Cured Whole Muscle Meat 105 - Ham Basics


  • Walton's Employee

    Fresh Sausage

    Cured Whole Muscle Meat 105 - Ham Basics

    Attend this entry-level class from Meatgistics University by watching the video, reading the article and post any questions you have!

    Injecting Ham
    Smoked ham

    What Is Ham?

    Ham is the upper portion of a pig’s hind leg, it will usually be in the range of 16 inches long and around 12 inches wide at the widest point and its weight will vary pretty dramatically. To cook it safely at low temperatures it needs to be cured first and because of the size of the ham injecting it is a better choice than pickling or brining to make sure the cure is evenly distributed.

    Meat Block

    14 lb Uncured Ham
    1 Bag of Country Brown Sugar Cure
    1 lb of California Ham Spice

    Equipment

    Walton’s Automatic Syringe Injector
    Versanet
    Auto-Load Hog Ring Pliers

    Process

    To figure out how much cure and water you will need you will first need to weigh your ham. This ham weighs 14 lb which is known as its green weight. Country Brown Sugar Cure calls for 2 lb of cure to be mixed with 1 gallon of water for a 10% pump. This means that we want to use the appropriate amount of cure and water and then pump 10% of the “green weight” into the ham, so a 14 lb ham will be 15.4 lb after it has been pumped.

    Water

    It is very important to use water that has low microbial levels and low to no chlorine, buying distilled water from your grocery store is a good way to ensure you will not have any issues from the water. If you are using tap water leave it in an uncovered container in a cooler overnight to let any of the gas escape the water.

    Injection Points

    We recommend a 14 point injection for a ham, starting at the thinner side inject near the end once on each side of the bone and then move up the ham making 4 more injections in a straight line until you reach the thicker end. Once you reached the thicker end, which should be your 6th injection, make 8 more evenly spaced injections around the end of the ham in a clockwise direction.

    Cover Brine

    Then we will use the remaining cure solution to cover our ham while we let it sit in the cooler overnight if you used a cure with sodium erythorbate or added it yourself and 3-4 days if you did not. We want this to be a 50% strength solution so our options are, either us the cure at the rate of 1 lb per gallon of water or we can weigh what we have left over from our injection and add whatever it weighs in water so the cure would now be at a 50% strength solution.

    Note

    Next, it needs to be stuffed into a casing like Versanet so that it can then hung in the smokehouse. You can choose to tie this Ham or use Ham Tubing, we like versanet as it is a plastic product that releases easily from the ham after the smoking process.

    Thermal Processing & Smoking

    1 Hour at 120° with no smoke
    2 Hours 140° and begin smoking
    4 Hours at 190° until internal temperature reaches 145°

    Cooling

    Then hold this at room temperature for 1-2 hours before moving to the refrigerator or vacuum packing it.

    Wrap up

    Now we have a beautiful homemade smoked ham that is going to taste at least as good as anything bought in the store!

    Additional Tips

    • If you had a market hand saw you can make a cut perpendicular to the h-bone on the back of the ham

    Watch WaltonsTV: Ham Basics

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Bratwurst Seasoning

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    Shop waltonsinc.com for High-Temp Cheese

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Boning Knives




  • Could the ham be hung and dried at this point without thermal processing to produce a country ham or prosciutto style?


  • Walton's Employee

    @lholder We don’t do much dry curing and haven’t done any on hams. The process we have above is for smoked hams and I’m not totally sure what the different steps needed for making a dry-cured ham would be. I talked to our application specialist though and he did have some input on this, I am going to send that to you in a separate email. Hopefully, that information will help!


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Recent Posts

  • @dante322 Okay, thank you for the information. The holes in the casings are designed to let pressure bleed out during the cooking process and it also helps it form tighter to the sausage, so you had the right type of casing. Your grinding sounds fine, mixing by hand to get proper protein extraction would take about that time on a larger batch. I’ve used 2 qt of water before to 25 lb of meat and yes, it does make it soupy but that should all come out during the cook cycle (it will extend that cook cycle though). Grinding the meat and fat together is correct.

    I looked back art your meat block and I’d say part of the issue is that you used almost 1/3rd fat. That is a lot of fat, it would have been very difficult to keep that all bound up. 20 lb of venison to 5 lb of pork fat is good enough. If you were using untrimmed butts than 16 lb of venison to 9 lb of the butt would be close to enough but when it is straight pork fat that is getting it up a little on the high side. This would explain why it took forever to cook as well as the fat rendering out of the meat would constantly be bringing down the surface temperature of your meat.

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  • C

    Hello All,

    I’m planning on using a 50/50 mixture of raw pork and raw turkey in a batch of Pepper Snack Sticks.
    I have this mixture left over from my last batch of egg rolls. Which turned out awesome.
    I’ve never used turkey with the pork. I normally use beef or venison with the pork.
    Has anyone used turkey before? Am I wasting my mixture? Any advise would be much appreciated, kinda worried about the raw turkey getting cured properly. DO NOT want anyone getting sick because of my experimenting.

    Thank You in advance

    Congo

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    @jonathon said in Hello from Ohio:

    @offallygood Glad to have you on the board! You can never have too much bacon, right? That is an offaly good name you have chosen!

    I’m glad to be here. From the looks of it this is a drama free zone. I’m used to the facebook clusterfudge that are recipe groups.

    I really love the pluck. My grandma is the only one that knows I make tacos out of beef heart. You grind up the offal and nobody knows it is there. My sister is really picky. If she knew I was bringing innards to family gatherings, she wouldn’t eat it. LOL

    Here is my bacon:
    0_1548173497213_IMG_20190121_122248.jpg

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  • @offallygood Glad to have you on the board! You can never have too much bacon, right? That is an offaly good name you have chosen!

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