American Country Ham
Only the afterwards legs of hogs can be alleged a country ham. They may not be injected with abating solutions nor placed in abating solution. The appliance of alkali shall be a acceptable abundance to assure that the accomplished artefact has an centralized alkali agreeable of at atomic 4 percent. For hams or pork amateur labeled “country” or “country style,” the accumulated aeon for abating and alkali equalization shall not be beneath than 45 canicule for hams, and shall not be beneath than 25 canicule for pork shoulders; the absolute time for abating alkali equalization, and dehydration shall not be beneath than 70 canicule for hams, and shall not be beneath than 50 canicule for pork shoulders. During the dehydration and smoker period, the centralized temperature of the artefact charge not beat 95 °F, provided that such a temperature claim shall not administer to articles broiled or smoked beneath accustomed acute conditions.
Ham accomplishment process:
- Salting. Alkali and nitrite/nitrate are rubbed in all over meat and skin. Affliction should be taken to backpack the alkali abysmal into the apparent cartilage areas. The ham charcoal covered in alkali for at atomic 30 canicule at 36-40° F (2-4° C). Added abating band-aid is activated during that time. Any accumulated aqueous is drained away. Again the hams are done and the apparent is brushed off to annihilate any crystalized salt. Such alkali clogs the meat pores and will anticipate able dehydration or smoking.
- Equalizing. Spices and amoroso may be rubbed in. Hams are placed in bolt or net bags. In the accomplished a wire was threaded through a aperture cut in the hock. Occasionally, the hams were not afraid but aria on a ancillary on the shelves. This 2 weeks equalization aeon (3 canicule per pound) allows for added alike alkali administration inside. The temperature varies from 50 - 54° F (10-12° C), 75% humidity.
- Smoking. Hams are algid smoked for 24-30 hours.
- Drying/Maturing. Hams lose added damp and advance a appropriate flavor. This is additionally accepted as the ripening date and it continues for 30-90 days. Temperature varies from 77-86° F (25-30° C), 65% humidity.
The assembly of American country hams is concentrated in the Eastern states such as Virginia or Tennessee. There are abounding bounded processors that aftermath accomplished country hams, for archetype Benton’s Begrimed Abundance Country Hams in Madisonville, TN.
I fabricated a accommodation aboriginal on in my country ham business that I would try to not accomplish added hams; I would try to accomplish bigger hams.
Mr. Benton has been complex with authoritative hams back his adolescence back he helped his ancestors with pig annihilation and meat processing every year in aboriginal December in the Begrimed Mountains. Back 1973 he runs a USDA accustomed and inspected country ham bearing business. The hams are rubbed with ⅔ rd of a dry mix consisting of salt, amber sugar, and nitrite. Again they are larboard on maple shelves for 1 anniversary at 38-40° F (3-4° C). Afterwards that, in about a anniversary the actual ⅓ rd of the cure is activated and the hams are restacked. They about break in that aboriginal date of cure at blaster to forty degrees for about two months - about in the fifty-five to sixty day range. Again the hams are afraid for 6 weeks in an equalization acknowledgment at 42-50° F (6-10° C). From there they go into a smokehouse area they would adhere until they are acclimated up in the abutting fall. The boilerplate country ham that is fabricated there is about nine months old.
Allan Benton and his hams.
Photo address Benton’s Begrimed Abundance Country Hams