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mojonah

Whole Pork Leg

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Love It!.  I would think that given the meat dimensions (size) you may be closer to the 14 day or even a bit more to get full penetration unless you did about a 10 percent by weight brine injection to assist the center hitting the proper cure.

 

What brine percentage did you use and did you add any pink salt (Cure #1) as part of your cure?  I am interested in this approach.  Will you smoke (cook) the resulting ham?   

 

Keep us posted on the process and results.

smokehowze, 

This guy weighed in at 28.73 pounds/13.03kg and that's why I will like to get to at least 14 days. I did use pink salt for the first time in this brine( 3 tablespoons). The crazy thing is that there were so many different suggestions as to how much pink salt to use. Online research went from 2 teaspoons to 8 tablespoons, so I went with 3 tablespoons just to be safe. I guess I will have to wait and see.

 

The plan is to smoke the it (honey / maple), but this could change. Lol.

 

From my last attempt.

 

IMG_1715.jpg

IMG_1744.jpg

 

 

It takes some study to find the reference info.  

 

I have done a lot of research into the aspect of  immersion brine curing with Cure #1.    Immersion curing is different from adding the Cure for example to ground meat or applied to the meat in a "dry" cure.

 

This is a great reference publication:   http://www.fsis.usda.gov/OPPDE/rdad/FSISDirectives/7620-3.pdf   

 

I have also developed a spreadsheet I use in my brines and in my immersion cure using Cure #1.  I like a 6% salt brine level and a 138 to 155 % Nitrite level.

 

How many gallons of water did you use to go with the 3 Tablespoons?

 

I attach a PDF of the spreadsheet as I cannot attach the XLS file.   It will give you a perspective.

 

If you PM me with a real email address I will be happy to send it to you.  It is based on the above publication and other resources.

 

Note:  Updated with later version of my spreadsheet (as PDF)

 

Smokehowze Pink Salt Cure #1 & Brine Ratios V3 1-7-15.pdf

 

Other references are listed in my spreadsheet.

 

Regards...

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My 19 pounder went 10 days with an injection on day zero. I did 8 tsp of pink salt with 2 gal of water and had a great ham texture and flavor. I'll stick to that formula as it worked as expected. My brine was:

2 gal water, divided. Boil one gal and add all dry ingredients, ice second gallon and add after the boil.

1 1/2 C kosher salt

2 C packed Dark Brown Sugar

4 oz pickling spice

1/2 C a Dark Maple Syrup

1/4 C Clover Honey

8 Tsp Cure #1 pink salt

Few dashes of Hickory Liquid Smoke

I could have probably went longer and added more kosher salt but in the end, I was very satisfied with the flavor, color, and texture of the ham. I hot smoked at 225 F to an IT of 140 and wrapped for a rest in the fridge. Back on the hickory smoke for a few hours with a rub of brown sugar and DP Pineapple Head before the second smoke and a brushing of Dark Maple syrup and pineapple preserves one hour or so into the second cook. There was less than three pounds left over after dinner, I'm calling it a success!

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Based on the last two post I don't think I used enough pink salt and kosher salt for the amount of water I used. In other to submerge the leg completely in the cooler I needed to use 4 gallons Imperial or 5 gallons us of brine. The pink salt at 3 tablespoon does not seem like it will be enough.

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Another useful reference from the Sausagemaker.com where I get my Cure #1

 

http://www.sausagemaker.com/productdocs/Breakdown_of_Nitrite_Level_in_Brine_with_InstaCure_(Imperial).pdf

Smokehowze, have you wet brined pork leg for longer than 14 days? 

 

 

I have not done any large pieces like a leg.  I have see in literature where a large piece such as your leg might remain in the cure for 3 weeks or more  in order for it to penetrate fully.  I have done a thicker piece of pork butt for bacon for almost 2 weeks. One issue noted in the literature for very long brine cure times, like a month to 6 weeks (absent injection) is a concern that the cure takes too long to get to the bone areas and the bone area can "sour".

 

One of the books I have "Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages" by Marianski indicates an immersion cure time of 4 days per pound in 18 % brine (no injection).  

 

That is why for large pieces of meat it is recommended to inject the brine/cure mix in a uniform pattern into the meat with a needle that has the holes along the shank  utilizing up to 10% of the "green" weight of the meat worth of the solution so the cure is working from inside the meat and outside both.  This can cut the cure time in half.  So for example if the meat weight is 10 lbs you would inject 1 pound of the brine/cure solution throughout the meat.  I use this tool: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000KDZ1VA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Also after the cure is done, a rinsing process on the meat should be performed and the meat soaked in fresh water that is changed frequently for a couple of hours.  Then is it best to allow the meat to "equalize" in the fridge for a few days after removal and drying off from the rinse as this permits the salt concentrations (and hence the Cure) which are not uniform in the meat to further diffuse and equalize throughout the meat.

 

If you are going to take the meat essentially from the fridge to the smoker and hot cook it and not hang it to further dry/cure or are not leaving it in the temperature danger zone for a long period, then the brine/cure aspects is mainly for product flavor and color, not health safety issues.  Removing too soon will generally mean the center portions of the meat where cure has not reached will not have that pinkish color nor necessarily the full flavor profile.

 

Time consuming processes for sure.  

 

Here are 3 of the books I have:

 

Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing

Michael Ruhlman, et al

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393058298/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages

Stanley Marianski, Adam Marianski 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0982426739/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 

 

Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing

Rytek Kutas, Ben Kutas 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0025668609/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 

 

 

I am not an expert in these matters for sure, but I been studying the art for some time and am now putting it into play in my slow but steady foray into the broad world of Charcuterie. 
 
 

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Another useful reference from the Sausagemaker.com where I get my Cure #1

 

http://www.sausagemaker.com/productdocs/Breakdown_of_Nitrite_Level_in_Brine_with_InstaCure_(Imperial).pdf

Smokehowze, have you wet brined pork leg for longer than 14 days? 

 

 

I have not done any large pieces like a leg.  I have see in literature where a large piece such as your leg might remain in the cure for 3 weeks or more  in order for it to penetrate fully.  I have done a thicker piece of pork butt for bacon for almost 2 weeks. One issue noted in the literature for very long brine cure times, like a month to 6 weeks (absent injection) is a concern that the cure takes too long to get to the bone areas and the bone area can "sour".

 

One of the books I have "Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages" by Marianski indicates an immersion cure time of 4 days per pound in 18 % brine (no injection).  

 

That is why for large pieces of meat it is recommended to inject the brine/cure mix in a uniform pattern into the meat with a needle that has the holes along the shank  utilizing up to 10% of the "green" weight of the meat worth of the solution so the cure is working from inside the meat and outside both.  This can cut the cure time in half.  So for example if the meat weight is 10 lbs you would inject 1 pound of the brine/cure solution throughout the meat.  I use this tool: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000KDZ1VA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Also after the cure is done, a rinsing process on the meat should be performed and the meat soaked in fresh water that is changed frequently for a couple of hours.  Then is it best to allow the meat to "equalize" in the fridge for a few days after removal and drying off from the rinse as this permits the salt concentrations (and hence the Cure) which are not uniform in the meat to further diffuse and equalize throughout the meat.

 

If you are going to take the meat essentially from the fridge to the smoker and hot cook it and not hang it to further dry/cure or are not leaving it in the temperature danger zone for a long period, then the brine/cure aspects is mainly for product flavor and color, not health safety issues.  Removing too soon will generally mean the center portions of the meat where cure has not reached will not have that pinkish color nor necessarily the full flavor profile.

 

Time consuming processes for sure.  

 

Here are 3 of the books I have:

 

Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing

Michael Ruhlman, et al

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0393058298/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages

Stanley Marianski, Adam Marianski 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0982426739/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 

 

Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing

Rytek Kutas, Ben Kutas 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0025668609/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 

 

 

I am not an expert in these matters for sure, but I been studying the art for some time and am now putting it into play in my slow but steady foray into the broad world of Charcuterie. 

 

Dude, you are full of information. 

 

I am supposed to be taking off two day after the 14 day brine, but I would rather be home for a long stretch after the brining period. By the time it is done smoking, I will have a day to pack and for that reason I'm hoping that I can go 3 weeks. I have the fridge at the coolest temperature that it will go in the hopes that it will help.

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Be careful on the fridge temperatures.  Too low and you adversely slowdown the curing process.   You should Cure meat at a temperature between 36 degrees – 40 degrees F. Colder temperatures will prevent you from curing properly and warmer temps will encourage spoilage growth.

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Part 2

 

So I decided to let the leg brine/cure for 3 weeks. 

As for the cook time it went in at 7:25PM and came out the next morning at 11:30am at 145 degrees. I wrapped it and let it rest in the oven for a while 

I have to say this was pretty tasty and my family said it reminds them of the ham we get at the "Delta Armouries" brunch. That is high compliments because we love the ham when we go for brunch. General consensus is that it needed a bit more salt and other than that it got 2 thumbs up.

 

Aesthetically, this is one of the best looking ham I've seen and the smell was something else. I wish we had a smellevision so you guy can get a smell of it.

IMG_2377.jpg

 

Poor Lighting, but you can see how juicy the ham was.

IMG_2391.jpg

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IMG_2405.jpg

 

I ended up cubing some for Quiche & Pizza, Sliced some for kids lunch meat, left some in big chunks and as you can see saved the bone for soup.

IMG_2399.jpg

IMG_2401.jpg

 

Each of the sliced ham packages had anywhere from 2 servings to 4 servings.

IMG_2402.jpg

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