Cottage Ham

Discussion in 'Pork' started by smoking4fun, Sep 19, 2016.

  1. smoking4fun

    smoking4fun Smoke Blower

    I'm interested in making some cottage ham for my wife - she's from western Europe where smoked/cured meats were a necessity...that, and she just loves cottage hams.  I've been trying to do some research and reading to figure out the best method, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of here's a couple questions that I have, if anyone would be willing to help out:

    1)  What is the "best" piece of pork to use?  Is it the "money muscle" on the pork shoulder or a pork loin?  Alternatively, can I just cut up a pork shoulder into multiple pieces and make the cottage ham from that?

    2)  From what I've read, most all cottage hams use a wet brine.  I've seen several wet brine recipes around here - but how long should I brine the meat before smoking?

    3)  When brining meat, I've seen some people measure the pink salt (cure #1) based upon the weight of the meat - and other times, I've seen people put the pink salt into water in a particular ratio of pink salt-to-water.  Any guidance on the best way to calculate or figure out how much pink salt I need to use for the brining process?

    4)  As for smoking the brined meat - to what internal temperature should I take the pork to before it's considered "done" for a ham?  Should the smoking process be something similar to smoked salmon where one method is to use a step-wise temperature gradient so that you slowly increase the temperature in the smoke box over a 12-hour period or so to slowly get the internal temperature to the desired temperature?

    Any help or guidance (or recipes) would be greatly appreciated.  Cheers!
  2. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would use the Coppa from the pork shoulder. Since you are new to this I would recommend using Pop's Brine to get you started. It won't require that you weigh your ingredients and cure times are laid out in the thread I have posted below. You will want to inject the coppa with the brine solution for even curing. Safe food temp for pork would be 145°. I wouldn't go much above 150°, as you'll risk drying out the
    smoking4fun likes this.
  3. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Case has you going with Pop's brine.

    I make these on a regular basis, but I use the pork loin since that's what the wife and I like.  The butts work well too, but Case hit it with the coppa cut!  That makes a nice little ham.  I cure for a minimum of 10 days and I inject the brine/cure into each piece in a few different places.

    Here's what I did, and I used Pop's brine...

    I'm putting 3 pieces on the smoker tonight that have been getting a pellicle for the last 36 hours.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2016

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