The tale of 2 hams, the adventure begins....

Discussion in 'Curing' started by cdn offroader, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. So, after doing bacon, CB, pancetta and sausages, the next step was to take the plunge and go for a ham. I ordered 2 from my local butcher and they came in today. I'll be following the recipes from Charcuterie for the brown sugar ham, and the blackstrap molasses country ham. Gonna stick with known recipes until I develop some of my own skill/procedure for doing these.

    The bigger of the 2 came in at 12.9 KG(28lb) and the smaller was 10.37kg(22lb)

    First up was the larger ham into the brown sugar brine(I went with the larger one as it will be injected, the other recipe will not) Turned out the only bucket I had large enough was my brewing bucket. Looks like I'll be off to the U-brew for a new bucket and more supplies for my other hobby.

    Ensured I injected a sufficient amount of brine(10% of total weight of the ham, 2.8lbs) in along the bones and into the meat.

    Next, mixed up the molasses, dark rum, and brown sugar, salt, juniper, cayenne pepper, and cure #2 for the country ham.

    Here she is in the bucket.

    Now the count down begins. I will update as progess happens...

    Happy smoking everyone.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
    disco likes this.
  2. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    How long will you brine these?
  3. The recipe called for 1/2 day per lb on the wet brine and a day/lb on the country ham. For the sake of being cautious I added a few extra days onto each, so:

    28lb Brown sugar ham(wet brine and injected) - 22 days however I am considering letting it brine for a few more days so I can smoke on a weekend and it seems a bit short for the size of the ham?

    22 lb molasses country ham("dry" brined)- 26 days. Once again, may extend the cure time to match up with a weekend smoke.

    As far as updates, I've been flipping them every other day. At this point the brown sugar ham is looking like curing pork, nothing exciting there. The molasses ham is feeling considerably firmer at the exposed ends, and has taken a lot of the molasses color. So far everything looks ok.
  4. So the wet brine ham was finished this week after 28 days in the brine, but I put it off till this weekend for smoking. The brine ended up very thick, like a thin gel almost. Everything smelled ok once it was rinsed off, so it sat in the fridge over night and dried out a bit. A quick test fry revealed a lack of smoke, but otherwise good taste.

    Into the smoker for an hour at low heat to speed along the drying process... Now to settle in for a long day. Going to hot smoke to 140 IT, for a partially cooked ham, freeze, and then serve next weekend when guest from out of province are in...May slice off a sample for tonights corn chowder...

    5 hours later...

    After about 10 hours of smoke, it went in to the oven to finish off. Couldn't keep the smoker above 200 anymore.

    Fresh out of the oven,

    Now just to wait for next weekend to eat....
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
  5. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looking good....... Thumbs Up .....

  6. dave17a

    dave17a Smoking Fanatic

    Gotta be my next step in curing. What they charge ya per # for yhe hams? Can't wait to see finished product.
  7. They were about 1.70/lb. Probably coulda found them cheaper, but I like the butcher I got them from. Been smoking in a pecan/cherry/apple combo, lookin pretty good so far.
  8. Updated, with more ham-view [​IMG]
  9. Molasses Country Ham came out of the brine today as well.  It will be going through an equalization period, despite the recipe not calling for this. Everything on country hams I can find has an equalization period, so into the basement to hang it goes.  Lost ~7% weight in the cure, I suspect it is a little less weight loss than others as it is was liquid cure.

  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Equalization is important is all curing processes.... Good point....

  11. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Wow nice work, both hams look great. Can't wait to hear how they taste!
  12. I feel like I've been watching a really good show on tv and just when things got interesting, it says "To be continued…"

    I can't wait to hear about how these turned out!
  13. woodcutter

    woodcutter Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    So the country ham does not have any smoke yet? It gets a rest and then to the smoker? This is a great thread and nice work!
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    All looks real tasty from my house!!![​IMG][​IMG]

  15. No smoke yet, will do a cold smoke in a few weeks, the color is all molasses. [​IMG]
  16. Cooked up the brown sugar ham this weekend for some friends from out of town. It turned out great. It wasn't too salty, and the right amount of smoke. Tasted just as good the next day fried up for breakfast, with mashed taters and gravy. Everyone enjoyed it, definitely worth the effort. Had a few tiny spots where the cure didn't penetrate, seems to be right near the seams between the muscle groups, but everything tasted great.

    After carving for 12 people...
    Sunday morning breakfast...
    and leftovers, vacpacked 6 lbs, kept some back for sammies, and a handful of scrap for pea soup this week
    All in all happy with the end result.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
  17. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Was that the 28# ham ?? Did you inject 2.8# of brine along the bones and into the meat at the start ?? How many total days did it cure ??
    Just trying to figure out why the cure didn't penetrate totally..... This could be a valuable learning tool....

    Last edited: Feb 17, 2014
  18. hambone1950

    hambone1950 Master of the Pit Group Lead

    Agree 100% ! Really ambitious. Well done.
  19. Dave, this was the 28 lb ham, I injected the brine in the meat and along the bones using the 10% number, I suspect I needed to spread the injections out a bit more, as I really focussed it near the bones, I was nervous about bone sour. Total time in the brine was 28 days.

    The uncured amout was very minor and ran along the silver skin/fat seams in the thicker parts of the ham, but I would like to get it resolved for next time. I wonder if an extra injection or two would be good to make up for the amount of brine that leaks out the injection holes? Or maybe because the meat was fattier it didn't penetrate as well?
  20. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sounds like everything was OK..... Maybe Mr T can figure out something.....

    I think I have read somewhere.... 22 # hams was about the biggest wanted for "Country" hams... but this being injected should have cured just fine.... :dunno...


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