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Where did all of the uncooked Hams go?

ZmokinZmokin Posts: 1,936
I remember finding uncooked Hams last year, this year I can't find any. Why are the only hams available now are all fully cooked and 1/2 of them seem to be already spiral cut, i.e. prepared to be dried out.  sliced too thin for making ham cubes for some left over recipes, sliced too thick for sandwich lunch meat.

Does no one want to cook their ham anymore, just want to re-heat someone else's cooked ham?

If anyone knows where to buy uncooked hams in CA, let me know who carries them.
Large BGE in a Sole' Gourmet Table
Using the Black Cast Iron grill, Plate Setter,
 and a BBQ Guru temp controller.

Medium BGE in custom modified off-road nest.
Black Cast Iron grill, Plate Setter, and a Party-Q temp controller.

Location: somewhere West of the Mason-Dixon Line

Comments

  • All commercially prepared city (sweet) brand name hams are precooked.  They are only meant to be heated again to 140 or 150 (some say 160, which is way too high).

    Unless you specifically order an uncured leg roast ('green ham') from a butcher, you won't be able to find a cured, smoked, flavored ham which is also uncooked. 


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    Seneca Falls, NY

  • ZmokinZmokin Posts: 1,936
    edited April 2014
    , you won't be able to find a cured, smoked, flavored ham which is also uncooked. 


    I bought one last year at my local grocery store.  A cured ham, labelled "uncooked, must be fully cooked before eating."  I checked yesterday and they don't have any this year, at least not yet.  I thought for the size grocery store, the number of "fully cooked" hams seemed dismal but maybe this weekend is when they will put out the quantity one would expect a week before Easter.  I'll try again Sunday AM, as I want to smoke one up on Sunday for an Easter potluck at my work on Tuesday.
    Large BGE in a Sole' Gourmet Table
    Using the Black Cast Iron grill, Plate Setter,
     and a BBQ Guru temp controller.

    Medium BGE in custom modified off-road nest.
    Black Cast Iron grill, Plate Setter, and a Party-Q temp controller.

    Location: somewhere West of the Mason-Dixon Line
  • Was the one you got last year from a national brand?  What I am saying is that most supermarkets only carry fully cooked cured hams.

    If yours sold them cured but uncooked, it may be their own brand.

    But it's very odd, actually, because commercial hams are usually only hot-smoked, not cold smoked.  And that means they'd have to be fully cooked.

    And so if your store sold cured but uncooked hams, then they wouldn't be smoked (unless cold smoked, or the cure had liquid smoke in it).

    My butcher can get an uncooked whole ham for me (shank and butt end), for me to cure it myself.  But even when I smoke it, it is being cooked.  I have cold smoked, but with a ham, such subtleties are lost when it is cooked later. 

    I would be astounded to find a sweet cured city ham that was uncooked. 

    Was there any chance that yours was a country ham, which is a very different thing?  It would certainly fall under the category of "cured and uncooked", but it doesn't actually need to be cooked.  Some do cook it, but it is essentially an American prosciutto.  May be eaten raw.

    Alton Brown has a method for soaking out a country ham over a few water change, and cooking it with cola, but it doesn't need to be cooked.  That's just one way to eat it.

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  • ZmokinZmokin Posts: 1,936
    edited April 2014
    They used to be common.  I never said it was smoked, I want to do the smoking.
    It used to be you could find cured ham that was not fully cooked, just like you buy corned beef, loaded with salt and nitrites already.  May have honey or some other sugar as well, but the meat was still RAW.
    The labels clearly stated " it needed to be cooked before consumption".  And No, it wasn't some house brand.
    Large BGE in a Sole' Gourmet Table
    Using the Black Cast Iron grill, Plate Setter,
     and a BBQ Guru temp controller.

    Medium BGE in custom modified off-road nest.
    Black Cast Iron grill, Plate Setter, and a Party-Q temp controller.

    Location: somewhere West of the Mason-Dixon Line
  • I'm asking for information's sake. Not because I don't believe you.

    But cured uncooked hams have not been sold in large numbers commercially, nationally.

    Locally, or as some service for customers, maybe.

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. It's not for me to prove they don't exist. It's for you to prove they do.

    Unless your question was rhetorical.
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    Seneca Falls, NY

  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 8,243
    @Zmokin - Living a sheltered life, never seen an uncooked ham. All of our stores sell full cooked hams. If you find some let me know the store, we cross border shop, maybe it is available in Washington. 
    Delta B.C. - Move over coffee, this is job for alcohol!
  • SenecaTheYoungerSenecaTheYounger Posts: 368
    edited April 2014
    I must apologize for my abruptness. I am not a social person, and only recently was diagnosed with a somewhat complex disorder comprising aspects of spectrum disorders [most similar to Asperger's] but complicated by a childhood spent in accelerated educational environments where societal interaction was less spontaneous than typically.

    As a preteen (a traditionally transitional period of social acclimation and self-definition for most, from what I am told), I was surrounded by collegiate competition. Wonderfully supportive people, but I was considered a mascot or oddity.

    And so I tend to think clinically, speak as a pedant (as do others here: difference being, I admit it), and I tend to miss subtlety and allusion, inside jokes, and general mirthmaking.

    Perhaps there exist such things as cured hams, uncooked.

    The simple fact that I have never seen one, have never heard of one, know no place where one might be found, and am not aware of any tradition or culture wherein such a specialty was produced, does not at all mean that @Zmokin is mistaken.
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    Seneca Falls, NY

  • ElCapitanElCapitan Posts: 154
    My local butcher said to get a green ham he had to special order it.
    XL Owner
  • ZmokinZmokin Posts: 1,936
    edited April 2014
    ElCapitan said:
    My local butcher said to get a green ham he had to special order it.
    not looking for a green ham.

    uncooked hams used to be much more common than obviously they are now.

    and as proof I'm not off my rocker

    http://homecooking.about.com/od/pork/a/hamprep.htm

    "Ham preparation
    Uncooked and partially-cooked hams must be cooked prior to eating. Be sure and check the label to determine which type you have. Fully cooked hams need not be heated before serving.

    Ham can be baked, broiled, sauteed, grilled or simmered. If the ham is too salty for your tastes, you can wash it down and then soak up to 24 hours before cooking to remove some of the salt. You'll find specific instructions for removing the mold and preparing country-cured hams here.

    To bake uncooked ham, remove any skin, trimming to 1/4-inch of fat. Let ham stand at room temperature for 1-1/2 to 2 hours before cooking. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place ham on a rack in a shallow roasting pan, fat side up or cut side down. Bake until thermometer reads 160 degrees F. Let rest 15 to 20 minutes before carving. "

    I'll take a picture if I can find one this year

    Large BGE in a Sole' Gourmet Table
    Using the Black Cast Iron grill, Plate Setter,
     and a BBQ Guru temp controller.

    Medium BGE in custom modified off-road nest.
    Black Cast Iron grill, Plate Setter, and a Party-Q temp controller.

    Location: somewhere West of the Mason-Dixon Line
  • "Uncooked Hams" refers to the leg roast, a cut commonly referred to as a "ham". But "ham" does not mean it is necessarily cured.

    That is part of the confusion

    A 'ham' cut is nothing more than a leg roast. Basically, just like a shoulder roast, but from the rear.

    But a 'ham' has come to mean generally that cured hunk of smoked pork made from the ham cut.

    I think that's the problem.
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    Seneca Falls, NY

  • SenecaTheYoungerSenecaTheYounger Posts: 368
    edited April 2014
    Ham= a fresh uncured uncooked cut of pork comprising the entire rear leg (excepting shank (proper) and trotter) of a mature hog. This may be further divided into the shank (closer to the hoof) end and the opposing butt end (up to and including the hip socket and portions of the pelvis termed the aitch (or 'H') bone. Each of these smaller portions also correctly termed 'hams'.

    Ham=any of the above which has been cured in a sweet pickle brine of salt and nitrite and further hot smoked, for later reheating. Also known as a 'city ham'. Usage of the term near universal.

    Ham=any portion of the aforementioned ham cut (not cured) which has been dry cured with salt (the lone curing agent. I.e. w/o nitrite) and adjunct sugars, which sugars are generally lower grade (molasses) and intended to mitigate the harshness of the salt cure. These are sometimes also smoked with corn cob or hickory, but in a smoke house environment, amounting to effectively a cold smoke. Purposes of which were traditionally to dissuade insect infestation and preclude fat rancidity. Now done purely for stylistic preferences. Said 'country hams' may he eaten without cooking, since they are essentially American Prosciutto hams. But there is also a regional tradition of cooking same. Usage: southern US, specifically south east

    Ham=one practiced in the dramatic arts to a degree enough to occasion regular, though often infrequent, stage appearances, but generally untalented and unaware of their limitations, paradoxically often shockingly certain enough of their abilities so as to emote and project at a exaggerated level and volume.

    If your apochryphal cured uncooked ham fits any of the above, then you do in fact have a 'ham'. If not, you do not.

    That said, it is entirely possible your local butcher or meat manager DOES have a selection of ham cuts which he has cured (or had cured), but then did not smoke or cook.

    He (and it) would be unique. I would be grateful to encounter either of them.

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  • SenecaTheYoungerSenecaTheYounger Posts: 368
    edited April 2014
    Lastly. Your recipe specifically mentions it being a 'country ham'. This ham does not need (italics) to be cooked (edit: typed 'cured', meant 'cooked'). But often is.

    Country hams are generally found in the southeast.

    There exists no ham for sale in the United States which must (italics, and/or all-caps) be cooked for safety purposes.
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    Seneca Falls, NY

  • ZmokinZmokin Posts: 1,936
     There exists no ham for sale in the United States which must (italics, and/or all-caps) be cooked for safety purposes.
    I'm sorry but that just isn't true.  Read through a few of these links if you doubt me.

    http://www.feridies.com/product/Unooked_Country_Virginia_Ham/?gclid=CITG1rze3b0CFbFFMgod8AUAiw

    http://www.thevirginiamarketplace.com/luters_genuine_smithfield_uncooked_ham.asp?gclid=CMi9v4jf3b0CFa5DMgodJ0oAsw

    http://www.amazon.com/Attic-Aged-Country-Half-Ham/dp/B001269FMU/ref=sr_1_4?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1397401557&sr=1-4&keywords=country+hams

    http://www.amazon.com/Country-Whole-Uncooked-cloth-11-14/dp/B004D4WMKK/ref=sr_1_8?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1397401557&sr=1-8&keywords=country+hams


    http://www.amazon.com/Padows-Smithfields-Finest-Cured-Country/dp/B008023M64/ref=sr_1_1?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1397401999&sr=1-1


    Why I can't find any in my local grocery store anymore is what is bothering me.  Maybe it was at Christmas time 2 Xmas's ago that I last bought one, but I know they used to be much more common years ago before "Spiral cut" became the "thing" to buy.
    Large BGE in a Sole' Gourmet Table
    Using the Black Cast Iron grill, Plate Setter,
     and a BBQ Guru temp controller.

    Medium BGE in custom modified off-road nest.
    Black Cast Iron grill, Plate Setter, and a Party-Q temp controller.

    Location: somewhere West of the Mason-Dixon Line
  • DMWDMW Posts: 10,894
    Get a fresh, uncured ham and cure it yourself. Your guests will bow to your charcuterie powers.
    http://eggheadforum.com/discussion/1159003/american-style-brown-sugar-glazed-holiday-ham-from-charcuterie/p1
    My Facebook Page where I document my cooking
    Morgantown, PA

    XL BGE - S BGE - KJ Jr - HB Legacy - BS Pizza Oven - 30" Firepit - King Kooker Fryer -  PR72T - 18.5" WSM - Gasser - WSJ - BS 17" Griddle - XXL BGE
  • jlsmjlsm Posts: 972
    Philly has fantastic resources for meat, ranging from third-generation butchers to Amish and small, independent farmers. I've seen plenty of uncured pork but no uncooked ham (I think it becomes ham only when cured, though I might be wrong). I've done the curing bit. In my mind, it wasn't worth the trouble, though many folks on the forum would argue against me.   
    *******
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  • SenecaTheYoungerSenecaTheYounger Posts: 368
    edited April 2014
    I said that country hams do not need to be cooked before being eaten.  it is absolutely true.

    Even the spiral sliced and city hams may be eaten as  is from the package. 99% of us prefer to reaht them though.  Many years ago, a cold city ham was de rigeur in a cold buffet though.

    But none of these hams require cooking to be eaten.

    You originally described something you  said was CURED, but also NEEDED to be cooked.  As in, must be cooked. The only one which matches that is a country ham.  But they aren't popularly available (in a store) outside the southeast. Would need to order them.

    You certainly may cook a country ham. Many do.  In fact, you have been posting links to country hams.  You can find these in abundance in the south.  Elesewhere in the US they are scarec and uncommon except under special order, or if, as I said, your meat department gets them in specially.

    You speak as though these have been around forever, everywhere, as though it was the predominant type of ham served.  It wasn't. 

    Smithfield is perhaps the standard.  But the preference for these is regional.  Most southerners I know enjoy a slice of these for breakfast. You can buy single slices.

    I think you are confusing the ubiquitous city ham (fully cooked, and now often spiral sliced too) with a country ham (which is sold uncooked).  And are thinking you might have previously seen, and hope to find, a brine cured sweet city ham which is also uncooked. 




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    Seneca Falls, NY

  • ZmokinZmokin Posts: 1,936
    I said that country hams do not need to be cooked before being eaten.  it is absolutely true.

    Even the spiral sliced and city hams may be eaten as  is from the package. 99% of us prefer to reaht them though.  Many years ago, a cold city ham was de rigeur in a cold buffet though.

    But none of these hams require cooking to be eaten.

    You originally described something you  said was CURED, but also NEEDED to be cooked.  As in, must be cooked. The only one which matches that is a country ham.  But they aren't popularly available (in a store) outside the southeast. Would need to order them.

    You certainly may cook a country ham. Many do.  In fact, you have been posting links to country hams.  You can find these in abundance in the south.  Elesewhere in the US they are scarec and uncommon except under special order, or if, as I said, your meat department gets them in specially.

    You speak as though these have been around forever, everywhere, as though it was the predominant type of ham served.  It wasn't. 

    Smithfield is perhaps the standard.  But the preference for these is regional.  Most southerners I know enjoy a slice of these for breakfast. You can buy single slices.

    I think you are confusing the ubiquitous city ham (fully cooked, and now often spiral sliced too) with a country ham (which is sold uncooked).  And are thinking you might have previously seen, and hope to find, a brine cured sweet city ham which is also uncooked. 




    I copied what you said.  You said
     There exists no ham for sale in the United States which must (italics, and/or all-caps) be cooked for safety purposes.
    I showed you links to many Hams that have been cured with salt & Nitrites, but have not been cooked, they require cooking before they are safe to eat. Did you read any of the links I provided? Now all of the ones I found on the web are pricey.  I used to buy cheap ones at my regular grocery store, yes the grocery store also carried the popular "fully cooked" "ready to eat" variety as well.

    This easter, I'm forced to buy a fully cooked one, but it isn't what I want to buy.  I want to buy what I used to, and it didn't use to be so hard to find them.

    Bacon is a cured, but raw pork meat product,that needs to be cooked and is sold daily.  Corned beef is a cured beef product that needs to be cooked before it is eaten as well. I used to be able to get hams the same way, easily, but obviously not so easy anymore, but don't tell me they are not commercially available because they are.

    When I find one again, I will take a picture and post it on here.  Unfortunately, it might not be until Xmas when the demand for ham is higher and my local stores may stock them again.
    Large BGE in a Sole' Gourmet Table
    Using the Black Cast Iron grill, Plate Setter,
     and a BBQ Guru temp controller.

    Medium BGE in custom modified off-road nest.
    Black Cast Iron grill, Plate Setter, and a Party-Q temp controller.

    Location: somewhere West of the Mason-Dixon Line
  • DMWDMW Posts: 10,894
    Zmokin said:
    I said that country hams do not need to be cooked before being eaten.  it is absolutely true.

    Even the spiral sliced and city hams may be eaten as  is from the package. 99% of us prefer to reaht them though.  Many years ago, a cold city ham was de rigeur in a cold buffet though.

    But none of these hams require cooking to be eaten.

    You originally described something you  said was CURED, but also NEEDED to be cooked.  As in, must be cooked. The only one which matches that is a country ham.  But they aren't popularly available (in a store) outside the southeast. Would need to order them.

    You certainly may cook a country ham. Many do.  In fact, you have been posting links to country hams.  You can find these in abundance in the south.  Elesewhere in the US they are scarec and uncommon except under special order, or if, as I said, your meat department gets them in specially.

    You speak as though these have been around forever, everywhere, as though it was the predominant type of ham served.  It wasn't. 

    Smithfield is perhaps the standard.  But the preference for these is regional.  Most southerners I know enjoy a slice of these for breakfast. You can buy single slices.

    I think you are confusing the ubiquitous city ham (fully cooked, and now often spiral sliced too) with a country ham (which is sold uncooked).  And are thinking you might have previously seen, and hope to find, a brine cured sweet city ham which is also uncooked. 




    I copied what you said.  You said
     There exists no ham for sale in the United States which must (italics, and/or all-caps) be cooked for safety purposes.
    I showed you links to many Hams that have been cured with salt & Nitrites, but have not been cooked, they require cooking before they are safe to eat. Did you read any of the links I provided? Now all of the ones I found on the web are pricey.  I used to buy cheap ones at my regular grocery store, yes the grocery store also carried the popular "fully cooked" "ready to eat" variety as well.

    This easter, I'm forced to buy a fully cooked one, but it isn't what I want to buy.  I want to buy what I used to, and it didn't use to be so hard to find them.

    Bacon is a cured, but raw pork meat product,that needs to be cooked and is sold daily.  Corned beef is a cured beef product that needs to be cooked before it is eaten as well. I used to be able to get hams the same way, easily, but obviously not so easy anymore, but don't tell me they are not commercially available because they are.

    When I find one again, I will take a picture and post it on here.  Unfortunately, it might not be until Xmas when the demand for ham is higher and my local stores may stock them again.
    @Zmokin Those country hams you linked to are uncooked, and are safe to eat uncooked. They have been cured for a very long time (months to a year) and can be sliced thin and eaten without cooking. @SenecaTheYounger is correct, they do not need to be cooked prior to consumption, but can be.

    Here's an article on it:

    And you can bet if I ever get my hands on one of these:

    There is no way I'd cook it. Slice it thin and eat it as is.
    My Facebook Page where I document my cooking
    Morgantown, PA

    XL BGE - S BGE - KJ Jr - HB Legacy - BS Pizza Oven - 30" Firepit - King Kooker Fryer -  PR72T - 18.5" WSM - Gasser - WSJ - BS 17" Griddle - XXL BGE
  • ZmokinZmokin Posts: 1,936
    DMW said:

    @Zmokin Those country hams you linked to are uncooked, and are safe to eat uncooked. They have been cured for a very long time (months to a year) and can be sliced thin and eaten without cooking. @SenecaTheYounger is correct, they do not need to be cooked prior to consumption, but can be.


    Here's an article on it:

    And you can bet if I ever get my hands on one of these:

    There is no way I'd cook it. Slice it thin and eat it as is.
    Silly me for believing

    Product Description

    This ham is raw and needs to be cooked.

    I guess I'm just an idiot that believes when I read a Ham that says it is uncooked and needs to be cooked, the labeling is wrong.

    I also must be hallucinating because I've been told they don't sell hams in the USA that require cooking prior to eating even though I know I have bought them, they weren't any high-end expensive special hams, just an ordinary commercially available Ham that clearly stated it must be cooked, but hey, I'm an idiot and have no idea what I'm talking about.

    Maybe this article from the huffington post will convince you that what I speak of is sold and available.

    Wet-Cured Ham is the most popular ham in the US. It is meat that is usually skinned and cured by soaking in a brine or injecting it with a brine. A brine is a salt and water solution with some or all of these ingredients: Sugar, sodium nitrite, sodium nitrate, sodium erythorbate, sodium phosphate, potassium chloride, liquid smoke, and other flavorings. The ingredients will appear on the label. Some wet-cured hams are pre-cooked and labeled as "ready to eat". Some are sold uncooked as "cook before eating". By law these must have prominent labeling with safe handling and cooking instructions.
    Large BGE in a Sole' Gourmet Table
    Using the Black Cast Iron grill, Plate Setter,
     and a BBQ Guru temp controller.

    Medium BGE in custom modified off-road nest.
    Black Cast Iron grill, Plate Setter, and a Party-Q temp controller.

    Location: somewhere West of the Mason-Dixon Line
  • DMWDMW Posts: 10,894
    A country ham is not wet cured. Not saying what you claim to have purchased in the past doesn't exist, just saying dry cured country hams (links you provided) don't NEED to be cooked.

    I would certainly cook a wet cured (City Ham) uncooked ham before eating, no question about it.
    My Facebook Page where I document my cooking
    Morgantown, PA

    XL BGE - S BGE - KJ Jr - HB Legacy - BS Pizza Oven - 30" Firepit - King Kooker Fryer -  PR72T - 18.5" WSM - Gasser - WSJ - BS 17" Griddle - XXL BGE
  • So this discussion has been about when the hind end (not behind) of the hog becomes the ham?  If you believe my butcher and the book Charcuterie by Ruhlman and Polcyn hog becomes ham anytime after butchering. Certainly one could claim that the butchered hindquarter is not ham until either cooked or fully cured. The part of this discussion that interests me is the question, where have these cuts gone? With the advent of the supermarket, USDA Meat Inspection and the FDA, came the demise of the butcher. This was greatly accelerated with more people moving from the farm to the city or urban setting. Consequently over time we lost touch with non commercial farm raised meat. 

    I was born in 1950 and my personal experience is limited. My father spent part of his teenage years on a farm and he had some stories. My late mother-in-law used to talk about ringing the necks of chickens. My only point of reference was two lambs I raised when I was 8 or 9 years old. What happened to them? They were fattened up and taken to auction and I suppose someone had some good lamb.

     I am making no judgement just stating what I perceive to be history. My butcher will order what he calls, fresh ham, for you for Thanksgiving. There are a couple of farmers in Alabama that you an buy meat from. They come to Atlanta a few times a year and you have to buy half a cow or a whole butchered hog. Be that what, I will now go into the kitchen make the brine that my 2, 11 lb fresh hams will vacation in for about the next 6 days. Then the BGE will work its magic. Yes you guessed it miraculously pig glorious pig. Oh I am sorry that would be ham!

    If you don't agree with me or you do that's OK. Regardless I wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday season!
  • I miss Seneca! That man knew a load about cuisine.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

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