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Taylor's Ham (aka Pork Roll)

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 15:07
by NorCal Kid
December is a crazy month for me at the church office, so between work and other obligations around the home (the Christmas Honey-Do list), I`ve had little or no time to make meats of the tubular variety.

But I had a chance this weekend to do some grinding & stuffing, so I asked the troops in my household what they`d like me to make as Christmas is approaching fast. The popular choice was having me make PORK ROLL - aka "Taylor`s Ham." Many of you know what I`m talking about here. If you`re not familiar with this tangy & porky delight, do a quick internet search & you`ll discover all you need to know about the tasty stuff. It`s big back east (my wife`s family is from New Jersey), and around Christmas, it was a popular treat for her family. My boys & I have enjoyed it as well-even though we`re native Californ-yuns. It was a big hit the last time I made it (waaaay back in July of 2011).

So enough of the blather...on to the fun stuff!

Start with three pounds of nearly-frozen hickory-smoked bacon...

Also needed is about 7 pounds of fresh pork shoulder, cut up & iced for the grinder...

Start by grinding the bacon. I`m using a 4.5mm plate for the initial grind...

Next up is the pork shoulder grind. Same plate size...

SPICES lined up. I upped the amount of salt and the ECA I used last time. The pork roll last time just needed a bit more of the saltiness & tang...

I added the dry ingredients to the meat, with the exception of the ECA
-which shall be added just prior to stuffing. Before mixing, I add the port...

My Custom Mixers are primed and ready to go. ;) Thickly-insulated gloves make this job easy without the pain of frost-bite...

After 10-12 minutes of robust mixing, the meat has developed into a nice, sticky paste...

Before stuffing, however, I want a finer texture and so I run the meat paste through the grinder using a fine plate (3.0mm). This hopefully will ensure a very uniform texture in the final product...

Comparing the before & after of the single grind (4.5mm) and the meat following a second fine (3mm) grind...

One last addition & mix- the ECA is added now and I`ll gently incorporate this thoroughly into the meat paste. A quick test-fry of the mix got thumbs up from the lucky tasters...

While all this mixing & grinding was going on, I had three fibrous casing soaking in warm water. In the past I`ve used muslin or cotton bags for pork roll, but since I was without, I opted to use these 3x20" fibrous from Butcher & Packer...

My son helped with my little 5lb Grizzly stuffer & in no time we had 3 good-sized chubs hog-ringed & ready to go the fridge...

Since I`m booked all day tomorrow, it looks like these chubs will have to wait a day or so before they hit the smoker & poacher.

Got the pork roll chubs in the smoker early this afternoon-as well as 5-pounds of meat sticks I made in the morning.
I keep an eye on the temps throughout the day. I anticipate this could be a fairly long smoke. Outside temp is 40°F, cools & damp.

I'm using the 'Pitmaster's Blend' pellets for smoke-generation.

One hour in...

I pulled the meat sticks after 7 hours and let them cool on a rack ( see my other thread if interested in seeing the sticks), and placed the 3 large chubs into a 160° hot water bath. The IT of the chubs was at 128° when I pulled them from the smoker. After 25 minutes, they were ready (154°) to pull from the poacher. From there, into an ice bath and an overnight stay in the refrigerator.

NEXT DAY: It's sample time!
The chubs had firmed up nicely and were ready to slice.
The roll had an nice sweet, smokey aroma as I sliced it. The appearance was nice & uniform-even a bit more emulsified than the typical store-bought stuff.

On to the grill: Mmmmmm! The smell of Taylor's Ham cooking is reminiscent of both bacon AND of ham!

Great way to start the day! Sweet, smokey, tangy (!).....I like a little mustard on mine, but Taylors Ham is pretty darn tasty by itself

Overall, the flavor in this recipe is REAL close to the Taylor's Ham I had from NJ. My wife concurs.
One of the great things about making it yourself is tweaking it to your own tastes (more tang, less sweetness, etc.), and I know EXACTLY what is in it.

If you're interested in trying this, here's the recipe I used-my adapted version modified to suit our families tastes. DO adjust the ECA to your tastes. WE like a lot of TANG so used the max amount shown.



Pork Butt......7lbs/3175g
Kosher Salt....34g
White Pepper...11g
Port...................2 TBL
Encapsulated Citric Acid (ECA)......17g-34g**
*Less needed due to cure present in bacon
** Level of tang; adjust to taste.

1. Partially freeze bacon & pork
2. Grind bacon & pork through medium plate
3. Mix pork, bacon & all spices, cure & port-except for the ECA.
4. Regrind the mixture with a fine plate (3mm) -if smoother consistency is desired.
5. Add ECA & mix well before stuffing.
6. Fry a sample & adjust seasonings if necessary
7. Stuff into 3"+ fibrous casings or muslin sack(s).

Prewarm smoker to 120°
Hang chubs for an hour or so to dry.
Smoke at 130-150° for 3-4 hours until IT reaches 125° or higher.

Poach in 165° water bath until IT hits 152°
Drop in ice bath & keep them there until IT reaches 100°
Refrigerate overnight to firm before slicing.

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 18:22
by redzed
Nice work Kevin. Your thoroughness and attention to every detail are to be admired. Interesting use of the ECA.

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 18:37
by ssorllih
When I joined this forum some while ago we had about 2 dozen regular posting members and all were very fine people. Some of them have left us for other interests and many have stayed . With Chuckwagon's careful guidance and extraordinary range of knowledge the forum has attracted many new and fine members who are bringing wonderful knowledge to this treasure trove of a web site. When I read the methods that other people use and their hit and miss measuring and control styles I am thrilled to be a part of this group and I am frequently recommending this site to other groups.
Chuckwagon should be rightly proud of the growth and progress he has guided this forum to achieve in a short time.
Thank you Chuckwagon.

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 19:00
by Dave Zac
Nice work Kevin. Those hams look amazing. Your family is lucky indeed to have you around!

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 05:05
by Gray Goat
Great job Kevin, the grill pan shot made me very hungry :lol:

On a side note, what do you think of the pellets vs sawdust in the amazen smoker ?

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 05:33
by Chuckwagon
Ross, thanks for your kind words. They are very much appreciated, believe me. Yes, among those "two dozen" old-time regulars, the NorCalKid, Dave Zac, and yourself stand out as three of the most altruistic folks I`ve ever known. Pastor Kevin is always sharing his great recipes with us and his camera work is extraordinary. Dave Zac is an "old timer" who is possibly the most self-sufficient person I`ve known. I know this ol` salty dog! His personality, knowledge and experience are awesome. And ssorllih Ross Hill... heck, he`s everyone`s "grandfather" around here. Ol` Ross has hidden knowledge and experience that he can back up. Every once in a while "grandpa Ross" totally astounds everyone here. Then too, we should note the participation, support, and knowledge provided by many folks who haven`t been here as long, but continue to build our forum. They are too many to count, but we know who you are! Thanks for your support folks, we make a pretty good team.

Again you`ve hit the mark. Your recipe with added bacon is incredible. I live on this stuff and like to use the red 3" bologna casings. Man, for a sliced disk of great sausage on a roll, it can`t be beat. I like it inside a croissant. Great recipe Kevin.

Best Wishes,

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 05:33
by NorCal Kid
Gray Goat wrote:On a side note, what do you think of the pellets vs sawdust in the amazen smoker ?
I have a harder time keeping the pellets burning vs the dust. Part of the problem is the restricted airflow in the smoker box. I have to position the amazen in the 'sweet' spot to ensure the embers will continue to burn/smoke. They do burn slower so for long smokes (like this one) the pellets are my preference.


Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 15:51
by Smokin Don
NorCal darned if that doesn't look delicious!! I have never used the Amazin smoker but now they have a tube smoker and I have the 12 inch that will do a four hour smoke with pellets. I really like it. They also have an 18 inch. Smokin Don

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 19:46
by IdaKraut
NorCal Pastor,

I appreciate your recipe, but it would have been nice to quote that this is my recipe on the Len Poli website from almost 5 years ago minus the LAB culture and maple powder. I use ECA on occasion but real Taylor Pork Roll uses LAB culture. Anyway, congrats on all the accolades you have received.

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 20:35
by NorCal Kid
IdaKraut wrote:NorCal Pastor,

I appreciate your recipe, but it would have been nice to quote that this is my recipe on the Len Poli website from almost 5 years ago minus the LAB culture and maple powder. I use ECA on occasion but real Taylor Pork Roll uses LAB culture. Anyway, congrats on all the accolades you have received.
IdaKraut, My apologies!
It has never been my intent to take credit for other's hard work or innovation. Let me be clear here-my posting of this recipe is indeed simply my adaptation of the Taylor Ham 'knockoff' recipe found on Poli's site. And you are correct-I should have specified the source more clearly and given proper credit. My oversight.
I believe its ALWAYS incumbent upon posters here to give proper credit for the source of recipes. That's fair and the right thing to do.

Please accept my sincerest apology for not doing precisely this in my initial posting. I'm unable to edit my first post, so hopefully this post will make amends for my oversight.


Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 23:25
by IdaKraut

No apologizes needed. I am glad someone has found my recipe worth trying. Here's the link to the original: ... rkRoll.pdf

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 00:05
by NorCal Kid
IdaKraut wrote:Kevin,
No apologizes needed. I am glad someone has found my recipe worth trying. Here's the link to the original: ... rkRoll.pdf
Thanks, Rudy.
For me, your recipe has saved me considerable $$$.
So I for one am quite glad to find it & try it. :mrgreen:
I ordered a number of rolls of the Taylors Ham from New Jersey and the shipping on it was more than the pork roll itself (the order was almost $200.... :shock:)


Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 15:20
by Bob K
Being close to the NY/NJ Metro area this a very popular sausage. Egg sandwiches are just not the same without it! A cross between bacon and sausage it hard to beat with eggs of any kind. I grew up knowing it as Taylor Ham and it came in a red and white canvas plastic.

A little history on it here: And not many sausages have their own Festival!

Rudys ( Idakraut) recipe is here: ... rkRoll.pdf
and a modified version using citric acid is above in this thread.

I keep trying to tweek Rudys recipe and the latest version is

Pork ...................70%

Salt......................1.5% (of Pork weight only)
Cure#1................. .25%
Dextrose............... .75%
White Pepper ........ .3%
Port Wine............... 1.9%
Sodium Erythorbate .05%

FlC culture, ferment at 85°f for 18-24 hours
Smoke if desired
Poach until internal of 152°f

Its really good!!

Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 16:25
by Butterbean
I need to try this. That looks good and we eat a lot of sandwiches.

Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 16:50
by MidWestBud
I tried Kevin's recipe last year after years of hearing my wife extolling the virtues of "Taylor Ham" ( she is from Long Island originally) and was impressed. Wife pronounced it very close to the real thing. My first time using ECA and it worked for me. I must confess that I didn't hear or read of IdaKraut's recipe until now. I don't have the kind of money shots that Kevin produces but here is mine.
In the smoker
Ok, so next time I don't show the temp probe holes :oops:


Edit to add...I will definitely make this again.