Ham  Brining 101 (and Bacon)
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Ham  Brining 101 (and Bacon)
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Thread: Ham Brining 101 (and Bacon)

  1. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Basher View Post
    Does anybody have the rate for how long you do the brine. The rate (picture) is no longer here. Thanks
    Sorry about that. Check it now... I am doing some updating to include a 20% pump rate and to clarify a few things better.
    <><
    MAK 1 Star General #651 - 2014 Model
    former owner - MAK 1 Star General #171
    22.5" Weber Performer with Stoven Pellet Grill attachment
    27 + year old 22.5" Weber Kettle (still works fine)
    Modified Horizontal Offset Smoker - used mainly for cold smoking.

  2. #12

    Ham Brining 101 - Updates!

    I've just completed some updates to this tutorial, which include:

    ► Updated some photos.
    ► Update charts (by request) to include info on a 20% pump rate.
    ► Reworded some sections (such as "How much Cure#1 to use") to hopefully make them easier to understand.

    Thanks for your continued feedback, and enjoy!

    Cliff
    <><
    MAK 1 Star General #651 - 2014 Model
    former owner - MAK 1 Star General #171
    22.5" Weber Performer with Stoven Pellet Grill attachment
    27 + year old 22.5" Weber Kettle (still works fine)
    Modified Horizontal Offset Smoker - used mainly for cold smoking.

  3. #13

    Question regarding brine and Roasting

    Hi,

    Thank you for such a wonderful article. I learned a lot from you!

    I have a couple questions hopefully you can help me with them.

    If I have a boston ham that's about 2 inches thick and want to use 30% flow rate, how long should I cure it? I don't know if it matters but I do not plan to use nitrite.

    If I don't want to smoke the ham, I just want to use regular oven to roast it, what temperature would you recommend to set? I do plan to glaze the ham with honey, when should I apply honey then?

    Thank you very much for your time!

  4. #14
    First thanks for your kind words!

    Now, my first question would be why not use the nitrite? The nitrite is part of what's responsible for the hammy flavor we associate with ham.

    Second, if you don't use nitrite, then DO NOT attempt to cold smoke it (I know you said you'll be using your oven but I just want to make it clear that uncured meat should not be cold-smoked).


    As far as how long to cure it, if you do a 30% injection then 3 - 5 days will be sufficient, but since you plan on not using nitrite, you may want to go 7 - 10 days, to give a little longer for the salt to have a curing effect. Just be aware that the ham won't be as deep of a pink as using Nitrite, if it stays pink at all.


    Roasting temp: Since you're not worried about smoke absorption, there is no need for a very low temperature, so I'd go ahead and roast it at around 275 until you reach an internal temperature of around 160 - 165.


    On that piece, in a 275 oven, I'd start glazing around 135 - 145 every 10 - 15 minutes until done.

    Try and get some pics to share with us!
    Last edited by TentHunter; 04-14-2015 at 09:50 AM.
    <><
    MAK 1 Star General #651 - 2014 Model
    former owner - MAK 1 Star General #171
    22.5" Weber Performer with Stoven Pellet Grill attachment
    27 + year old 22.5" Weber Kettle (still works fine)
    Modified Horizontal Offset Smoker - used mainly for cold smoking.

  5. #15
    Very informative guide thank you for posting it. I've wet cured buckboard bacon before, but a ham will be my first ever foray into injecting meat. Do you know of any place which gives a good guide on the injection process? I've neither done it nor even ever seen it done before.

  6. #16
    Am I correct in my math that I would need approximately 3.62 grams of cure #1 for 1/2 gallon of brine when not injecting?

    Edit: This is specifically in regards to curing a (relatively thin) slab for bacon.
    Last edited by Crys; 07-14-2015 at 01:19 PM.
    Weber Spirit Propane Grill
    Weber Smokey Mountain Grill 18"
    Rec Tec 680 Pellet Grill

  7. #17
    Senior Member
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    Crys,
    Do you have any books on curing and sausage making? If not, they are very handy to have for quick answers to questions you might have. Several that I have are "Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing" by Rytek Kutas and "Charcuterie" by Ruhlman and Polcyn. There are many others in book form and online. If this is new territory for you, studying up on the process of curing and the reasons for it would be a wise endeavor. The Kutas book has a whole section on this. It's available at The Sausage Maker, Inc. | Sausage Stuffers, Meat Grinders, Smokers, and More!.

  8. #18
    I'd rather not spend 30 dollars on a book for just one section of it and I know I'm not going to be making sausages. TentHunter's post is the most complete explanation of wet brining that I've ever read and I do understand it. Its just that I have limited room in my refrigerator for curing meat so I usually use ziploc bags which will not fit a gallon of brine plus meat therefore I need to cut down the liquid brine amount by a great deal.

    Therefore my question is two fold - how does cutting down on the amount of brine (by 1/2 or even down to 1/4) affect the curing process and if you don't inject do you simply omit the last division in the equation (this is specifically in relation to the amount of cure)?

    Edit: Ah the answer to one of my questions was actually over in dry vs wet curing and the answer is you need to keep 1 part brine per 2 parts meat by weight. Thus with the 6 lb piece of shoulder I have I need to have at least 3 lbs of brine.

    Also of note is the comment that pump injecting brine will affect quality for bacon.
    Last edited by Crys; 07-14-2015 at 01:17 PM. Reason: Added more information
    Weber Spirit Propane Grill
    Weber Smokey Mountain Grill 18"
    Rec Tec 680 Pellet Grill

  9. #19
    Thanks for the kind words!

    That note for Pump-injecting bacon (in the wet-cure versus dry cure), really refers more to the quick pumping and curing used by the large commercial bacon makers who pump and smoke the bacon all in a single day. Just like a commercially produced ham, it just doesn't allow time for a really good cured flavor to develop.


    Pump injecting bacon (just like a ham) then putting it in the brine to allow flavor to develop for at least 3 - 5 days is fine. Just like a ham, it gets brine into the center of the bacon quicker which allows the curing process to start sooner.

    The same formulas/recipes I give for the ham will also work for bacon, because the target ingoing nitrite level for bacon is 120 ppm.

    Hope this makes sense!




    Hope this makes sense.
    <><
    MAK 1 Star General #651 - 2014 Model
    former owner - MAK 1 Star General #171
    22.5" Weber Performer with Stoven Pellet Grill attachment
    27 + year old 22.5" Weber Kettle (still works fine)
    Modified Horizontal Offset Smoker - used mainly for cold smoking.

  10. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by TentHunter View Post
    Thanks for the kind words!

    That note for Pump-injecting bacon (in the wet-cure versus dry cure), really refers more to the quick pumping and curing used by the large commercial bacon makers who pump and smoke the bacon all in a single day. Just like a commercially produced ham, it just doesn't allow time for a really good cured flavor to develop.
    Your welcome and I meant it that this is the most complete explanation of wet curing that I've ever read. Also curing and smoking in one day...that does explain alot about the taste of most commercial bacon's.

    So if I don't inject for any reason would I simply omit the last division? I actually put in the bacon to cure tonight using 3 quarts of brine (2 distilled water and 1 apple cider) for just under 10 lbs of shoulder butt with 5.45g of cure #1. (Yes I have a scale that measures out to 0.01g, same one I use to measure out ferts for my fish tank) From memory I used 210g of kosher salt and 230g of dark brown sugar.
    Weber Spirit Propane Grill
    Weber Smokey Mountain Grill 18"
    Rec Tec 680 Pellet Grill

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