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Cloudy brine after 18 days of wet cured fresh ham weighing 17 lbs.

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    Cloudy brine after 18 days of wet cured fresh ham weighing 17 lbs.

    I wet cured a fresh ham, following the "wet cured smoked ham" recipe on amazing ribs web site.
    the trimmed ham weighed 17 lbs. I cured in a 5 gallon bucket in the fridge for 18 days.
    I removed the ham today, and the brine was cloudy. There is no smell to the ham.
    My question:
    Is the ham OK to cook?
    Thanks in advance. Pit Master member JWG

    Generally, I would say if the brine has slime and white foam on top, you can see mold, it is blueish in color, or seems gluelike in feel, you should be concerned. I think that is a bit more specific than cloudy.

    Meathead also has these comments to add:

    Curing meat is not like any other recipe. You must be pretty precise about some ingredients.

    Weirdness and troubleshooting

    After a week in the cure, beef may look a little gray on the outside but stay pink in the center. That’s because oxygen has impacted the surface while the nitrites have fixed the myoglobin. Some fats may get gelatinous, particularly on ham. The water may get a little pink from myoglobin being pulled out, but it should never be cloudy. Bits of fat may break loose and float, but floating mold is a bad sign. Bubbles are a sure sign that something is alive in there and that’s bad. It should always smell fresh, perhaps a little briny, but never funky. When in doubt, throw it out!


    • JWG
      JWG commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for your quick reply. Since the brine was cloudy and i am in doubt, I will throw it out.


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