Curing a ham like bacon?

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by veener88, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. veener88

    veener88 Smoke Blower

    I have a question. I got done a few weeks ago curing 20lbs of bacon with a new cure. Just rubbing the pork belly with 50/50 mix of kolsher salt and brown suger. When I smoked it used apple and hickory with about 50/50. Well my family loves this nice and simple taste. You have a nice sweet smoked taste that allows you to still taste the pork.

    Now I still have a few hams to cure. I am wondering since you have to inject a ham can I use this same cure on a ham? I am thinking of rubbing down the ham with the dry cure and I would think I would need to still inject. Only thing I would think I would need to add to the 50/50 mix is some Prague Powder #1 (aka Modern Cure).

    This is my other question do I have to soak the him in a cure or could I inject it and rub it them suran wrap it? The bacon had such a better taste to it when I did not have it sitting in liquid cure just a dry cure.

    Thanks for you help
  2. Im not sure about your cure questions but when I do a ham i weigh the green ham I use a honey dew cure (commercial cure) add brown sugar ,maple syrup salt etc etc all into a brine.
    Pump the ham to 30% more than its green weight.. making sure you pump right around the bone . Then i put the ham in the same cure for 5days and smoke it for 16hrs ... Awesome ham people tell me [​IMG]

  3. bixter1

    bixter1 Fire Starter

    I havent done a dry rub for a ham but I follow basically the same steps as Dazna. Dry rubbing takes a longer time and if not done right can lead to spoilage. A ham is much thicker than bacon and things can go wrong. I always feel better with a wet cure and pumping. My 2 cents..
  4. veener88

    veener88 Smoke Blower

    Well I know I need to inject a wet cure into the meet since it is so thick. What I am wondering after injecting it could I do a dry cure on the outside also and then seal up the meat like in a bag or wrap instead of having the meat soak in bucket of the water cure mix.
  5. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  6. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  7. bb53chevpro

    bb53chevpro Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I personally have never cured a ham but I do remember my father did years ago. I was always done in a whiskey barrel with water, salt and garlic. I am not sure of the ratio of these 3 ingredients, but I will ask him when he gets back from his vacation.
  8. Well, I'm no expert but I'm not sure you're exactly curing right now. I know in the old days they did it with just salt, but they used a lot of salt. Unless you are using tenderquick, or some kind of actual cure I would be very careful about how you handle and cook the finished product. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with it, just I wouldn't be convinced its "cured" and would make sure to hot smoke and cook it really well.

  9. This could be a long answer but I will keep it as short as possible. You do not need to soak it after pumping as long as you get the pump thru out it really heavy. It is recommended that you do the soaking to allow all meat to recieve cure where you didn't get any pump.
    A more sure fire pump system is to artery pump. This method is what we use in the plant and is the mother natures way of the cure going thru out the entire ham. the artery is located on the end of the ham where the sirloin is cut off (the place where we cut the pork loin from the ham). it is exactly what i am calling it. It is the artery to the ham and you place you single hole injection needle in it and with an electric pump in about 15 seconds the ham is now fully injected thru mother natures veins. I hope I didn't under do the soaking process we used it for several years till this process was shown to me. And in the plant we still soaked our hams for 24 hours after pumping with the old system.
  10. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  11. okie joe

    okie joe Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    One thing my G-pas taught me is to salt along the bone. One poured salt along the bone until he couldn't get "none more in". the other just enough to think he had salted it. the first came out with salted ham that would last us "a lifetime" and was the saltiest stuff i ever did taste. the other would have a rotten mess on his hands. think i would go with the first and give it a bath to avoid the salt.
  12. Question 1: Yes you can use the exact same cure. It will only help make sure you have the cure distributed evenly if you soak it.
  13. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You could bone out the ham, removing the aitch, femur and shank knuckle bones, then seam it out a little so it lays out flat, about 2" thick. You can brine it or dry rub it; when cured roll it up and tie it then smoke and cook it.

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