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    • #28587
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      Wet cure , city ham .
      Well after reading 20 or recipes and knowing that I don’t like sweet pork I have no clue what I’m doing . So I consolidated the recipes and threw out the stuff that looked too sweet. It left me with ,
      8# of wild hams bone in.
      3 cups kosher salt ( I bought a 25# sack several yr ago )
      1 cup brown sugar ( ok I couldn’t do it it’s more like 6 oz )
      2 tbsp ground cloves ( doh clump in the spoon hole of the shaker top 1 would have been ok I think)
      2 tbsp ground black pepper
      3 tbsp garlic
      Half pint of Bullet bourbon.

      I made the brine with 1 gallon of boiling water adding the salt and sugar and stirring into solution. 6th grade science all over , that much salt and sugar required over 3 qt of boiling water to reach solution. While it was cooling I got the hams into the plastic bucket where they will rest for the next couple of days . Based on the recipes nobody really has the 1st clue how long to pickle a ham, salt cure , as instructions vary from 12-24 hours per pound . Well somewhere on the short end of 8 hrs per pound as several recipes call for the meat to be washed and or soaked in fresh water for a day….. whatever.
      Where was I ?
      Hot brine ,cold still crunchy but not frozen hams in the 12×9.5×14 Sterite plastic tote with lid well washed and about 5# of ice .
      I decided that the ice was the best plan of action because 6th grade science says when the brine cools the salt will fall out if it’s not diluted. More so the warm to hot water can set off an explosive bacterial growth if it stays more than a few minutes . The brine was probably still to hot but poured through the ice it cooled very quickly down to about 40 degrees with some ice still floating in 5 min.
      Did I mention no clue what the heck I’m doing here ? The hams have to stay submerged and every writer has a solution for that from turn and stir every 4 hr to I had a plate that fit so I buoyed it down with a couple of water bottles and drawing a vacuum on the container that’s to full to float . I am using a brine soaked wicking hand towel .
      I only have about 60 hr for this to brine in the 30 degree fridge before it goes in the gas smoker Saturday morning for dinner Saturday night . Hopefully I’ll be able to keep the smoker under 200 degrees it was hard enough last Christmas for the bird with Temps in the 30s . I expect it to not be possible with it from 95-105 every afternoon. It might hold with just the sun pounding on it……

      More to come on Sunday.

    • #28594
      chutesnreloads
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      Keep at it.Considered trying to make ham but seems just too much.Even a failure can teach you something…..I guess.Then again…it can’t be that hard…they been doing it for how many hundreds of years….

    • #28615
      skeettx
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      Getting worried
      It is Sunday
      and No Report
      You in the hospital??
      Mike

    • #28618
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      Nope, I and the guests survived.
      I found that there was a line of dark meat that was very gamey .,and I think that was exaggerated by the brine. Not unpalatable just more than I cared to eat much of.
      Lessons learned from the 1st run yep,gotta rinse ,there was definitely too much of a good thing in/on the crust/rhine the meat down on the bone was lacking a little in the heavy meat parts . I don’t know if it needed a less dense brine and a longer soak or if I just need to run with what I have and wash before the smoker. .

      To the smoker it all went according to plan with the teps staying down around 190 or so the about 4 hrs in I couldn’t keep it under it under 230 . And the edges and corners dried out a little.

      Being my own worst critic dinner gets a 7.5 overall with particular items like my ham being like a 4.5 . Bonus however being that the leftovers will make a great pot of beans or 3 no salt needed . .

      I’m frustrated with the smoker but having never done any real smoking or similar cooking I expect it will have a learning curve and the only way to master it is to keep after it .

    • #28619
      skeettx
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      Sweet and thank you for the report
      What wood did you use in the smoker?
      Mike

    • #28624
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      Hickory chunk as opposed to chips . The smoke worked better with the chunk than chips at least up this point. I’ll probably use more oak in the future.

      I’ve had trouble in the past attempts with this particular smoker in being able to get the temperature down . It’s no problem to use it like an oven but keeping it at or below 200 degrees is very difficult to do. . Oh well next up some cheap roasts . . I gotta get this figured out before I move to tosmoker country. Ribs that’s the next victim! .

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