Ham brine (from scratch)
Joe Hell last edited by Joe Hell
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!
@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?
Joe Hell last edited by
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.
@Joe-Hell I’ve done it before, just make sure it is totally defrosted before you try to inject it!
bubba_mcnabb last edited by
@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
sausage king last edited by
I do not them all the time.
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.
Joe Hell last edited by
@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.
@papasop I have a response from the manufacturer…
They said that they designed the mixer in a way that it would not need to run in reverse for a long time. It should mix efficiently enough in one direction and it was designed to mix in just 1 direction. So, using the grinder in any scenario (grinding or mixing) you should limit the reverse time to approximately 5 seconds at one time.
My own opinion on the mixing is that I wouldn’t mix in just 1 direction though. I think there is still a benefit to going in reverse, even if temporarily, so I think my course of action for the future will probably be to mix 90% of the time in 1 direction, but still do the reverse in the 5 second interval. Probably something like 30 to 60 seconds forward, 5 seconds backward, then another 30 to 60 forward, etc… I think that would get enough benefit of a direction mix cycle, but still limit the reverse action as much as possible.
@jonathon Moscow Mules!! I’m sold. Will It BBQ is on the way soon for sure!
@alan Lol, I’m an idiot, just the other day I said that I am fully capable of thinking one thing and typing something else! Getting information from an old timer is usually a great way to go! Glad you got it worked out though! Send pictures of them!
@Danbow Back when I was in customer service I know I talked to someone who either said his wife did it exactly how you are explaining it or I talked to the woman who did it, I wonder if I was talking to either you or your wife?!
Wrapping it in foil would keep more moisture in the product, same basic process that some people do when they are smoking ribs. I can absolutely see how this would work and I think the way she is doing it, without a casing, would be more effective when wrapping it in foil. I don’t think you’ll ever convert me from using a casing but we might be making some updates here and when we do I might have access to an oven and will give this a try!
Lol, no rice in Andoullie. You are thinking of Boudin.
I spoke to an Old Timer Cajun down here and he said, after you cure your meat for 24 hours, spray and moisten the meat just before stuffing it. If the stuffing is too dry, the meat will shrink when smoked and it will make voids between the stuffing and casing.
The recipe I use is hundred plus years ago and I added some modern safeguards and seasonings. By the way, I use Boston Butt & Cushion Meat, in lieu of the hogs head and neck.
The Smoke Houses are selling it for over $10 a pound here and I can make it for $1.30.
LaPlace, LA is, The Andoullie Capital of the World!
@jonathon Thank you for your quick and detailed response. It is greatly appreciated. Just another reason why Walton’s is the best. For some reason, I thought that you needed to soak the collagen before loading it on the stuffing horn. Thanks for the correction there.