Any of you boys cure and smoke deer ham?

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kodiakken

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I'm going to make a couple deer hams out of a fine mule deer doe.
I have Mortons Tender Quick but all the recipes I read and looked at are telling me to use Pink Salt.
What is the difference and what do you fella's use?
A good recipe to make them would be much appreciated.

Thanks.
 

gunhaus

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I personally feel the pink salt works much better especially for large/heavy pieces. And yes i do venison hams and "Canadian bacon" from back straps every year.

You can go on Amazon and such, and you'll find this stuff as Pink Salt, Prague Cure No1, Cure #1, etc. they are all the same. (This is CURE, not Table type Pink salt, which is pretentious flavoring salt and does not count for this purpose.)

There are recommendations for cure amounts but MOST of them add MORE cure than needed, and can be overpowering.

For every gallon of water add:
1/3 - 1 cup sea salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar or brown sugar mix

1 tbsp cure no. 1 pink salt

stir thoroughly until clear amber color, pour over meat, inject if necessary to cure from inside-out as well as outside-in

weight down with a partially filled 1 qt or 1 gal. ziploc bag or bags to keep meat immersed

Curing times vary with meat, but generally overnight to 2-3 days for chickens and turkeys, 8-10 days buckboard bacon, 10-14 days belly bacon, pork shoulder, whole butts, 3-4 weeks whole hams, 10-20 days corned beef (fresh beef roasts, briskets, rolled rib roasts, etc.) If whole muscle is more than 2" thick, then inject so it can cure i/o as well as o/i, and/or in and around bone structures, etc.

You can add any other flavorings you'd like, this is just the basic curing brine. 1 heaping tablespoon of cure is about 1 ounce. The maximum concentration allowed safely is 3.84 ounces per 1 gallon of brine (24 lbs.per 100 gallons: 16 oz. x 24 = 384 ounces, 1/100th is 3.84 ounces). You can experiment with different concentrations as long as you keep it between those parameters:

This mixture is not mine, but i have used it now fro 20 years, and it has been in continuous use commercially i believe for close to 100 years.

I have cured venison with this, and have lightly smoked it for 2-4 hours at about 180 for back straps and you get a really nice Canadian bacon. I have smoked hams for longer periods, and have added assorted spices to create corned venison and pastrami. I have used the cure alone, and then simply pan fried the resulting ham with no smoke and it is excellent. LOTS of room to experiment.

With this blend it is HARD to over cure, and if you need to leave a piece in the brine for an extra week or two it can neither spoil as long as temp is cool, not over cure. USER FRIENDLY- I like that

Good luck
 
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kodiakken

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Thanks for the input. Will have to make a trip to town andf pick me up some of that pink salt.
 

Daniele96

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I prefer dry age deer ham like a prosciutto but sometimes I used a cold smoking with oak wood.
 

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