Curing Ham & Bacon

promiseacres

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So we had the opportunity to purchase a processed hog, but the bacon and hams weren't going to be cured. We decided to attempt the process ourselves. We had about 4 # of side meat for the bacon and the hams were cut up into 3-5# "roasts" and a few steaks. I had room to dry cure the bacon. Three of the ham steaks and five of the roasts went into a brine. All recipes were found via the internet. The bacon was to cure for at least 7 days, the hams at least 1 day per 2#. From our research you can't over cure them... so went 7-8 days on the hams also. I'm going to pull them out this afternoon and rinse them. But here is what they looked like at the start of the process. The bacon was just put in ziplocks and the hams were placed in my cake containers upside down with plates on top to keep them in the brine.
https://afarmishkindoflife.com/home-cured-brine-a-ham/ this was the recipe I used for the hams
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Baymule

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Whoop! Thanks for posting this! I can’t wait to see how your bacon and hams turn out!!
 

promiseacres

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Ok so we left the ham roasts in the brine until Tuesday so they were in the brine 10 & 11 days. In the BrineIMG_3242.JPG
A couple of roasts and a steak, the first roast didn't seem as good, not as nice texture or color.
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I then rinsed them and let them sit over night in water. So yesterday I pulled them back out and put all but 1 steak and 1 roast in food saver bags and into the freezer. (next step would have been smoking IF we had one) Debating on either just cooking the two that I wasn't happy with the color or DH mentioned rebrining, thinking they floated a bit too much.
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Baymule

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It’s always a learning curve.

We have a barrel type smoker, BBQ pit actually, that we bought at Walmart for $100. It has a thermostat on the lid. It ain’t fancy, gotta tend it all day, but it works. If you have 2 BBQ pits or can borrow them, build fire in both and let it burn down to coals. Arrange meat on one pit, use other pit to make coals, transfer to meat smoking pit. That also works. PIA, but it works.
 

farmerjan

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Any brine will cause the hams to darken in color. All of the hams we have cured are a little darker. The bacon is just a little darker too than fresh meat.
How did they taste?
 

farmerjan

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You can smoke later can't you? Doesn't @Mike use his smoker on fresh stuff they pull out of the freezer?
 

Baymule

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My favorite pit is a hot water heater tank. A welder made it, it’s on legs and wheels. I build a fire at one end, meat at the other end. It’s ugly but I love it.
 

Anna j

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I tried curing bacon and used the calculator from Digging Dog Farm. My buddy swears by it. The cuts of meat I got were essentially scraps, but I brined them in zip lock bags for 11-12 days as they supposedly will only absorb so much. Rinsed, dried for a day and then smoked. Every batch was marinated just a touch differently - brown sugar, maple syrup and white sugar.....All had a gamy/off taste and was wondering if a butcher would sell wild game meat?? I’m not sure if it’s the cut of the meat, the quality of the meat or just that I didn’t squeaky clean the borrowed smoker prior to use? I truly hope yours comes out as I haven’t been able to get a batch in order to try again. Still a bit scarce these days. If it comes out well I’d go huntin for pigs around my property. Let us know how it works! I deleted all my photos of it out of disappointment I believe because I no longer can find them. :hu
 

Mike CHS

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Still a bit scarce these days. If it comes out well I’d go huntin for pigs around my property. Let us know how it works! I deleted all my photos of it out of disappointment I believe because I no longer can find them. :hu
When we lived in South Carolina we knew several people that would trap wild hogs then clean them out with corn for a month or so. I had some from them a few times and it was good. Still had a slight gamey taste but not nearly as strong as fresh killed and butchered. I don't know if trapping them is an option though in Tennessee.
 
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