Double smoked Ham from start to finish

Discussion in 'Curing' started by gibsorz, Sep 20, 2014.

  1. gibsorz

    gibsorz Smoke Blower

    Hey all, I am looking to do a Double Smoked ham from start to finish for a Christmas pot luck. Now I don't have anywhere to hang it or great humidity control, so I guess I will be doing a City Ham. I have a few questions.

    When I Cure the ham, bone in my understanding is I will need to inject it to prevent spoiling? If the bone is removed by the butcher would I be able to do it without injecting (my personal preference).

    Even if I inject the ham, am I right to assume that the 40 to 140 rule does not apply to it because the ham is cured and therefor botulism not a concern? So I could cold smoke it say, for 11 hours (the duration of an AMNPS), wrap for a couple days, and then hot smoke it to temp?

    Also if I am not injecting, my cure time would be significantly longer, is there a post with a guide for it somewhere?

    Thanks all.
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Inject ANY meat over 4" thick.... and it's probably wise to inject at 3" thick.... You can't hurry the curing process... It has to get to the center of the meat and it has to be uniform in concentration throughout to be "safe".....

    And YES.... the 40-140 rule does not apply to cured meats....

    Curing times vary with meat, but generally overnight to 2-3 days for chickens and turkeys, 8-10 days buckboard bacon, 10-14 days belly bacon, pork shoulder, whole butts, 3-4 weeks whole hams, 10-20 days corned beef (fresh beef roasts, briskets, rolled rib roasts, etc.) If whole muscle is more than 2" thick, then inject so it can cure i/o as well as o/i, and/or in and around bone structures, etc.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2014
  3. gibsorz

    gibsorz Smoke Blower

    Thanks Dave. The reason I ask is a lot of the recipes that say to inject that I find, say to cure for a was a little confused, there is a lot of misinformation out there. I know you can't over cure, but you can under cure so I guess when in doubt, add a couple days.
  4. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That's the safest way to cure meat....
  5. egoodman

    egoodman Newbie

    Hams can be dry cured. Many ham producers dry cure, its a very long process. Take a look at MR. Ts country ham thread or my spin off of his thread called "curing country ham." I am getting close to smoking my ham. It is 100% dry cured, absolutely no injections.
  6. gibsorz

    gibsorz Smoke Blower

    Sadly I don't have the space or ability to do a country style ham in my Condo living, I also don't have a second fridge. A couple questions about it because maybe I could hang it in my parents garage. If you cure the way you have described in your post I gather this

    1) apply cure day 1
    2) apply cure day 7
    3) apply cure day 14
    4) allow to hang for 44-46 days
    5) desalinate (soak for an hour)
    6) Allow to hang in fridge on warm setting for 20 days

    At this point here you could smoke and eat the ham and it would be ham (but not country ham)

    7) smoke ham if desired and hang to age for desired months.

    While aging the ham, what temperature should it be kept under? Also how much humidity? Or is that not too big of a worry as long as you are hanging it and it doesn't drop below 32 degrees for extended periods of time. Also do you use a mild culture to assist, or just watch to make sure no blue mold starts to grow?

    The fridge situation isn't stopping me, I can always pick up a functioning used one for under 100$
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014
  7. egoodman

    egoodman Newbie

    Your cure schedule looks correct. I have heard many different temps and humidity levels that people recommend for aging. From what I have gathered it is not super important. At that point the meat is fully cured. Ham producers try to control the humidity but this is really to prevent mold growth and have a more presentable product (a lot of people are scared off by the mold). Mold growth is often signs of a proper cure. In short, you can age in a basement, smoke house, closet, or anything similar. Best to avoid garages where there are cars and fuel, the ham can absorb these flavors. Here is a link you may find helpful, this is the professor I got much of my advice from (please note that he has a different cure schedule than the one I have done. I will actually be trying his method next)

    Please let me know if you have any more questions, I would be happy to answer them the best I can!
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014
  8. gibsorz

    gibsorz Smoke Blower

    Awesome thanks! Sounds like trial and error and if it starts smelling off, it is error. I should of been clear, the garage is more like a storage room/office. There is no vehicles that are stored in it...but at the same time I guess there could be some chemicals that are in the air so won't use that. I'll take a look at that video once I get home!
  9. gibsorz

    gibsorz Smoke Blower

    Awesome, that helped a lot...other than not using nitrite/nitrate. Will have to do some more research. But here is my idea to permit me to do this ham

    Acquire a used older, but fully functioning, vertical freezer.

    Buy a line voltage thermostat that I can plug the freezer into (and It into the wall). I then set it for appropriate temperature.

    Locate the defroster if the unit has one, disconnect it.

    Place a small, cool mist humidifier inside hooked up to a humidistat with preset humidity level.

    Finish it off with a wireless thermometer/hygrometer that can be kept in the kitchen to ensure everything is working to standard.

    Circulation should not be an issue in a frost free model because they generally have a small fan that will come on when the compressor comes on. If not, may need to install a small computer fan.

    This unit would be able to be used as a fridge, freezer and aging/drying unit. Total expected cost would be under $300.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014
  10. egoodman

    egoodman Newbie

    That sounds like a heck of a curing chamber! Now I will say that seems to be what a lot of people on this site have or something similar. I personally do not have this set up. I am simply using a fridge for my ham, I have to assume there is enough humidity because near the end of the cure I was getting a small amount of white mold (this is a good thing). I would love to have myself a chamber that I can control as this would allow for very specific conditions and also allow you to cure many different things beyond just hams. 

    I have veered off course on my ham today. I have begun smoking the ham, I decided to do this today due to the unseasonably cool weather which would permit a nice cool smoke. I have taken pictures along the way and will update my thread probably tomorrow evening.

    The true test of the ham will be once it is eaten, but I look to change things up a bit for my next ham. I want to make my own cure and I want to change my cure schedule a bit. Im not quite certain of how I want to do it yet but I am researching all the time and eventually I would like to settle on a method that I can call "my" method and produce a consistent ham every time! I will someday build a smokehouse and smoke/age my hams in there, that is probably a ways off though haha. I want to start another within the next month so I will settle on a new method in that time and make my own cure using a traditional 4:1 ratio of salt to brown sugar and added spices such as pepper (black and red). This is what Professor Rentfrow uses in the video, this is a very similar cure that Finchville Farms uses. Finchville makes very fine hams!

    Sorry this post was slightly off topic, if you have any more questions let me know!
  11. gibsorz

    gibsorz Smoke Blower

    Not off topic at all, my favourite part of smoking, is anything involved in curing and then smoking, more so than the traditional southern American BBQ. Smokehouse is years off for me. I need to buy a house with a large enough yard. So that'll be 5 years if I am lucky the way the market it is my area (damn foreign investors artificially raising property value). Is there any Cure 1/2 used in that cure you are talking about?

    The main reason I would make such a build is to be able to age meat (wild game mainly), make my own sausages (I am on a quest to reproduce a family recipe that has been lost). The ham is a bonus.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2014
  12. I have a fully-cooked hickory-smoked sliced ham.  I would like to have it for Easter, but want to heat it up in my smoker rather than the oven. 

    Any tips? 
  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sure Double Smoke it---Best Ham you'll ever eat !!


    Double Smoked Hams Times 4         

    Last edited: Apr 3, 2015
  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    I took another look at this.

    I was thinking you meant a Spiral sliced Ham. I don't do them, but they would be good for my Double Smoked Ham method.

    If you're talking about actual "Sliced Ham", I would imaging you could still do that, but you might want to get a few skewers, to pin the stack of slices together, so they don't curl up and get dry.

  15. Bear, I'm sorry for the confusion. Yes, I was talking about a spiral-sliced ham. Got to rushing so I could get my question out there...

Share This Page