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In three days, use the remaining mixture, in the same proportions, and, meat
from each container should be reversed, top to bottom. If you do not intend
to keep the meat for more than 3 months, this second application can be
reduced by 50%, but, if there is any question, use it all.
Meat should cure for 2 days per pound for large (10+ lbs ) pieces, but
smaller pieces, such as bacon require only 1 1/2 days per pound. Curing time
is influenced by temperature in that it cures faster at higher temperatures
and stops curing at all at 34° F.
After, the cure is complete, remove, scrub thoroughly clean and dry and rub
with fresh black pepper. Make an opening at the shank and insert a strong
cotton cord and hang overnight to drain. Hang in your smoke house and apply
a gentle cold smoke (70-90 degrees F.) 5-7 hours per day for 3-4 weeks.
Longer is okay. Hams may be hot smoked at 100-120*F, but they will not
preserve as long and will not have the same flavor. Use green hickory,
maple, oak, ash, apple or pecan wood or sawdust. The smoke should not be
dense nor the amount great and the fire should not flame. An 8x8 inch coal
bed will be ample. Try to produce a deep amber, rather than a black, color.
During the slow smoking, moisture is driven from the meat, preserving it as
well as producing a mellow flavor. It is permissible and desirable, after a
week or so, to cut and use portions of the meat while the rest is left
hanging. Meat cured in this manner may be left in the smokehouse for at
least a year.
Beware, this may become a Christmas tradition.
C. Clark Hale
8168 Hwy 98 E.
McComb, MS 39648
Smoky's 5th basic position for really great barbecue'n.
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