Curing bacon and ham

Discussion in 'Pigs' started by chrisntiff, Nov 6, 2006.

  1. chrisntiff

    chrisntiff Well-Known Member

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    We have been doing some research on curing our own bacon and ham. We have gotten alot of great info here lately. The local meat market charges 90 cents a pound to sugar cure hams and bacon and we think that is pricey. Our only problem as we see it is the ability to keep the hams and bacons at the proper temp range for the required amount of time. We live in Md. and our temps seem to always be fluctuating and we dont have a walk in cooler. Can we just cure in a refrigerator if we were to find an old one we could just dedicate to the process? Any other advice?
     
  2. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A fridge will work fine. I'm going to be doing too much this year to fit in the fridge so I'm going to brine in the basement and use jugs of frozen water to (hopefully) regulate the temp.
     

  3. thequeensblessing

    thequeensblessing Well-Known Member

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    We brined our hams and bacons in the bottom bin of our kitchen fridge one year. It was a tad bit inconvenient for a few weeks, but it worked wonderfully!
     
  4. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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    I have two outdoor (shop) fridges that use especially for this.
    Hams don't have to be whole, you can halve one and adjust your cure time.
     
  5. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Will some of ya'all post some links to your cue process. I got two on the way and want to try this.
    TIA
     
  6. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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  7. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

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    (763) 755-0180
    Hamm's Butcher Supply
    14205 Ne Highway
    Ham Lake, MN 55304

    Call this outfit and request a cataloge. They sell in bulk and their cure is WAY cheaper than Mortons. They also sell seasoning blends for just about every kind of sausage you can think of. I also get my mesh sacks for hanging hams from them.
     
  8. tbishop

    tbishop Well-Known Member

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    I just found a fridge on the side of the road and when I plugged it in, it worked!! Right now I'm aging a whitetail doe in there, but when that's done, I may have to experiment- if I can find someone with a pig that's ready.

    Tim B.
     
  9. cowgirlone

    cowgirlone Well-Known Member

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  10. dezeeuwgoats

    dezeeuwgoats Well-Known Member

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    I've cured bacon in the fridge, but never a ham - I've eaten a few of those as fresh pork roasts because I ran out of patience with myself. So, I can cure those hams exactly the same way I do the bacon in the fridge?

    That's wonderful news!

    Niki
     
  11. VApigLover

    VApigLover Well-Known Member

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    We just did some bacon in the fridge week before last. For each slab we used 4 cups granulated Salt (or canning salt), 4 table spoons Insta-cure #1, combine these and rub all over slabs with good coating (while the slab sits on wax paper), then about one cup of honey poured over each side, then totally wrap in wax coated freezer paper to get the honey to smooth over the whole thing. Stack in fridge, realizing this will draw lots of fluid from the bacon, need a pan underneath to catch it.

    I did not smoke, only had it in the fridge for five days then washed off salt/honey/cure real good and sliced it up. Everyone says its the best bacon we've made yet, I have smoked stuff before after a long curing process (I think everything got too salty for the families taste).

    I would bet this would work good with or without the cure for someone who needs a quality bacon in a short period who does not plan to smoke.
     
  12. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    What a bonus finding that fridge! I wonder if it was meant to be on the side of the road or if somebody just wasn't paying attention and it fell out on accident.

    Heather
     
  13. tbishop

    tbishop Well-Known Member

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    It was sitting at the end of someone's driveway. I've toyed with the idea that it was waiting for someone, but it sat there for a whole day, so I figured it was open season on green refridgerators. I WAS going to make it into an incubator, but it had to audacity to work. Timely though as I had nowhere to go with the doe for a day. I'm really intrigued about bacon and hams. Hmmm...

    Tim B.
     
  14. chrisntiff

    chrisntiff Well-Known Member

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    Good find on that fridge. We just went last night and picked up an upright freezer that we spotted on our local freecycle group. Maybe I can adjust the temps in here to use for the curing. Ill have to try it out.

    Chris
     
  15. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

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    Try a brine cure. It's often much less salty than the rub cure. And you don't need a chemical "cure" thats msg and nitrite sp?. It's the nitrite that forms the nitrates in the meat to promote the formation of "good" bacteria. But it is also bad for you in any quanity. Just cure with salt and spice.

    If you choose to keep the bacon for a while (several months). You should store it fresh in the freezer. and "cure" as you need more. The heavy salt required to let the bacon keep as in old times. Really doesn't suit our modern taste buds.