Curing a Ham

Originally Posted by DaveOmak at SMF.

To cure a 10# ham, may I recommend an injection method I developed…  It very similar to what commercial processors use…. 

edit to add thread of curing hams…

For flavor, the injection liquid can be Pork stock, vegetable stock, water with seasonings etc…. if you add seasonings, filter them out before you inject so as to not plug the syringe…   use 10% of the weight of the ham for the liquid…

Salt, use kosher or pickling salt… I recommend 2% salt of the weight of the ham.. this can be adjusted for personal taste after your first ham..

Cure #1… 1.1 grams per pound of ham, or 1 tsp. cure #1 per 5 pounds, or 0.25% cure #1 based on the weight of the ham…  ALL THREE ways to figure the cure are exactly the same  +/- ….
Sugar, for injections, white sugar, brown sugar, demerara sugar, maple sugar are all OK…  they can be mixed also….  I use 1% sugar based on the weight of the ham….  some sugars are sweeter than others and that could be one consideration..

Dissolve the salt, cure and sugar in the liquid and put in the refer to cool… you do not want to inject room temp stuff into the ham.. 

The ham should be at 38 deg. F throughout…  refer it for 2-3 days so it is cool to the bone… 
Everything you need for a perfectly cured ham is in the liquid….

Inject ALL the liquid…Inject around the bones and joint first to insure there will be no bone sour…. then inject at 1.5″ intervals throughout the meat to insure equal distribution in the meat…

A 10# ham is 4540 grams… you will have 454 grams of liquid to inject which is very close to 1 pint…  If you inject 10 mls per injection that will be 45 injections and should give you complete coverage in the meat..

Bag the ham because some liquid may leak out..  2 gallon zip bags should work…  it does NOT need to be zipped closed…  After injecting, refer the ham for 5-6 days, turning every couple days…. 

Injections being 1.5″ apart, the ingredients in the liquid need to travel only 3/4″ to insure complete coverage inside the ham…. 

Consider the brining method…  the liquid needs to travel ~ 4″ to get to the bone in some hams…  3/4″ makes for better coverage…  everything needed for a good cure is already inside the ham…   You will not have bone sour…

Using 2% salt and 0.25% cure #1, the ham will have ~ 2.24% salt…   a very reasonable amount of salt..

For a 10# ham…
454 grams liquid..  1 pint.
90 grams salt
45 grams sugar
11 grams cure #1….

After curing, do not refreeze….  Salted meat won’t freeze well, depending on the amount of salt….  After smoking and cooking the ham, it is OK to freeze….

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