My first dry cured ham, wasn't sure if it was spoiling (Update, it came out PERFECT!! with QView!)

Discussion in 'Curing' started by trizzuth, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    trizzuth.

    I would go with what Dave suggest as he does injected hams, mine is not.  Continue keeping good notes as you are and let us know how it turns out.  As DDF says "Follow the Rules".

    Good luck, Mr. T
     
  2. trizzuth

    trizzuth Smoke Blower

    Thanks to all the encouragement here.  Ham was so big, I didn't know what else to do with it, and had never seen a ham that big in my life.  So I figured it would be the guinea pig for my first attempt at Virginia Country Ham.

    I will keep you all informed as this progresses!
     
  3. trizzuth

    trizzuth Smoke Blower

    BUMP  for a pic of my drying ham in it's cheesecloth stocking hangin in the fridge.  The blueness seemed to dissipate a little after a day, crossing fingers!


     
  4. Hi Trizzuth

    Just joined the site, actually by accident, I in the process of dry curing my two pork legs, my first attempt to making proscuitto, the curing process is the same

    the only difference is the ingridients procuitto requires salt and curing salt ( pink) with a country ham they use salt and brown sugar

    as for your ham going bad i dont have much experience regarding that, all I know from countless reading on the subject and several videos

    that your ham will diffinetly get mold on it white mold is a good mold , the bad mold is Green , blue and black I definetly would use the needle poke

    test and check it that way

    Good luck buddy , let us know how it goes

    Geo
     
  5. trizzuth

    trizzuth Smoke Blower

    Thanks Geo.. she's looking pretty hanging in my fridge still!

    Cold smoke day is this Sunday, so I will have more pics when I am finished!  Going to try out the AMNS I just got in the oil tank, but after using it in a test to smoke some cheese in my normal gas grille, it may not be enough smoke to fill that tank up.  I will experiment, if I need more smoke, I can start a very low charcoal fire in the fire box on the side (old wood stove) and add some apple chips as needed to give more smoke output.  Hanging up 3 bacon's too, can't wait!
     
    spartan1967 likes this.
  6. trizzuth

    trizzuth Smoke Blower

    Baby got 24 hours of pitmasters blend in my AMNS sure looking good now... Must post some pics soon!
     
  7. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Are you keeping tract of the weight?  How is Bertha surviving the storm?
     
  8. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    How is your smoke coming along?
     
  9. trizzuth

    trizzuth Smoke Blower

    Still at about 72 hours, had to take ham back into my basement due to the rain the past few days.. was not sure if I should put it back out today due to the possibility of rain, so I will go hard this weekend and try to get it smoking all day sat and possibly through the night tonight and then again sat night into sunday if I can based on the temp/rain. It is warming up here a wee bit in new england, which makes it more possible to keep smoking through the night..   After removing the cheesecloth and hanging it on the hook i fashioned, it certainly does look better and is taking the color more evenly and is definitely a good brown now.. I think maybe around 100 hours it might be ready..

    Have some apple and cherry dust I got from Todd Johnson and that will go into my AMNS next!
     
  10. trizzuth

    trizzuth Smoke Blower

    Oh yeah. P.S. Where I stuck the hook and tried to go through those ankle bones (I think the area where they connect was cut off and I didn't actually get it through the bone, but more into the skin/meat), there was some juice that came out, just a very small trickle that is drying up now.  But I gave that a really good smell and all I can smell is delicious pitmaster smokeyness!  So no rankness as of yet.  Bonus.
     
  11. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Maybe you should consider packing that hole with as much salt as it will hold. No need to take chances now.
     
  12. trizzuth

    trizzuth Smoke Blower

    You think so?  But shouldn't the ham be saturated with salt by this point already? 

    I will do whatever it takes to be cautious at this point! I do not want to ruin this baby...  so yes, I will shove some salt in there before it goes in for the next round of smokin.
     
  13. trizzuth

    trizzuth Smoke Blower

    Hangin in the kitchen after 130 hours of cold smoke:



     
  14. Hogzilla got a tan [​IMG]she  is looking pretty SEXY
     
  15. trizzuth

    trizzuth Smoke Blower

    DAT SMELL......[​IMG]
     
  16. trizzuth

    trizzuth Smoke Blower

    Well, I waited as long as I could, and my in-laws were heading back to Florida for the winter this past weekend, and I've been amping this ham up to them forever so I thought it would be a nice going away present for them to be there while I cut into the ham to see what was inside!  It was worse than the anticipation of being a kid on christmas eve wanting to know what was inside those presents..

    I have to say that in all honesty, I wasn't sure what to expect, or if it would even come out good based on the process I followed and some inconsistencies along the way.  But once all was said and done, I could not believe the results, they were AMAZING.

    This Country Ham has been hanging in my kitchen from a hook since March.  From the beginning of spring when the cold air turned warm and the leaves all popped, all throughout the heat and humidity of the summer, and into the cool crisp fall this ham has been hanging right there in my kitchen, staring at me in the face, begging to be eaten!  Around July was when this ham was technically finished as a country ham.  But I despise summer heat and humidity, so I figured I would wait until the weather was better, and fall sure seemed like the right time to me.

    No special prep here for the cutting, other than buying a $4 long knife from walmart for shaving the ham as I did not have one that was thin enough to do the job nicely.  Got all my knives ready and cutting board out.

    Here is the ham brought down from it's hanging place and resting on the cutting board prior to investigation:


    My son loved the entire aspect of curing, smoking and getting the ham ready for business:







    Here is the notch I cut to get started, I was amazed at how beautiful the color was already!


    Wife's side of the family anticipating deliciousness:


    At this point, after cutting the notch, I wasn't sure what I was going to do.. try it raw as is, or fry some up.. before I could think twice about it, my father in law grabbed the hunk I cut out and shoved it into his mouth and said it tasted like Proscuitto!  And I was worried about who was going to be the guinea pig.. ha!  So I decided to start shaving off thin proscuitto-like slices and put them onto a plate:


    It was just gorgeous..



    The flavor was just insane, it was so smooth and light and just the right amount of salt, it just melted in your mouth!  I was really worried that it was going to come out too salty, but it was just about perfect throughout.  We did fry up a few pieces and for some reason, that made the salt precipitate out and those pieces were way way way more salty than they were raw..

    I cut this hunk off to give to my mother and father in law to bring to florida because they always help so much with the kids:


    Ain't she PURTY!?


    All shaved up:



    And here is how she sits now.  In total, 14 people have eaten this and it's been a day or two and everyone is fine, so I am not worried about it being raw.  It smelled out of this world, and tasted like one of the finest aged salty hams you could ever eat..


    I put the slices of fat/skin back on top of the area that is cut, covered it with a cloth towel and put it into my downstairs fridge for safe keeping.  Cannot stop thinking about, or eating this ham, just had a ham sandwich for lunch!  
     
  17. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Your ham looks wonderful, so happy everyone enjoyed.

    Tom
     
  18. trizzuth

    trizzuth Smoke Blower

    Thanks Tom!  Can't wait to see what happens when you cut into yours, I am sure it will be divine.  Have you thought about how you want to prepare it yet?  or when you are going to cut into it?
     
  19. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Triz, morning......  well, here I am doing my impression of Pavlov's Dog.....  Beautiful ham.....   excellent job...   Aren't we related somehow ????

    Dave
     
  20. trizzuth

    trizzuth Smoke Blower

    HAHAH kinda like this?

     

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