Idaho Smokey I have to agree with the smoked Jarlsberg. My favorite is smoked Muenster. I also smoke a lot of Colby to give as gifts to people that don’t appreciate a good sharp/xtra-sharp cheddar. Monterey Jack also smokes up pretty good. I ended up smoking 83 lbs. of cheese this year. Finished up on March 22nd.
Just sharing a pic of my smoke house.
My nearest neighbor is about 1/4 mile away. Love being in the rural area.
Hog Pen Beautiful smokehouse. It is wonderful to be in the country where HOA don’t dictate what we can have on our own property. I know I love being in the country.
Chef thanks, just ran out of time to get it finished this year, but had it smoking about 6 times and it does the job.
Hello Jonathan: It is good to find you a couple of people have suggested you as a source for answers to a couple of questions I have about dry curing hams. Is that a “cold smoking” house? If it is I would really be interested in leaning about how you are generating the smoke without raising the temperature above 65 - 70 degrees. My plan for cold smoking is to use my vertical cabinet smoker - to hang the ham but only use an “A-MAZE-N” Smoker tube with wood pellets to produce the smoke.
I’ve been around air curing hams many years ago but my Dad was the lead man and I was just a kid at the time. I came up with a used refrigerator for the 60 day curing period and I will be using a pretty standard curing mix consisting of salt, Instacure #2, brown sugar, black peeper and may through in some paprika. I’ve done a lot of research on the use of SODIUM ERYTHORBATE for accelerating the breakdown of sodium nitrite in the interest of not producing Petrosamines; it appears though that it is mostly intended as a additive for sausage making. If I were wet curing and injecting a ham then the introduction of Sodium Erythorbate could be easily done. Do you think Sodium Erythorbate is even necessary in a ham that’s going through a 60 day curing process? If I need to use it - how could I possibly incorporate such a small amount into a dry mix when the usage rate calls for 0.0546875 per 100 lbs of meat and curing one 20 - 25 pound ham?
Sylvester Hams really aren’t my specialty but a lot of people have smokers set up to pipe smoke into the smoker from outside the smoker in a firebox so by the time the smoke makes it into the smoker it is cooled smoke and doesn’t carry over much heat. Amazen tube will work for things like cheese and nuts but for meat, you’ll need to do some extensive testing with that to make sure your ham doesn’t go into the danger zone. If you do it outside on a very cold day I’d assume you’d be fine but to CYA I’d do some testing to see what the amazen tube raises your smoker’s chamber to.
As for Sodium Erythorbate you wouldn’t need it, it isn’t going to speed up your curing time since you are dry curing it.
Jonathon We switched to a wet brine years ago before i was old enough to really know the difference.
I also Think that the original poster is think more along the lines of a prosciutto that is never heat treated than a dry cured ham which would still be heat treated at the end of the curing. I would think the curing itself with aa dry rub would take 10-14 days to fully cure the ham?
Ive only dry cured hams years ago for experimental and personal use, I wet cure everything for my customers, dont have the time to mess with dry aging if i want to roll through animals. I know the amazing smoke tube works great for people as well as placing some ice cold water in your smoker to keep temps down. You can also smoke for 6-12 hours, let it rest about 12 hours and smoke again, rest, repeat depending on your smoke preference and color. Of course i use carmel coloring in my hams to help with the color. As jonathon said you dont need erthorbate for long cures like that as well.
Thanks guys for the information. Jonathon - I had not even considered the Tube Smoker causing an over temperature problem. But I will certainly do a test run with nothing in the smoker except a temperature probe to see what it does and post up on the results… the thing is though that a salt cured ham, if done correctly is shelf stable. Below is a quote from a Paper from the University of Kentucky - and here is a link to that paper on Curing Country Hams. I think you and Cablelas90 and others may enjoy reading it. The initial cure takes about 60 days - which I will do at a controlled temperature. Even though I’ve worked a lot of hog butchering, sausage making and ham curing sessions - I was young and not very observant of the process of curing hams - that was my Captain’s task and he left us a long time ago - so I personally have not cured a Country Ham and I want to hurry and add that what I will end up with at the end of my process will not be a true Country Ham as you will see from this article. To be labeled a true Country Ham it has to go through an aging process that I’m not set up to do.
"Smoking hams is a personal preference, but care should be
exercised during the process. Country hams should be cold
smoked; a hotter smoke (greater than110°F) will destroy the
enzymes responsible for flavor and aroma. The duration of
smoking is a personal preference; the majority of hams are
smoked for 12 hours or more. "
lamurscrappy Using Ice water if needed to reduce the temperature in a smoke is a really good tip. thanks
Sylvester ya no problem! You can always toss some cheese in with your cold smoke too… just saying