best buddy

was Italian and his father made outstanding prosciutto, I remember him rinsing the meat off with water and then rinsing with red wine .

he then wiped it dry and then headded the black pepper, funny thing on the Internet there were a couple of guys that would use cayenne pepper mixed with chili flakes ?

so that just goes to show that everyone tinkers around with the recipe a little, all I can do is hope for the best and will keep you all posted on how it works out .

I may have the same issue my storage room will get too hot, I have 4-6 weeks before things start heating up, then I will have to bring the  pork legs into my home

and hang them , I plan to turn the air conditing on if I need to to keep the room cool and add a fan to circulate the air, hope it works .

Hope that helps you, let me know how you do with yours .
 

spartan1967

Smoke Blower
83
10
Joined Jan 21, 2013
hahahahaha I luv it dude your my hero  

I am already planning next for next fall I want to make sausage and bacon my bro and I are hunters next hunt venison is getting the works
 

spartan1967

Smoke Blower
83
10
Joined Jan 21, 2013
I've had mine hanging for 3 months now.  Vegas is dry - so it began drying fast.  No odor.

The one thing all the info I found said not to do was to put cure it in anything reactive.  So Plastic, glass or wood were recommended. Many suggested not allowing the leg to sit in any fluid it drained off - better to have it drain away entirely.  So I used a turkey cradle - covered with plastic wrap.  All fluids flowed cleanly away.   When it came time to rinse, I mostly found advice to not get it wet - water that is.  Wine or vinegar and a good towel dry before final coating.  

I'm not totally sure - this too is an experiment for me.  As the weather heats up for the summer - I'm moving my hanging to the fridge.  Can't leave it where it is now.  Maybe with a small computer fan.  

Any ideas or wisdom on the above? 
Hows your proscuitto doin ,did u put it in the refigerator?
 

spartan1967

Smoke Blower
83
10
Joined Jan 21, 2013

Hi to all

So here's the update, things are beginning to heat up here in Los Angeles, day time temps getting into the 80's and night time

in the low 50's ,which is not so bad, my air dried hams (prosciutto) have being hanging in my storage room

The outside AC unit that is cooling that room cant seem to keep the room cool enough ( no isullation ) another thing to do 

on my bucket list, so I decided to move the hams into kitchen/ dining room for the present time .

The picture above show's them hanging from the rafters and there is a ceiling fan very close by, what you dont see is a AC unit

on the opposite wall facing the hams, I turn on the AC unit in the morning all day, keeping the temps at a steady 61-63 degrees.
 
Last edited:

spartan1967

Smoke Blower
83
10
Joined Jan 21, 2013

I keep a thermometer/ humidity gauge hanging close by and when I am at home or during lunch time, I will drop by my place

and check the temp and humidity, humidity is all over the place, it can be as low as 10 % and as high as 70% at time but rarely

rarely does it go over 55 % for very long , I have being hanging the hams outside at night, from the roof rafters on the patio

its being kinda windy the past week and being in the high 40s and low 50s , figure that i can save a few bucks on the electric bill.
 

spartan1967

Smoke Blower
83
10
Joined Jan 21, 2013

I got a lil paranoid about hanging the hams outside at night, (bugs) and all the creepy crawly things

that go bump in the night lol, so I bought some cheese cloth and rapped the 2 lil piggys in a blanket.

worked out well ,still too cold for flies to be flying around at night, but Iam not taking any chances .

Today marks the 40 days hanging up and air drying , I could not wait any longer I had to know if my

hams were going bad , so i took a stainless kebab skewer and inserted it in two different location running

the skewer along the bone or as close to it each time I smelling the skewer after each time making sure

that I wiped it clean before reinserting it into the ham, great news hams still smell great there is a slight smell

of that proscuitto smell , keeping my fingers crossed that it doesnt spoil,

Here's my question, does anyone have any experience with a ham going bad ? I need to know what to look

for and when can I expect the ham to be in out of the DANGER ZONE ?
 

spartan1967

Smoke Blower
83
10
Joined Jan 21, 2013
as long as it's some place cool ,should be good

 I'd love to see how they cure them in Southern Italy

where it's hot /warm all year ,but haven't found much info , tho
Heard from a mate of mine that they hang them in larger cellars under ground ? he

said he was watching a documetry some years back and remembers they had hundreds

of prosciutto hanging from the ceilings of underground grotto/cellars next to their wine

I cant prove that , but sounds logical
 

trizzuth

Smoke Blower
122
11
Joined Apr 20, 2012
your hams are sure looking nice dude!  Are they black like that from the black pepper you added?  Wasn't sure if you rubbed them with black pepper or not..  Not sure about proscuitto, so maybe a cellar or basement may be a good idea if you have a de-humidifier running all the time down there.  In my basement in Massachusetts, it probably stays more or less around 60 degrees the entire year, even in winter and the high heat and humidity of summer, so for my country ham, I think it's a bit too cool for it to cure properly (according to what I've read and Mr. T's knowledge on this topic).  So for now I have it hanging in the kitchen much like you, but we are still only barely getting into the low 50's outside so it's much warmer in the house.  I'd love to stick it and sniff, but I figure I should just wait it out, the exterior smells pretty damned good if you ask me, don't have the heart to poke it and see if it's spoiled or not yet :(
 

mneeley490

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Joined Jun 23, 2011
The picture above show's them hanging from the rafters and there is a ceiling fan very close by, what you dont see is a AC unit

on the opposite wall facing the hams, I turn on the AC unit in the morning all day, keeping the temps at a steady 61-63 degrees.
I'll bet the wife really loves that. 
 
7
10
Joined Mar 22, 2013
Hi Spartan,

He looks good, not very bad things is make,
But in the first time if the meat is lil bit sticky is due to of the wine addition to soon in the curing process and the ambiance room .
To remove the mold I suggest you to rub with dry alcool look like eau de vie or gin for example, let dry 1 day or 2 after rub with pepper and other spice that you like( garlic powder, mix grind pepper, oregano, nutmeg etc...but not excess), secondly place the ham for a more ventilated room or add a fan but non directly ham direction, temperature must be 51 F max, humidity above 70%.
How many lbs your ham before the process?
For a good prosciutto process the rule is 3 days per 2 lbs( per kg)in the salt, the salt must be mixing with sugar cane(10% off total amount salt utilized to rub the legs), the goal is creating a good environment for bacterial development , the sugar cane is directly fermenting.
The salt can be aromatized, oregano, girofle, ground genever, thymus, pepper, nutmeg, etc
For a good curing, the meat have a 55gr salt per kg of flesh, this is the rate, salt penetrating.
The femoral artery must be cleaned by pressing with the thumb, is a very important thing, from ball joint to the end of bone.
When the time salting as come, you remove the salt coating from the ham with a brush and place the leg in a cool room to let the salt reparting in the flesh for 10 days
After this you dive the legs in a container with fresh water for 24h-36h, the water must be changed 2-3 times, this operation serve for the meat tender and avoid a too drying flesh surface by the burning salt effect.
Place the ham in cool room and ventilated to dry for 24h.
After this put the ham in a more heathen room 68 Fahrenheit for 3-5 days, this process is called steaming
To finish you place the ham in 51 F room and 70% humidity for 6-8 month.

And after this you can enjoyed your work with family and friends....and me lol
 

spartan1967

Smoke Blower
83
10
Joined Jan 21, 2013
Originally Posted by trizzuth


your hams are sure looking nice dude!  Are they black like that from the black pepper you added?  Wasn't sure if you rubbed them with black pepper or not..  Not sure about proscuitto, so maybe a cellar or basement may be a good idea if you have a de-humidifier running all the time down there.  In my basement in Massachusetts, it probably stays more or less around 60 degrees the entire year, even in winter and the high heat and humidity of summer, so for my country ham, I think it's a bit too cool for it to cure properly (according to what I've read and Mr. T's knowledge on this topic).  So for now I have it hanging in the kitchen much like you, but we are still only barely getting into the low 50's outside so it's much warmer in the house.  I'd love to stick it and sniff, but I figure I should just wait it out, the exterior smells pretty damned good if you ask me, don't have the heart to poke it and see if it's spoiled or not yet :
After the first month hanging, I realized that the outside of the hams were drying up fast , I read a thread on another site and this dude said something

about  " case hardening " I am all, " what the hell is case hardening" so I continued reading, he explained,that case hardening is when the outside hardens too fast

and doesn't allow the inside to dry, He said that case hardening happens when running a fan either to close or directly on the hams, so I moved the fan further away .

So after that was done I noticed the the flesh part of the hams darkened a lil, so I decided to rub lard ( pig fat ) not the vegatable type all over the hams,

then I applied alot of black pepper, I ran out of the fine pepper, so I added the coarse pepper, if you look carefully you may see the outside edge of the

hams with coarse black pepper on it .

I think it was at the 40th day hanging, when I decided to poke it and check if it was spoiling, it didnt
,  keeping my fingers crossed

that it will continue to go well, only time will tell, I will poke it again in about 3 months and that will be my last time till end of October

mid November, when I expect to slice into the smaller ham .

Personally dude I would poke it, I figure if I didnt , then I would be dying a slow death lol rather have the bullet to the head , you know what I mean
 

spartan1967

Smoke Blower
83
10
Joined Jan 21, 2013
Hi Spartan,

He looks good, not very bad things is make,
But in the first time if the meat is lil bit sticky is due to of the wine addition to soon in the curing process and the ambiance room .
To remove the mold I suggest you to rub with dry alcool look like eau de vie or gin for example, let dry 1 day or 2 after rub with pepper and other spice that you like( garlic powder, mix grind pepper, oregano, nutmeg etc...but not excess), secondly place the ham for a more ventilated room or add a fan but non directly ham direction, temperature must be 51 F max, humidity above 70%.
How many lbs your ham before the process?
For a good prosciutto process the rule is 3 days per 2 lbs( per kg)in the salt, the salt must be mixing with sugar cane(10% off total amount salt utilized to rub the legs), the goal is creating a good environment for bacterial development , the sugar cane is directly fermenting.
The salt can be aromatized, oregano, girofle, ground genever, thymus, pepper, nutmeg, etc
For a good curing, the meat have a 55gr salt per kg of flesh, this is the rate, salt penetrating.
The femoral artery must be cleaned by pressing with the thumb, is a very important thing, from ball joint to the end of bone.
When the time salting as come, you remove the salt coating from the ham with a brush and place the leg in a cool room to let the salt reparting in the flesh for 10 days
After this you dive the legs in a container with fresh water for 24h-36h, the water must be changed 2-3 times, this operation serve for the meat tender and avoid a too drying flesh surface by the burning salt effect.
Place the ham in cool room and ventilated to dry for 24h.
After this put the ham in a more heathen room 68 Fahrenheit for 3-5 days, this process is called steaming
To finish you place the ham in 51 F room and 70% humidity for 6-8 month.

And after this you can enjoyed your work with family and friends....and me lol
Thank u for the advice , the hams weighed 21 lbs I was told for every 1 lbs of meat 1 day salt cure I cured the hams for 22 days 

I gave it one more day in the salt,  Hey !! if it doesnt work , I am NOT going to Cry
it is a learning experience and I know

that when I prepare my proscuitto for next year , I will have more experience and my chances of success wiill be much better .
 

trizzuth

Smoke Blower
122
11
Joined Apr 20, 2012
After the first month hanging, I realized that the outside of the hams were drying up fast , I read a thread on another site and this dude said something

about  " case hardening " I am all, " what the hell is case hardening" so I continued reading, he explained,that case hardening is when the outside hardens too fast

and doesn't allow the inside to dry, He said that case hardening happens when running a fan either to close or directly on the hams, so I moved the fan further away .

So after that was done I noticed the the flesh part of the hams darkened a lil, so I decided to rub lard ( pig fat ) not the vegatable type all over the hams,

then I applied alot of black pepper, I ran out of the fine pepper, so I added the coarse pepper, if you look carefully you may see the outside edge of the

hams with coarse black pepper on it .

I think it was at the 40th day hanging, when I decided to poke it and check if it was spoiling, it didnt
,  keeping my fingers crossed

that it will continue to go well, only time will tell, I will poke it again in about 3 months and that will be my last time till end of October

mid November, when I expect to slice into the smaller ham .

Personally dude I would poke it, I figure if I didnt , then I would be dying a slow death lol rather have the bullet to the head , you know what I mean
HAAH! love this analogy!  But then I'd have to take it down and get rid of it and wouldn't be able to get that "smokey ham in your face" scent as soon as I walk in my kitchen door! and I'd miss that terribly.  
 

mneeley490

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
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Joined Jun 23, 2011
The perks when one is single
dont have anyone giving me grief .
Well I guess you're okay, then. My wife complains when the thermostat is turned below 70°. Then puts her ice-cold feet on me to emphasize the point.

Good looking hams so far!
 

spartan1967

Smoke Blower
83
10
Joined Jan 21, 2013
Well I guess you're okay, then. My wife complains when the thermostat is turned below 70°. Then puts her ice-cold feet on me to emphasize the point.

Good looking hams so far!
hahaha your wife has a sense of humor, I like that she's got some spunk


Thanks ! , I think they look good, hope they dont spoil

I want them to turn out good, my bro thinks, he knows everything and was giving me grief and being a dick about my hams

 we had an arguement about how long proscuitto takes he thought that Procuitto takes 3 months fro curing to final product hahaha

I begged him to take me a bet , ofcourse he wouldnt all talk no action !!

I want to be able to slice into the proscuitto and put it in a fresh baked french sourdough baguette with tomotoes slices and a pickle

and eat it in front of him, seeing his face when I he asks for some and I tell him kiss my .ss , will be priceless hahahaha
 

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