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Pork Butts for Ham?

 
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ComradeQ
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13 12 1:07 pm    Post subject: Pork Butts for Ham? Reply with quote

Random question here, I managed to score several 4lb boneless pork butts for $3 each and had them sitting in my freezer for 3 months. I generally prefer bone in for pulled pork so I was wondering if anyone had ever cured a boneless pork butt like you would a ham? If so how long would it take to cure if they are about 5 inches wide? They are all wrapped in mesh butchers twine as well. Any help on a cure and info would be immensely appreciated!

Last edited by ComradeQ on Thu Dec 13 12 1:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ComradeQ
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13 12 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the butts I took out of the freezer, got three defrosting all around 3.5-4lbs and between 4-5 inches wide around.

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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13 12 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.dizzypigbbq.com/recipesHam.html this is a great one for Ham, though I prefer leg of pork, (back leg), for Hams.
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ComradeQ
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13 12 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SoEzzy wrote:
http://www.dizzypigbbq.com/recipesHam.html this is a great one for Ham, though I prefer leg of pork, (back leg), for Hams.


I did look at that cure. I guess my main question is over using a pork butt for ham, would it work alright? The fat would be more marbled and higher and I don't know how that would affect it. Also I wondered about cure ratios in brines since I have never done it before and want to be safe. How would I scale a wet brine for, say two 3.5-4lb butts? Can I cure them together in the same container and will the mesh string affect the cure? Id rather leave the string on to maintain the shape.
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13 12 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ComradeQ wrote:
SoEzzy wrote:
http://www.dizzypigbbq.com/recipesHam.html this is a great one for Ham, though I prefer leg of pork, (back leg), for Hams.


I did look at that cure. I guess my main question is over using a pork butt for ham, would it work alright? The fat would be more marbled and higher and I don't know how that would affect it.


It will make the ham more fatty, but the fat cures too and if you don't mind fat in your ham you should be OK.

Quote:
Also I wondered about cure ratios in brines since I have never done it before and want to be safe. How would I scale a wet brine for, say two 3.5-4lb butts? Can I cure them together in the same container and will the mesh string affect the cure?


Make a gallon of brine and put them into a container, if 1 gallon doesn't cover them completely add more, if you want to measure what will cover them, put each one into a Ziploc, put them in a container, cover by at least 1" take the bag out, measure the liquid. The string won't affect it.

Quote:
I'd rather leave the string on to maintain the shape.


That's fine, go for it, make sure you put a weight on them to hold them under the brine.
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Last edited by SoEzzy on Fri Dec 14 12 3:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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ComradeQ
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14 12 1:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Make a gallon of brine and put them into a container, if 1 gallon doesn't cover them completely add more, if you want to measure what will cover them, put each one into a Ziploc, put them in a container, cover by at least 1" take the bag out, measure the liquid. The string won't affect it.


Ok, so if I make one gallon of brine, how much of cure number 1 would I use for 8lbs of meat? Sorry for all the questions, just want to be safe!


Last edited by ComradeQ on Fri Dec 14 12 4:00 am; edited 1 time in total
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ComradeQ
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14 12 2:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, so here is my revised cure, I'm going with it:

Black Forest Style Wet Cure:

- 2 4lb Boneless Pork Butts
- 1 gallon water
- 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
- 1 1/2 packed cups dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 4 tbsp cure #1
- 2 tbsp pickling spice
- 2 slightly crushed cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp whole cloves
- 2 tbsp Juniper berries lightly crushed in a morter and pestle

After worrying about cure levels I decided to settle on the above quantities. I figured enough messing around and worrying, I just had to commit and hope it turns out.

Thanks again for your time and help!

The butts in the brine, weighted it after with a glass dish and placed in the fridge:


Last edited by ComradeQ on Fri Dec 14 12 11:41 am; edited 1 time in total
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14 12 4:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Dizzy Pig cure is for a full ham and 4 gallons of water.

So divide by 4 to get figures for a gallon.

- 3/4 cups Salt
- 3/4 cups Brown Sugar
- 3/4 tablespoons Pickling Spice
- 3/4 tablespoons Dizzy Pig Cow LIck Steak Rub
- 2 teaspoons Prague Powder #1 (aka Modern Cure)*
- 1 clove Garlic (center)

* looks like they've got that one wrong on the recipe, you need 1 level teaspoon per 5 lb of meat, you have 8 lbs so you want a nudge less than 2 teaspoons.
I've emailed the Dizzy Pig guys, we will see if we get an answer from them.

Stick with the recipe I offered above for a gallon.

I never noticed before, because I use TenderQuick from Mortons salt, available in the preserving section of most super markets.
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ComradeQ
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14 12 4:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
* looks like they've got that one wrong on the recipe, you need 1 level teaspoon per 5 lb of meat, you have 8 lbs so you want a nudge less than 2 teaspoons.
I've emailed the Dizzy Pig guys, we will see if we get an answer from them.


Ok cool, thanks! I always thought wet brines needed higher levels of cure #1 than the 1tsp per 5lbs of meat that applies for dry cures. It seems most recipes have a high level of cure in their brines then, ranging from 4 tsp a gallon up to 8. Also, wouldn't that turn out to 4 tablespoons from the Dizzy Pig recipe since they used 8 tablespoons and their recipe uses 1.8 gallons of water so I'm assuming it would actually be half the amounts they call for?
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ComradeQ
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14 12 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, so now Im really confused! My curing salt says 4kilograms to 100 litres of water for a cover pickle brine so ... that would mean I would need 160grams of cure per gallon since a gallon is just slightly under 4 litres and it would be 40grams to a litre. That seems high, and 1 tsp per 5lbs for a wet brine seems too low since it stands to reason only a small amount will be absorbed through osmosis. Please, I need more input!
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14 12 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your salt says 4 kg / 100 L that's 8.8 lb / 26.5 gallons

8.8 lb = 140.8 Oz / 26.5 = 5.3 Oz or 1/3rd lb / gallon. 5.3 Oz is 0.6 of a cup, now that's less than the 3/4 cup in the above recipe.

That makes it sound like your salt is like TenderQuick does it have nitrites and nitrates in it?

What's the name of your cure mix?

If you were using that instead of the Salt and Cure I could understand it, though that's going to lighter than I'd have used.

Slow down, take a deep breath, it will all work out in the wash.
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ComradeQ
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14 12 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SoEzzy wrote:
Your salt says 4 kg / 100 L that's 8.8 lb / 26.5 gallons

8.8 lb = 140.8 Oz / 26.5 = 5.3 Oz or 1/3rd lb / gallon. 5.3 Oz is 0.6 of a cup, now that's less than the 3/4 cup in the above recipe.

That makes it sound like your salt is like TenderQuick does it have nitrites and nitrates in it?

What's the name of your cure mix?

If you were using that instead of the Salt and Cure I could understand it, though that's going to lighter than I'd have used.

Slow down, take a deep breath, it will all work out in the wash.


The cure mix is from a specialty butcher section of a grocery store called Highland Farms and the cure ratio is the same as Prague Powder or cure #1, sodium nitrite at a ratio of 6.25%. I was reading here http://www.wedlinydomowe.com/sausage-making/curing/making-brine and they seem to state that a gallon of brine requires the equivalent of 8tbsp of cure #1. So Im just a little unsure of the level required since there seems to be numerous different opinions that vary immensely. I think that the 4tbsp I would use if I halfed the Dizzy Pig recipe might be ok but after reading the package and that other website Im doubting myself and wondering if I need more. Sorry to be a pain and thanks again for being so helpful!
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BigOrson
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 14 12 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would have dry-cured it for buckboard bacon, but that's just me.

Which reminds me, I have a cured loin that needs smoking and it's under 30 outside. Looks like it's Canadian Bacon day here.
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ComradeQ
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15 12 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BigOrson wrote:
I would have dry-cured it for buckboard bacon, but that's just me.

Which reminds me, I have a cured loin that needs smoking and it's under 30 outside. Looks like it's Canadian Bacon day here.


I know what you're saying, but I just made another big batch of bacon and my freezer is full. Also I've been wanting to cure a proper ham for a while so this is a cheaper experiment to see how it tastes and works before I move on to a fresh ham (that gets expensive if I mess it up)
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15 12 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got a reply today from their marketing manager.

Quote:
Thank you for your suggestion. I have forwarded the message to our good friend and charcuterie expert in Canada. The matter will be discussed and taken care of.


So we are going to get a response from another part of the Great White North! Wink
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ComradeQ
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 24 12 3:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So just a quick update: I smoked the "ham" pork butts today at 220 with hickory for several hours. The "hams" turned out great, amazing flavour and texture, a little fatty but not in a bad way. Next time I will definitely use a fresh ham with this cure, but in a pinch and as an experiment the butts worked great!

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patruns
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25 12 3:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work! I was drooling reading this thread. Please post some pics of the meat sliced. Smile
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ComradeQ
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25 12 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

patruns wrote:
Nice work! I was drooling reading this thread. Please post some pics of the meat sliced. Smile


Sure thing! I sliced them in half last night to taste, so good and luckily fairly lean on the inside. The few bits of fat were a little tough. Im just heating them up now for Christmas eve dinner, studded with cloves, poured about a cans worth of ginger ale over top, baking and basting at 325 for about an hour and a quarter then pouring half a cup of honey over the tops, glazing it while basting more with the reduced ginger ale. I also did 30 potatoes scalloped, enough for the 24 people tonight. Will post a pic when sliced.
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ComradeQ
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 25 12 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As promised, the pic. Seems to have been a big hit, the fat melted perfect and was very moist.

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