Pumped, dry rubbed ham

Recipes and techniques using brine.

Postby wheels » Sat Dec 06, 2008 2:31 am

Ianinfrance

It's too late now for me to answer this - I'll have a look sometime tomorrow.

Phil
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Postby wheels » Sat Dec 06, 2008 10:42 am

Ian

It is not for me to answer for Oddley or Jim but...

The original post and instructions by Oddley were for making this with saltpetre and you will see that, in the original when referring to the 'wet' part of the process, the word cure is only used to refer to the liquid made from adding 295gms of the mixed dry ingredients to the water.

Someone, who had cure #1 (a curing salt also known as Prague Powder #1, Prague #1, and Instacure) asked Oddley for details for making the cure (liquid) with that instead of saltpetre. They were both aware of the methodology and Oddley's revised recipe/formulation was put online in that context i.e. to answer a specific question where both participants are very experienced in curing and knew the terminology used. I also guess that no-one predicted that someone would confuse the two terms and even think of trying to inject the dry powder through a syringe!

As to amounts of liquid and powder left over - Oddley cannot know how large (or small) your piece of meat will be. He has given figures to make a good quantity of both mixes. You can make less of each by (say) using half or a quarter of all the ingredients (the amounts applied per kg of meat remain the same though). Again this is something that would have been obvious to the person who asked the question that this thread is about.

If you have any doubts as to the levels nitrate/nitrite in this cure/recipe/formulation, you can calculate the levels of Sodium Nitrite and Potassium Nitrate in the cure yourself by reference to the USDA Meat Inspectors Handbook. It should be noted that Oddley cures to US standards.

I said:
...then inject an amount equivalent to 10% of the weight of the meat - so you add the spices to get the flavour into the brine and then inject this. E.g. If the meat is 2.45kg you would inject 245gm of the brine


You said:
Now wheels says inject an amount equivalent to 10% of the weight of the meat "amount?" I'm sorry but amount is ambiguous. I guess that in view of everyone else's remarks, that means weight. So you weigh out whatever you need (245 gms in Wheel's example or 1000 gms in mine) of the brine. As I said, I thought most syringes were calibrated, so wouldn't it really be much easier to say "use 200 mls" - or whatever the volume of 245 gms turns out to be, or in making the recipe general, instead of saying inject at 10% he could either say "inject at 10%w/w of solution" (which is completely unambiguous) or else "inject at 8% (or whatever the figure works out at ) v/w of solution". Or is it that because in general digital scales are more accurate than syringes?


I don't see what I said as ambiguous and have no intention of calculating the volume of any given weight of this cure (solution). Most of us find it easier and more accurate to use weight rather than volume when doing this. I have no intention of saying this every time I tell someone to weigh out a certain amount of brine.

I could have said "inject at 10%w/w of solution" (which is completely unambiguous) or else "inject at 8% (or whatever the figure works out at ) v/w of solution", as you suggest. You as an ex-chemist may have understood; most of our other visitors wouldn't.

I am glad you feel you understand it now. That's what we were trying to achieve. Had we have realised that it was going to be about semantics rather than substance, I guess we would have replied differently.

Phil
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Postby captain wassname » Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:48 pm

Hi Ian

Im sorry for the ambiguity of my explaination.

Ishould of said 1295 gms of brine (cure plus water) contains 295 gns cure (salt,sugar and salt petre)

1gm brine contains 0.2277gms cure.

I am confident that the percentages I quoted are correct
The reason I broke this down Into percentages was supposed to be easier(for me) to calculate for any weight of meat(all measurements in grammes. )

Injection should be 100 gms brine per kilo meat

If Im are injecting My method is to make up a little over 10% by weight of meat and to draw into the syringe exactly 10% by weight of brine and inject,because as you say scales that weigh to 0.1gm are more accurate than a syringe,which is my case was made to inject marinade. This should leave you with a minimum of waste.

Hope this is of some help

Jim
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Postby Ianinfrance » Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:28 pm

Thanks very much Phil and Jim for your replies.

Phil,
I've been a chef for 40 years, so I promise you, I'm used to reading recipes. If you care to take an overview of the posts here and elsewhere concerning making hams/gammons you'll see that there's HUGE confusion. So clearly I'm not the only one who has found the various explanations unclear.

Forgive me but I don't think cracks about injecting a powder were worthy of you. Don't you see that on the surface, the recipe could have meant you to make up a solution and then inject 10% of CURE - ie the same weight of liquid as meat. Given the use of weights for liquids (which is VERY unusual in recipes. Just look through any random cookbook and see how many recipes measure milk or water or wine by weight), in combination with the use of the same word for both powder and solution, and it's perfectly reasonable to try to inject a kilo of solution per kilo of meat so as to make sure that 10% of cure is used. How am I to know, never having injected brine into meat, whether it's possible or not?

Coming to this business of volume. A solution of x gms of a particular cure in y mls water will certainly weigh x+y gms. However, it will always have the same volume as well, even if I can't tell you what it is. One only needs to measure the volume ONCE to know what it is, and then the recipe can be made just as general but using the more common volume measurement for a liquid. I accept that most kitchen instruments for measuring volume are far less precise than those used for measuring weight, but I would question whether it's necessary to work to such levels of precision. Does it really matter whether you dose with 600mg of saltpetre per kilo, or 660mg or 540mg? I don't know, but it's a reasonable question to ask? If it does matter, then it would be good to say so in the recipe. "Now weigh out 10% of the weight of meat of brine and inject it. You need to weigh the brine, to be sure you are dosing sufficiently accurately" for example. That would remove ALL ambiguity in one fell swoop.

A last comment. If "semantics" prevent someone from understanding a recipe, then surely they ARE the substance. I'm truly not psychic and the general use of one word "cure" for both powder and solution by several folk here really doesn't help. Jim agreed that it might have been clearer to differentiate by the use of the words "brine" and cure. Had I thought of using the word "brine" in place of solution myself, it would have been better too!

This is a fantastic forum, and there's a wealth of knowledge here, but in a sense that's been my problem. I've never made a gammon or ham and in reading recipes & methods written by experts FOR experts, I've been floundering. And sadly the beginners pages haven't been clearer.
All the best - Ian
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Postby saucisson » Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:48 pm

Ian, if you can take the time to distill what you have read and write it up into a form you think is more accessible then please do, it would be great help. I would be more than happy to go through it so we can put something up that everyone can understand. As I said in an earlier post we all think differently and what is obvious to one clearly isn't to another. What we all have in common is our desire to help one another, so yes please, do do that write up. It's a long ladder and I'm only a couple of rungs higher up it than you (if that :)) Anything I can do to get anyone higher up it is why I'm here :D

Dave
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Postby wheels » Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:26 pm

Ianinfrance wrote:Thanks very much Phil and Jim for your replies.

Phil,
I've been a chef for 40 years, so I promise you, I'm used to reading recipes. If you care to take an overview of the posts here and elsewhere concerning making hams/gammons you'll see that there's HUGE confusion. So clearly I'm not the only one who has found the various explanations unclear.


I envy you your interesting career. (and where you now live!)
I accept that one or two people have been confused by this, and they have been advised as to the correct method, both by Oddley and others on other threads. You seem to believe that it is beholden on him or others to amend every reference to his cure, or re-write it; I disagree. There are many other cures/formulations on this site that after discussion have changed or developed, this is after all a forum, not a recipe book. Retrospectively amending posts to reflect this when new information has come to light, or when some people don't fully understand, would appear to be an impossible task.

Forgive me but I don't think cracks about injecting a powder were worthy of you. Don't you see that on the surface, the recipe could have meant you to make up a solution and then inject 10% of CURE - ie the same weight of liquid as meat. Given the use of weights for liquids (which is VERY unusual in recipes. Just look through any random cookbook and see how many recipes measure milk or water or wine by weight), in combination with the use of the same word for both powder and solution, and it's perfectly reasonable to try to inject a kilo of solution per kilo of meat so as to make sure that 10% of cure is used. How am I to know, never having injected brine into meat, whether it's possible or not?


I am sorry that you feel my comment unworthy. It was to (try to) make the point that although the word cure is used (correctly) in two contexts it shouldn't cause particular confusion.

The fact is that if you are actually 'doing' the recipe there is only one possible thing that you can inject into the meat - what's confusing about that?

Referring to how much to inject, Oddleys says, "Pump the meat at 10% eg: pump 100 g of the cure into every 1 Kg of meat." We have established that you only have one possible substance that you can inject at this point in the recipe. He quite clearly says to inject 100g of this into each kg of meat. I accept that you were confused about this and my reply to your question said, "You add spices of your choosing and then inject an amount equivalent to 10% of the weight of the meat - so you add the spices to get the flavour into the brine and then inject this. E.g. If the meat is 2.45kg you would inject 245gm of the brine". I feel that this clarified it further. If you didn't, you only had to ask for further clarification and I (or someone else) would have given it, as they have on previous posts about this, and other, cures. Subsequent visitors would have read it and not been confused.

Pump at 10% is a common term used in a myriad of recipes on this site - are you suggesting that each should now be amended to give a definition of what this means?

Coming to this business of volume. A solution of x gms of a particular cure in y mls water will certainly weigh x+y gms. However, it will always have the same volume as well, even if I can't tell you what it is. One only needs to measure the volume ONCE to know what it is, and then the recipe can be made just as general but using the more common volume measurement for a liquid. I accept that most kitchen instruments for measuring volume are far less precise than those used for measuring weight, but I would question whether it's necessary to work to such levels of precision. Does it really matter whether you dose with 600mg of saltpetre per kilo, or 660mg or 540mg? I don't know, but it's a reasonable question to ask? If it does matter, then it would be good to say so in the recipe. "Now weigh out 10% of the weight of meat of brine and inject it. You need to weigh the brine, to be sure you are dosing sufficiently accurately" for example. That would remove ALL ambiguity in one fell swoop.


You suggest that the amounts in the recipe should be expressed in a manner you prefer as you believe it would make them easier to understand. Others may want them in lbs/oz/pints, other cups etc. It depends on our background/experience as to what we find easier/clearest. I don't personally like the use of teaspoon and tablespoon weights in sausage recipes - I prefer percentages. However, I don't expect those who use them to amend their recipes for me - I do it myself. I don't think you can expect Oddley to do, for you.

A last comment. If "semantics" prevent someone from understanding a recipe, then surely they ARE the substance. I'm truly not psychic and the general use of one word "cure" for both powder and solution by several folk here really doesn't help. Jim agreed that it might have been clearer to differentiate by the use of the words "brine" and cure. Had I thought of using the word "brine" in place of solution myself, it would have been better too!


You are entitled to your opinion. He could have used the word brine - but I guarantee that someone would still have misunderstood.

This is a fantastic forum, and there's a wealth of knowledge here, but in a sense that's been my problem. I've never made a gammon or ham and in reading recipes & methods written by experts FOR experts, I've been floundering. And sadly the beginners pages haven't been clearer.


I agree the forum is fantastic. It's the nature of the beast though that the information you need will be dotted about the place. You will see that the questions you raise about this cure have already been covered elsewhere. I am not belittling the issues you raise - just saying that it is impossible, in a forum setting, to achieve what you seem to want.
The simplest way seems to be what we do now - answer questions as they arise.

I look forward to your re-write of this recipe - but, if you think it will stop people needing to ask further questions - I fear you will be disappointed!

I am sure you will wish to reply, and ultimately we will have to agree to disagree.

Phil
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Postby saucisson » Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:49 pm

I thought I had cleared up the ambiguity once and for all back in September when I posted:

"Pump 10% of the weight of meat ie 100g brine (approx 100ml) per kilo of meat. "

As I've said I don't mind helping collate a new set of instructions, with as few ambiguities in it as possible.

Dave
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Postby wheels » Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:18 pm

OK I'll start the ball rolling, and probably make myself even less popular! :lol:

Perhaps, all recipes in the 'FAQ (curing) Moderated' need reviewing and writing in a form that 'beginners' will understand - a list of utensils, ingredients (with alternative names etc) and full step by step instructions, maybe with photos. These could then be the 'definitive' version of recipes, leaving people on the rest of the forum to discuss them at whatever their level of expertise without feeling any obligation to explain further for fear of someone later visiting their post and misunderstanding it. The recipes could also state whether they comply to US or EU standards (or not as the case may be).

That said, to return to this recipe.

We have already had the following explanations:

Pump 10% of the weight of meat ie 100g brine (approx 100ml) per kilo of meat. - Saucisson


Pump the meat at 10% eg: pump 100 g of the cure into every 1 Kg of meat - Oddley


...then inject an amount equivalent to 10% of the weight of the meat... E.g. If the meat is 2.45kg you would inject 245gm of the brine - wheels


There are probably others floating about as well.

If we accept that it needs further clarification then maybe something like:

"Weigh the meat in grams and calculate 10% of it's weight - remember, or write down this amount. Take the liquid cure (brine) that you have just made and weigh out, in grams, this amount of liquid."

Please feel free to rip this apart and suggest an alternative.

Phil
Last edited by wheels on Tue Dec 09, 2008 4:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ianinfrance » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:04 am

Hi guys,

Grin!!

For ME... the important thing is to have a recipe that I understand, and can follow so that I can make a ham or gammon (I've often wondered, what's the difference between ham (I've seen shoulder ham too), gammon and boiled bacon joints?) when I want to, rather than have to buy vac packed stuff from Tesco or wherever, bring it all the way down to France, and freeze it.

I think what I found confusing is that there's no one post where all this information to which Phil and Dave referred is collated. Dave's snippet is completely clear. However, I think I missed that when reading through, or possibly I failed to make the connection to the recipe from Oddley that I first commented on. There really IS a lot of information and it can be hard to hold it all in one's head while scratching one's head and say "so what's this pumping anyway and how do you do it? I've not gone back to Dave's original post to look, but with so much information and variety of types of cure (Prague power, #1 cure, pink salt #2 cure there are dozens of different products) it really can be hard to steer your way through it.

I think it might be helpful to create some kind of "sticky" reference to what the various types of cure are, and how they would be used in each of the major curing methods. I'd be happy to help produce one, if only to avoid similar grumbles in the future. I know almost nothing - but that COULD be an advantage, because it means I will be writing for myself!

I'm thinking of something along these lines

Complete Cures
These contain salt, sugar nitrate and nitrite in proportions suitable for use without any addition.

They may be used as a brine (solution) by immersion, as dry rubs, and by a combination of these with pumping (injection of the brine into the heart of the meat).

(Here would follow a list of the different products available here and to the trade, showing their composition if known and usage rate.)

(link to a thread describing the uses - brine immersion, brine and pumping, dry rub, dry and pumping - and explaining the advantages and disadvantages of each together with the practical details of their use)

Partial cures.
These contain salt, nitrate and nitrite in proportion suitable for use in combination with further salt (if used) sugar/syrup/honey and/or spices.

(similar list of product names, composition and usage rates together with essential additional quantities of salt, if appropriate)

(Similar link to thread describing their uses)

"Made up cures"
This will be the place where "recipes" for cures can be collated with suggestions for possible additions and the way in which they will be used - brine, pumping and dry rubbed.



I understand that this partially crosses the way in which the forum is structured
Curing
"Air dried recipes"
"Air dried techniques"
"FAQ curing"
"Brine cured meats"

Is there a glossary anywhere? If so I''ve missed it. If not, a muggins version would help. For example

"Pumping" This consists of injecting a solution (aka brine, qv) into a piece of meat. It is (usually?) carried out in conjunction with either immersion brining (qv) or dry rubbing to ensure that the products can start acting on the heart of the meat, reducing the risk of infection. A variety of instruments can be used (list, with hypertext links) to do this.

I guess that if it were produced all this should live in the FAQ section. That said, it didn't even occur to me to read that section. :oops:

I think I'd better shut up, slink away and read the Curing FAQ before saying another word.
All the best - Ian
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Postby wheels » Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:28 pm

I guess that if it were produced all this should live in the FAQ section. That said, it didn't even occur to me to read that section.

I think I'd better shut up, slink away and read the Curing FAQ before saying another word.


You won't find much!

(I've often wondered, what's the difference between ham (I've seen shoulder ham too), gammon and boiled bacon joints?)


We could be here a long time! I'd rather sit and watch salami dry than take part in that debate. :D

In the main I agree with your last post, it would make it easier for people new to curing to have a glossary and a group of basic recipes (updated as knowledge etc changes). It would need to be worded in the simplest of terms (English may not be the first language of some of our members). Pretty simple - but a mammoth task to set up and, in particular, maintain.

However, in my opinion, it would be more appropriate for the info you suggest to be made available to people when they purchase what you have defined as complete and partial cures.

Phil
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Postby saucisson » Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:13 pm

It's a great idea Ian, but the problem is I'm not sure there is "one right way" of doing it. I do think that an expansion of the FAQ section is a good idea but I think it should be as simple and uncomplicated as possible. Not so much a definitive reference section with all the answers but a spring board from which people can ask focused questions. If anyone fancies writing a FAQ/definition on any particular facet of curing PM it to me and I will incorporate it into the FAQ area for discussion/dissection. I thinkk it will have to remain a work in progress area for a while though. I'll see if I can set something up.

Dave
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Postby Ianinfrance » Mon Dec 08, 2008 11:58 pm

Hi again Phil and Dave.

Thanks for such positive replies. I agree with both of you that in the interim it will have to be very much "work in progress" and kept very simple in language. I could hardly disagree with the latter proposition, could I :? Anyway I'll take up Dave's suggestion to PM him as and when. I shall be in the UK till mid January so I don't know how much I shall be present till then.

However in the mean time can I ask someone to clarify two of the recipes in the FAQ with reference to each other. The Basic English Brine and the Wiltshire Cure Ham wet method. Both were fairly simple to understand until the last line added later presumably as requested by Oddley.

In the Simple English Brine cure, you have about 3.5 kg of brine, in which you soak a 6.5 kg ham, say. Easy. But the last line says "10% pump, this is not an immersion cure". so wtf does one do? Take 650 gms of that brine and inject it, sure. Now what? Soak the ham in the rest of the brine? But it's not an immersion cure :?: :?: Then comes the Wiltshire cure, here you have only 779 gm of brine for 6.5 kg. That was easy until you read 10% pump as well. So you pump 650 gms, leaving 129 gms. What if anything do you do with that? Soak the ham in it?

So these two recipes really made me scratch my head. Especially when I started trying to work out the salt levels injected. For the Basic brine we'd have 280*(650/3521) or 51 gms salt plus a tad for the salt in Cure #1 = just over 0.78%. For the Wiltshire cure you get 156*(650/779) = 130g plus a bit for the cure#1 which gives about 2%. That's well over twice as much.

That leads me to suspect that using the Simple English Brine implies immersion as well as pumping. So the recipe needs further modifying so that instead of reading
Due to recently discovered information, this recipe is to be used at 10% pump only This is not an immersion cure.
it says
Due to recently discovered information, this recipe is to be used at 10% pump followed by immersion for the usual length of time. This is not an "immersion only" cure"
.

Unless I'm wrong, of course.
:D
All the best - Ian
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Postby wheels » Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:23 am

I tried to warn you about the FAQ. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Postby saucisson » Tue Dec 09, 2008 12:46 am

I think I need to spend some time in the FAQ section with a pruning saw :D

Ian has sent me a pm to get started on for the rub and pump but I would like to discuss any final submission with Oddley before submitting anything to the FAQ. I also think getting Oddley's 2 of meat to 1 of cure in there is a must have, again after discussion with him.

Dave
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Postby captain wassname » Tue Dec 09, 2008 11:28 pm

Hello Ive been thinking for a couple of days It would seem to me that this thread is concerned with pumped dry rubbed ham and in order to be granted the status of a sticky should be more than the questions of myself and Ian and replies of Dave and Phil. However I have questions and some assumtions.

Please forgive my lack of comunnication and keyboard skills.

Assumtion; inject and rub is an equillibrian cure in an easier and more foolproof method.
Note: I have yet to find out much more than the existance of such cures.(Iwill undoubtedly post questions in an approptiate thread soon)

Assumtion : Inject at 10% bt weight is because 10%by weight is what a piece of meat would soak up if it were immersed in a brine.

Assumtion the rub part is to give the outside of the meat proction against bacteria.

Question: Is there any particular reason why cures are admistered 50% via brine injection and 50% rubbed (will elicit more questions)

Question: Is there a minimum amount of salt needed to protect the meat

Question How much is too much salt

Question what temp.do I need to cure at

Question; how long do I have to cure for

Question; If I use more salt petre will my ham/bacon be pinker.

Question, how much salt petre is it safe to use.

I was about to put some question re Oddleys wiltshire ham receipe which I used with no problen (other than self inflicted) but I think it may be the subject to a correspondence between Dave and Oddley

Hope nobody thinks Im being awkward

Jim
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