How to cure elk into ham
dennishoddy last edited by
I have two Elk tenderloins that I’m looking into using a ham cure. Last elk camp one of the guys brought some for snacks and it was incredible. Tastes just like ham with a more rich flavor.
He said it was a brine method, and didn’t remember where he got the cure, so the search is on.
Not really looking for the 3 week method, as these tenders are about 2 lb each. He said he tried the bacon cure on one batch, and it was too salty, then tried the ham cure and it turned out great.
You could either use a cover brine, or you could inject the tenderloins with a brine and cure.
I’d recommend using the Country Brown Sugar Cure and it is definitely the most popular one to use too. That is a ham cure as well. If you do want to try a bacon cure, the most popular bacon cure is Blue Ribbon Maple Bacon.
If you want to use a cover brine, just use 1lb of cure per 1 gallon of water to submerge and soak the tenderloin for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. At the end of 3-4 days, remove from the brine, rinse, and then you can proceed with smoking.
Or, you could inject the loins. With injecting, you would want to use 2 lb of Country Brown Cure per 1 gallon of water. You can inject 10% of the total weight of the meat into loins with the cure solution. So if you have 10 lb of tenderloin, inject them with 1 lb of water mixed with 3.2 ounces of cure. After injecting, simply hold overnight in the fridge and then you can smoke and cook it the next day. You should be fine to use the same process for either the ham or bacon cure.
Let us know if you have any more questions we can help with!
I believe the recommended curing time is 12 hours but can I go less than that? I was expecting my order to be here tonight and it won’t be here till tomorrow morning now.
I was going to mix up my batch of jerky tonight but will have to do it tomorrow on my lunch break. Just wondering if tomorrow evening would be long enough to let the meat cure.
Your recipe calls for 1. Sure Cure, 2. Sure Gel Meat Binder, and 3. Smoked Meat Stabilizer. I have all but the Sure Gel Meat Binder. Can I get by without using this? Second question- Is Excalibur’s Cure Excellerator the same as Sure Cure?
@andyman Great question, Carrot Fiber holds up to 26 times its weight in water, and while the 80 oz is still well inside that I have never done that before. I max out (even with Carrot Fiber) at 64 oz which is 2 qts. My only fear with doing 80 is that it might take a lot longer to cook as it will have more water content that will be trying to evaporate. Most of that water should be bound up in the carrot fiber though so it wouldn’t really be available to be cooked out. Hmmm, my recommendation, to be safe is to stick with 64 oz of water.
Now, as to should you add more seasoning, some people will taste the difference if you did not add additional seasonings and some (most) will not. Your water and your seasoning is technically part of your meat block (anyone who is reading this who doesn’t consider this don’t worry!) so adjusting your meat block to include your water is sometimes done. If you do decide to add more spices or seasonings I would add aromatics and things like Rosemary and Basil, don’t add more salt as that is formulated specifically for the meat block.
Hope this helps and if you do decide to go with 80 oz of water then I would be very interested in the results!
i use denuded round. higher cost, less waste, cleaner eating
@jonathon I enjoyed this line of questions and comments, it made me think. Here is my related question: Assume I use 25 lbs. of meat to make summer sausage and add one package, 4 oz., of Carrot Fiber and 80 oz. of water. The ratio is 20 times the weight of water to the weight of CF. In other words, I am adding 5 lbs. 4 oz. of water/CF paste to my meat dough. Should I adjust the amount of salt and spices, I add to the dough? I am concerned that the flavor will be weaker if I don’t add spices for the new total, 30 lbs. curious as to what y’all thinking.