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Curing my own ham - fresh whole leg

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  • Le Grill
    Charter Member
    • Dec 2014
    • 75
    • Chicago suburbs
    • Current grill collection:
      WSM 18.5
      Weber kettle 22.5
      Weber Genesis Silver B

    Curing my own ham - fresh whole leg

    This will be my first try at curing my own ham. I found a local farmer who raises Berkshire hogs and this one was just butchered this week. It doesn't get much fresher than this. Planning to start the cure tomorrow so it will be ready in time for Easter.

    Hopefully 7 days will still be enough time, this one weighs in at a whopping 29 lbs but still has all the skin and fat. Planning to cut all that off and follow Meatheads wet cure recipe.

    I will post updates and more pics as it happens.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Le Grill; April 8, 2017, 11:56 PM.
  • DeusDingo
    Founding Member
    • Jul 2014
    • 1156
    • Madison, WI
    • Weber Q320 grill
      Camp Chef Smoke Vault 24 Propane Smoker
      Maverick and thermo Pen thermometers

    #2
    this looks like the perfect situation for this. that is super fresh. i'd be interested to know how much weight is taken off with the skin and fat.

    Comment

    • Huskee
      Administrator
      • May 2014
      • 15445
      • central MI, USA
      • Follow me on Instagram, huskeesbarbecue

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      #3
      That will make a lot of nice meals & snacks! I enjoy hacking chunks off cold from the fridge and snacking.

      Comment

      • EdF
        EdF
        Club Member
        • Jul 2016
        • 3228
        • Atlantic Highlands, NJ
        • Uuni Pro (new kid in town)
          Karubeque C-60
          Large BGE since 2002 + plate setter + pizza stone + upper grid + stainless paella pan for drippings (the best!)
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        #4
        Have fun. This kind of experiment can be really satisfying! And once you do a quick cure like this, you can get another leg and try to do one of the older, long-cure kinds.

        Comment

        • Danjohnston949
          In Memoriam
          • Dec 2014
          • 4398
          • 1410 9th. St. N, Fargo ND

          #5
          Le Grill, This is Something I have Wanted to Do for Years! Are You Going to Use a Salt or Sugar Cure❓. Wet or Dry Cure❓ The Best of Good Luck!
          Please Keep Us Informed and Pic's Of Course! 👍👍🍀👍👍
          Eat Well and Prosper! From a Backyard Cremator in Fargo ND, Dan

          Comment

          • matt_mcbroom
            Club Member
            • Apr 2017
            • 1

            #6
            I am also wet curing two berkshire hams (this is my first time doing this) . they are about 15 lbs each , they were freshly slaughtered from a local farmer . The meat from the berkshire that i have bought from him has always been really red (and amazing). I have had the meat in the cure for about 7 days the water is a little darker than what the pictures on your site say it should be. --when i ran the calculator it told me 13 days based on these big ol chunks of pig... so after all of that my question is should i be worried about the water has started becoming a darker pink than recommended? I need to decide soon because we are making Hams for easter next weekend. I cut the skin and fat off mine (yeah cracklings)

            Comment

            • Le Grill
              Charter Member
              • Dec 2014
              • 75
              • Chicago suburbs
              • Current grill collection:
                WSM 18.5
                Weber kettle 22.5
                Weber Genesis Silver B

              #7
              The cure has started! See pics above

              After trimming all the skin and fat i ended up with a 20.5lb ham. I used 3 gallons of water with 3 tbsp of PP #1. I cut back the salt to 18oz (from 20oz in MH's recipe) after reading some reviews that followed this recipe and said it was too salty.

              Comment

              • Le Grill
                Charter Member
                • Dec 2014
                • 75
                • Chicago suburbs
                • Current grill collection:
                  WSM 18.5
                  Weber kettle 22.5
                  Weber Genesis Silver B

                #8
                The cook is on!

                I decided to use the 22.5" w/ Smokenator. I also own SnS but for the maximum convection space this is one (and really the only) area where the Smokenator is better.

                Here it is about 2.5 hours in. Having trouble keeping it at 325. It's a little damp and windy today and I can't replenish the coals fast enough, but I think it's going to be just fine.

                Attached Files

                Comment


                • bbqoaf
                  bbqoaf commented
                  Editing a comment
                  That is magnificent, I hope you share finished pics!
              • Le Grill
                Charter Member
                • Dec 2014
                • 75
                • Chicago suburbs
                • Current grill collection:
                  WSM 18.5
                  Weber kettle 22.5
                  Weber Genesis Silver B

                #9
                Wow, did this ever turn out great! I'll post a couple more pics. Here is one more for now.
                Attached Files

                Comment

                • Jerod Broussard
                  Moderator
                  • Jun 2014
                  • 9938
                  • East Texas
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                  #10
                  WoW!!!!

                  Comment

                  • JefRowCheckMat
                    Former Member
                    • Mar 2017
                    • 18

                    #11
                    That's def on my list. Looks great!

                    Comment

                    • Le Grill
                      Charter Member
                      • Dec 2014
                      • 75
                      • Chicago suburbs
                      • Current grill collection:
                        WSM 18.5
                        Weber kettle 22.5
                        Weber Genesis Silver B

                      #12
                      Here is 1 final pic before cutting. This ham was amazing. I would definitely recommend. It had this amazing crusty bark, it was super moist, and had great flavor.

                      A few final thoughts...
                      1. Allow for lots of carryover cooking. I underestimated this. I pulled at 146, into a cooler wrapped in foil. 1 hour later it had risen to 156. Thankfully it was still plenty juicy.
                      2. Don't sweat the cook temp. It was cold and windy and I had trouble hitting 325. Average temp was probably around 280-300 but it still cooked up great and I experienced zero stall. For 20 lbs it took right around 5 hours.
                      3. I thought I injected enough but near the bone there was plain white pork spots. Next time inject more than I think.
                      4. I read some review that said 20oz salt was too salty in the end. I reduced it to 18oz and it was barely salty. Next time I would follow the recipe exactly and go with 20oz, especially it the ham is a full 20lbs.


                      Attached Files

                      Comment

                      • EdF
                        EdF
                        Club Member
                        • Jul 2016
                        • 3228
                        • Atlantic Highlands, NJ
                        • Uuni Pro (new kid in town)
                          Karubeque C-60
                          Large BGE since 2002 + plate setter + pizza stone + upper grid + stainless paella pan for drippings (the best!)
                          TEC Cherokee FR since 2014 (portable infrared grill - does a mighty sear)
                          Polyscience Sous Vide Pro since 2012 (wasn't much else available in those days)
                          Thermapen
                          Thermapen Air
                          ThermaQ (or its predecessor)
                          Thermoworks Hi temp IR
                          BBQ Dragon & Chimney of Insanity
                          Various other stuff

                        #13
                        Beautiful!

                        Comment

                        • kmhfive
                          Club Member
                          • Mar 2017
                          • 2986
                          • Northern Illinois
                          • Weber Kettle -- 22.5" (In-Service Date June 2015)
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                          #14
                          Great information. I appreciate the detail!

                          Comment

                          • Henrik
                            Founding Member - Moderator Emeritus
                            • Jul 2014
                            • 4491
                            • Stockholm, Sweden

                            #15
                            That is one gorgeous ham! I really like cooking large pieces of meat like that. Great job!

                            Comment

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                            We've unfortunately had to cancel the 2021 Meat-Up in Memphis. We are rescheduling for March 18-20, 2022. More details and re-booking info coming soon! For now click here for more info.
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