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Questions for Pops cure for Fresh ham, CB, and Pork belly

Discussion in 'Pork' started by integritybbq, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. integritybbq

    integritybbq Newbie

    I am using Pops brine/cure for fresh ham, CB, and pork belly bacon and have a few questions. Sorry for all the questions but I would like to go into this with some confidence, I have done a great deal of reading on this site but never cured meat or cold smoked. Thank you to everyone who has provided information on other posts and can share advice here and maybe will help others along the way, I will make sure to add plenty of Q view soon.

    Pops cure:

    1 gal. cold water
    1 cup salt
    1 cup sugar
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 tbsp. DQ Cure (or any #1 cure, but not Tenderquick with salt added)

    Instructions I followed for curing fresh ham:



    Fresh Ham

    22lb bone in fresh ham. I plan on making this 12/18 which will make 36 days in brine. I injected with Pops brine/cure as shown on Hog leg to Easter Ham. Not sure if I found the right hole by aitch bone but did my best to inject as much cure as I could. I also didn’t have the 360deg spray nozzle. I was a bit worried about my fridge temp as I think for 4-5 days it might have been 40-45deg. And I didn’t add ice to brine. I have corrected fridge temp to 38deg.  About 20 days in fridge I made fresh brine as it was pretty slimy and a bit ropy. Meat looked great and didn't smell at all… So I have my fingers crossed all is well and nothing bad happened due to high fridge temp or not properly injected?

    I have WSM 22.5” smoker and I am set up also for cold smoking, just bought a amnps 5x8 pellet smoker from Todd. I think I am planning on just hot smoking ham unless directed otherwise..

    [if !supportLists]·         [endif]Is there any way to tell before or after cooking if the meat has spoiled or just not good/safe to eat?

    [if !supportLists]·         [endif]What IT temp should I shoot for 145? smoker temp 225?  average hours this will take?

    [if !supportLists]·         [endif]Also should I let the leg sit out to form pellicle? If so how long?


    (2) 5lb loins I plan on making this 12/19 which will make 14 days in brine, I also injected. Picked up 4oz injector with 360 spray nozzle from Pops recommendation on hog leg to Easter ham, very good purchase!!

    [if !supportLists]·         [endif]Seems like CB is normally hot smoked, what IT temp and smoker temp am I looking for?

    [if !supportLists]·         [endif]Also should I let the loins sit out to form pellicle? If so how long?


    (3) 3lb bellies I plan on making this 12/19 which will make 14 days in brine, did not inject.

    I was thinking of cold smoking (2) 3lb bellies and hot smoking the other.

    [if !supportLists]·         [endif]My main question on this is how long I can have the meat not under 40deg. From reading it sounds like a lot of people let the pellicle form for 10 hours at room temp. I am a bit worried about this I have not cured meat before and never left meat sit out that long, is this safe? I also read people let pellicle form uncovered in fridge overnight, any difference? It will be 40deg in Cleveland and I think pellet smoker will give of 15deg heat, seems like that is a decent cold smoking temp of 60deg? My concern is If I smoke this for 12 hours will make it close to 24hours of not being refrigerated(over 40deg), again is this safe?
  2. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  3. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    How did everything turn out?
  4. integritybbq

    integritybbq Newbie

    havnt smoked it yet as plans changed. I threw out the 45 dollar 22lb ham, it smelled a little after probing. 
  5. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Sorry to hear that your ham didn't work out. I bet everyone on this forum has thrown out meat at one time or another....just part of the learning process. One suggestion for you: you might consider starting smaller on your next try at ham. I find it much less problematic to start with just a section of fresh leg (say 5 or 6 lbs in size), to bone it out, and then to cure and cold smoke that. It eliminates the problem with bone sour, and a smaller section means faster cure time so less time for the brine to go ropy or other bad things to happen. Or if you want to leave the bone in, a smaller leg section makes it easier to inject along the bone.

    Hope you have better luck with the Canadian and belly bacon! Stick with it...we've all been there! :biggrin:

    Happy Holidays!
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
  6. integritybbq

    integritybbq Newbie

    I took pork belly and loin out of pops brine today, rinsed them off and have them soaking in water since i imagine they will be salty due to being in brine a little longer.  The bellys don't look different at all, except for a dark piece on edge that is fat, this normal? The loins were injected and appear to be a little darker in color, like the same color of brine - light brown, from the brown sugar i am guessing, again- is this normal?
  7. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Try cutting off a few small pieces off the loin and fry them in a pan to check your salt. You may not need to be soaking them. I just rinsed off 2 butts from Pop's brine. I've had most of mine look blotchy at this stage but these 2 look pretty even in color. Here is how they look.

  8. integritybbq

    integritybbq Newbie

    at work now, have you seen some pieces brown in color? I think i will fry test CB and bellys. I want to make sure CB is cured all the way thru will i am be able to tell from cutting it before and or after fry test? I am guessing i am looking for pink everywhere?
  9. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Post a picture if your not sure. When you slice your belly you will be able to tell if something is not cured.
  10. integritybbq

    integritybbq Newbie