First shot at curing ham

Discussion in 'Curing' started by jirod, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. jirod

    jirod Smoke Blower

    I'm finally taking my first try at curing and smoking a ham from fresh pork. I got two small half hams, about 7 pounds each. I just got them injected and into Pop's brine. One straight Pop's, one with some nutmeg/cinnamon/clove. When laid flat they were about 3 1/2 - 4 inches thick.

    My first big question is how long do I need to let these brine. Most if the posts I've read are for full hams, and say about a month. With these smaller ones what would be a good estimate.

    Also when I smoke it was plan on warm smoking (100-120 degrees for about 10-12 hours) with plum dust, let sit over night, then hot smoke the next day. Any problems with that concept? Too much smoke for such a small hams?

    Any other tidbits of advice would be great.
  2. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I highly suggest Pop's thread on curing ham, its like "the" way to do. Here's basically what he says.

    Curing Times

    “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.”

    There are dry cures also for country cured hams, Tom has an excellent thread here and his finished product  Ooo La la........

    But I am thinking Pops is where you need to be, mots of the threads here about curing fresh hams and picnics, are all comming from Pop's..... he's a legend in his own time! Don't tell him that, OMG he'll get a swell head.

    And of course he just posted a bone out of a picnic!
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014
  3. jirod

    jirod Smoke Blower


    Appreciate the response. I've read some of Pop's posts, most recently his "From hog leg to Easter Ham" post. Since these aren't whole hams that is why I was questioning how long. Would closer to the pork shoulder/ whole butt time be closer since these were about 7 pounds each?

    I would love to do a country ham sometime, and once I can get another meat curing fridge (for the equalization process that is at a higher temp) I will give it a shot too. Tom's post on his country ham is what really inspired me to look into doing my own fresh ham, but decided to start with a wet brined ham first.

    Bear is my go to source for all thing dry cured (dried beef/deer in his step by step is absolutely amazing). Pop's seems to be the man when it comes wet brine.
  4. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014
  5. jirod

    jirod Smoke Blower

    Foam, I wonder if my meat guy grabbed the wrong package. What I had looked almost exactly the same as what you have in your post, if the side that it was laying on was fully skinned. But how the skin wrapped around the top side of your's looks exactly like what mine did. Would some kind of cut down ham look like that, does anyone know?

    It was raw meat, with some blood in the shrink wrap, so not concerned about brining and smoking it. Will do it like I was planning, that sound ok?
  6. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Its what curing is all about to me. You have basic laws to be followed, after that you can experiment to your hearts content. Cured smoked beef, cured smoked pork, cured smoked chicken, cured smoked sausage, cured smoked fish ...... nothing is sacred.

    Usually we all see cured hams but you can cure butts and I understand from friend Bear, that buckboard bacon can be outstanding. I guess I am going to have to try it soon with bellies at 3.50 and butts at 2.00, thats a no brainer. BUT I so love smoked bacon. Better than napham in the morning!

    Hams Picnics? Only way it matters is if you are comming or going.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2014

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