Curing and Smoking Hams and Bacons.
There are numerous ways to cure and smoke hams and bacon. Salt may be used alone, with sugar, or with sugar and nitrite. The last method, sometimes referred to as "sugar cure," uses dry ingredients, liquid ingredients, and combinations of both.
The dry sugar cure is safest if you have no refrigerated curing room or equipment for brine curing. Make up the curing ingredients as follows:
8 lbs salt
3 lbs cane sugar
3 oz sodium nitrate
1/2 oz sodium nitrite (or a total of 4 oz nitrate if no nitrite available).
Remember, excess nitrite is toxic.
Use 1 oz of cure per 1 lb of pork (for heavy hams weighing more than 20 lbs, use 1-1/2 oz cure per 1 lb of ham). Hams should be rubbed three separate times at three to five day intervals. Bacon should have one thorough rubbing with a light sprinkling over the flesh side after rubbing. Picnics and butts should have two rubbings at three to five day intervals. Place the rubbed meats in boxes, on shelves, on wooden tables to cure but not in tight boxes or barrels where they rest in their own brine. Do not use cardboard or galvanized containers. The length of curing should approximate seven days per inch of thickness. For example, if the ham weighs approximately 12 to 15 lbs and is approximately 5 inches thick through the thickest part, this ham should be cured 7 x 5 = 35 days. If a bacon is 2 inches thick, it should be cured for 7 x 2 = 14 days. It is advisable to rub some of the curing salt into the aitch bone joint and hock end of ham to guard against bone sour. It is all right to leave the product in cure longer than the recommended time since the saltiness does not increase. Dry curing should be done in a cool place to reduce the risk of spoilage.
Since bacon has only a one to two month freezer life because of its salt content, it may be advisable to cure one slab of bacon at a time. The uncured belly can be frozen until curing.
Here is a web site to give you some other ideas and recipes for your curing:
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Tuesday, June 04, 2013 09:49 PM