Ham brine (from scratch)


  • Regular Contributors

    I unexpectedly came into a couple of fresh picnic shoulders and was interested in making a brined ham but what I am missing is a package of the often suggested Excalibur sugar cure. I have plenty of pinks salts, kosher salts, sugars, pickling spices, etc. and have an order arriving by Saturday with Cold Phosphate and Sodium Erythorbate.

    Does anyone have a suggestion on what I could use as a substitute for the Excalibur? Should I inject or simply brine? My research has left me so many differing answers I feel like I am chasing my own tail. Any help would be greatly appreciated!


  • Walton's Employee

    @Joe-Hell I’ve never done a ham without a prepared cure and seasonings. Hams can be difficult enough to do without having to worry about your mix. I would absolutely recommend injecting though as it is far simpler to make sure that you have complete coverage with the cures. What you run the risk of with brining is gassing out, which is when the nitrites convert to a gas and escape the brine.

    If you have time before you absolutely have to cure these get a premade mix, even if time restraints prevent you from ordering from us.

    I think you are JUST too far west to be next day shipping from us, maybe a local butcher might have some?

    Anyone more experienced with making a brine at home? @Mcduf1313 I think has done some Spanish hams? I also feel like @Forkinpork does some hams. Either of you guys have some advice for Joe?


  • Regular Contributors

    Thanks for the reply! If it comes down to it I can always throw them in the deep freeze until I have time to order the Excalibur cure.


  • Walton's Employee

    @Joe-Hell I’ve done it before, just make sure it is totally defrosted before you try to inject it!



  • @joe-hell Google pops brine. I’ve had great results with it. Pretty basic 1 cup of sugar, brown sugar, salt and 1 tablespoon of pink curd. I’ve done everything from bacon to Turkeys with rav reviews



  • @joe-hell hello.

    I do not them all the time.
    Brine
    1 gallon of stilled water
    1 cup brown sugar
    2/3 cup kosher salt
    6 table spoons of pink #1 cure salt
    Mix brine and do a 10% injection of brine

    So you will weigh your meat and take 10% of that weight and that’s how much brine you will inject in to your ham. Then take your remaining brine and put your ham in it and let is soak in the refrigerator for 7 days turning your meat once a day. I also use this for bacons as well when I have the time .

    But if you do have the time the excalibur ham and bacon cures from waltons are the best I’ve ever used. I use them all the time.


  • Regular Contributors

    @sausage-king Thanks you! I’ll give that recipe a shot this weekend! I’ve already got the Excalibur fixins in my shopping cart for the next order.


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