Easter Ham/Advise Needed

Discussion in 'Pork' started by lcruzen, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. lcruzen

    lcruzen Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Pick up a 9.5lb fresh picnic Saturday and started a brine cure yesterday. Followed the formula on the Tender Quick bag a 1 cup of TQ to 4 cups water. Injected cure down to the bone in several different spots. Put the picnic in a food grade bucket and covered with brine and weighted it down with a zip lock full of water. I'll flip it over daily to assure even cure. Plan to cure all week and get it on the smoker Saturday for dinner on Sunday.

    This is my first attempt at a ham other than Canadian bacon. If any one has any advice or criticism of my plan or methods please post away! Will I need to soak in water after curing to remove salt? I'm thinking to smoke @ about 180o, is this correct?

  2. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I cured a 16 Lb. for Easter, but used dry/injection method. I believe the cure rate is still the 7 days/inch with the brine, so I dunno if you will get a complete cure by next week. And you still have to smoke it. Mine cure for 27 days, and I smoked it in cool smoke over 3 days, about 3-4 hours a day.

    I have since froze it, but before freezing I washed it, and took a small slice off and fried it to check for salt..and weather I'd need to soak it or not... seems the best way to tell.
  3. lcruzen

    lcruzen Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanx Rich. I pick up on Rytek Kutas book that you recommended and read it while on vacation a couple of weeks ago. I was hoping that by injecting the brine into the ham down to the bone the cure time would decrease. I thought it said you could cure a ham in a few days this way.

    When you say "dry cure injection" what does that mean? Just trying to soak up knowledge.

  4. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    The injection WILL help speed the cure. I just don't know the size of the ham (thicknesses) you have. It may be enough time, tho. If not it's no biggie.

    I injected as recommended along the bones with a curing brine, and dry rubbed spiced cure on the outside in 3 different applications a week apart. Then the ham hung in my garage in a cotton cloth bag for two weeks, then smoked it as I said.

    It's a "Country" cured ham, not a "city" which I believe is what you have there.

    Even if you do not get a 100% cure I'd not think it's a big deal at all. I can't wait to try mine :{)
  5. lcruzen

    lcruzen Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Looks like I have a smoked salt lick on my hands. Brine cured the fresh 9.5lb picnic for 5 days after injecting cure in several spots along the bone. Soaked it in fresh water Friday evening til Saturday morning. Got it on the smoker about 9:00am Sat and cooked @ 180o for about 16 hours with internal temp reaching 165o. Took off a slice to sample and just way to salty. For the brine I used the formula on the tenderquick bag of 1 cup per 4cups(quart)of water. The only thing I can think of is I just cure it too long or the formula on the tenderquick isn't gospel and needs to be adjusted.

    Anyway for now I have the picnic in a stock pot simmering and hoping this will reduce the salt enough to be able to use it for something but looks like I'm headed to the grocery store for plan B.

    Any input out there is more than welcome. I'll still post some Q-VIEW of it later as it looks wonderful.

  6. oscarsroost

    oscarsroost Smoke Blower

    [​IMG] we got one to salty, put in pinto beans a few chunks at a time until used up. didn't have to salt the beans at all and gave them a great flavor.[​IMG]
  7. lcruzen

    lcruzen Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I may have jumped the gun here. Decided to taste a piece out of the middle by the bone before I threw in the towel on this ham and it is not salty at all. Looks like a successful smoke after all. Good rich color all the way to the bone. I'll have some great stock for soup beans and corn bread later in the week also. Q-VIEW coming later!
  8. lcruzen

    lcruzen Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    And here is the finished product. Nice juicey tender smoked picnic ham. Good color all the way to the bone.
  9. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    looking good cruzin........looking good........i hope here soon to give a ham a shot myself........but i have ss and bacon on the list ahead of that

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