Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg at:

Want to see how the EGG is made? Click to Watch

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #BigGreenEgg.

Curing a ham: advice requested

I got a whole pork leg thawing in the fridge right now with the original intention of cooking for Easter.  I pulled it from the freezer to late and not cooking it this weekend as I haven’t even started a cure process.  Leg is ~20 lbs and could have some of the bone heading to the hocks trimmed back.  This thing is too big to get in a bucket and i originally planned to cure it in a cooler in a wet brine keeping it iced.  Now contemplating finding a bag big enough for it or sterilize a garbage bag and dry cutting it.  If I do dry cure it in a bag, I know the rough ratios for salt and cure, if I wet cure it is where I get fuzzy where I assume I need to account for the mass of water added.  

First question, if it comes to a garbage bag that’s been bleached and rinsed, any concerns for a dry cure process?  

Second question: on a wet cure, what’s the formula for getting the salt/cure ratios right?

Third question: can I just rub down with salt a few days and do wet cure injections to get the ham flavor?

Thanks in advance-

Comments

  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 36,263
    First of all, I'm not sure I would want to use a garbage bag for food.  They don't bother going out of the way to make them food-safe by avoiding plasticizers that are considered toxic or contribute to a chemical flavor.  Notably, phthalates.


    No biggie, just wrap it like a mummy with saran wrap.   Just use an excess of salt with the basic cure (see Ruhlman's recipe) for the nitrite ratio.  Count on 7 days per inch time.  So the max radius in inches times 7 in days.

    ______________________________________________
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, big effin' pellet smoker, gas grill, fire pit, FireDisk, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 
    Stike's troll account



  • FarmingPhDFarmingPhD Posts: 545
    Thanks @nolaegghead, I didn’t know how much seepage I’d get just wrapping in Saran Wrap and if it would matter in the salt ratio.  I got one last effort to check with a coworker who occasionally has some ridiculously sized zip lock style bags to drop it in.  Otherwise I’ll go the route you suggested.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 36,263
    You'll need something to catch the juice.  maybe a baking pan
    ______________________________________________
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, big effin' pellet smoker, gas grill, fire pit, FireDisk, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 
    Stike's troll account



  • PigBeanUsPigBeanUs Posts: 646
    dry cure is much slower than a wet cure, and you still won't have any time to wet cure.


    not sure what you mean by  dry curing an entire ham.

    dry curing thin cuts of meat like salmon or bacon is fine.  the surface is coated with whatever sticks.  but for a ham you need to bury it in the dry cure, and ideally put it under weight.

    rubbing the cure on and wrapping in saran wrap isn't going to cut it. you won't have enough cure for the thickness of the meat.

    dry curing isn't really dry.  the salt and sugar pull water from the meat, then the meat pulls it back in, with the salt and nitrite


    wet cures are the fastest method, but even then, it takes about ten days.

    if you do a wet cure now, and inject along the bone also, you will end up with a pink ring of ham hugging a pork roast.

    it's important to point out that a cure doesn't merely flavor the meat, it physically alters it.  texture especially.







  • FarmingPhDFarmingPhD Posts: 545
    Thanks @PigBeanUs, helpful information.
  • FarmingPhDFarmingPhD Posts: 545
    Update, found a large enough ziplock bag and decided to cure with a brine.  I also split the leg into a traditional ham cut and a roast for the hip bone, bagged separately and have them currently curing. Going to hopefully smoke this coming weekend.

Sign In or Register to comment.
Click here for Forum Use Guidelines.