Ham is slimy after dry cure

Post Reply
markizschnitzel
Beginner
Beginner
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 17:15
Location: Oprisavci

Ham is slimy after dry cure

Post by markizschnitzel » Thu Dec 20, 2018 20:12

So, I bought a pork but (not really ham, I know :) )

Since it was meant to be cooked for easter, I only used regular salt, because my mother in law likes it that way. I used 6-7% salt. I wraped it in cling film, and stored it in the fridge.
I turned it every few days for the first 2 weeks.
Left it another week.
After 3 weeks, I now took it out, and it slimy.

There is no stench, but it also does not smell particularly nice. Kinda meh.
Color seems ok and healthy.

But there is that slime, and the skin has not hardened.

There are a few discoloration points on the skin, reddish-brown. Small ones.

I am supposed to cold smoke it now, then air dry until easter. But I am not sure if it is safe?

Aside from the fact that I did not use cure#1 or cure#2, because my mother in law thinks it's poison, what else could have caused this? And can it be safe?

I have now washed it and used some vinegar to wash off the slime.

Toss it? Or leave it?
User avatar
Butterbean
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1813
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 04:10
Location: South Georgia

Post by Butterbean » Thu Dec 20, 2018 23:36

I'd toss it and definitely wouldn't smoke it without some form of cure. Might be a blessing in disguise.

Does your mother in law not think botulism is poison? Does she not understand nitrates are natural? Even created in her mouth? Using old nonrefined salts which are high in naturally occurring nitrates was the "old way" but today with salt companies refining salts you just don't know if your source is from a proven salt source so it is prudent to add the cure rather than rely on luck. And with our knowledge of the level of nitrates needed to safely cure meat it is only reasonable that we use minimal amounts and these amounts break down during a chemical processes so in the end you have little or no residual.


If she is so set on not using a cure then it might pay to buy some salts from Italy. Some of their "natural" salts will even have the minimal amount of nitrates on the label and with the labelling laws the way they are you can honestly claim there are no nitrates in your product even though there is.
jrittvo
Beginner
Beginner
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat Apr 14, 2018 22:06
Location: CO

Post by jrittvo » Fri Dec 21, 2018 05:13

A lot of the "natural" products also use a celery extract that provides a know amount of the necessary cure per gram. It is the same thing as the chemical lab produced Cure #1, but it is made only from celery, so it is "natural". You can buy it on line at most sausage supply places.

http://www.butcherspantry.com/curing-in ... ery-powder
User avatar
Butterbean
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1813
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2012 04:10
Location: South Georgia

Post by Butterbean » Fri Dec 21, 2018 13:35

jrittvo wrote:A lot of the "natural" products also use a celery extract that provides a know amount of the necessary cure per gram. It is the same thing as the chemical lab produced Cure #1, but it is made only from celery, so it is "natural". You can buy it on line at most sausage supply places.

http://www.butcherspantry.com/curing-in ... ery-powder
This is true and when tested many of these so called "nitrate free" products have been found to contain ten times the nitrate levels allowed by law yet it is still legal to sell. Nitrates are nitrates and whether they come from celery or refined from salt deposits they are still nitrates and are necessary both for food safety and for life on earth.
markizschnitzel
Beginner
Beginner
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 17:15
Location: Oprisavci

Post by markizschnitzel » Fri Dec 21, 2018 15:37

I did not mean to get into the nitrites/nitrates, but yeah.. I don't know, people here are 99% of them, convinced that they are poison. A conspiracy theory.

I live in an area where tens of thousands of household have an annual pig slaughter. Depending on money and number of memebers of a household, we have 1-5 pigs. We make sausages, hams, pancetta, coppa and so on and so on..

Taken into consideration how widespread it is, and the fact that NOBODY (well, certainly less then 1% of people) usa cure$1 or cure#2 (nr2 is even impossible to buy), I am surprised, but there are no botulism cases recorded that have been caused by food consumption. I think in the last 6 years there was only 1 non fatal.

That said, I myself preffer nitites because of the color properties, not just for safety. But it's hard going against the stream.

In this case I made an exception, but the meat that I prepared for us I did use nitrites, but not in sausages.

In any case, I will toss it. The meat probably was corrupted before sale. I might go to the butcher store and complain.
markizschnitzel
Beginner
Beginner
Posts: 20
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2018 17:15
Location: Oprisavci

Post by markizschnitzel » Fri Dec 21, 2018 17:54

Ok, another piece of info..
A piece of pork belly, that I wanted to make pancetta from, has also displayed similar symptoms.
And it I cured with cure#1.
User avatar
redzed
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 3334
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 06:29
Location: Vancouver Island

Post by redzed » Sat Dec 22, 2018 18:24

I'm sursprised that the pork butt would have spoiled if you used 6-7% salt. That is a lot. Bu if you were intending to smoke it and cook it, there was no need to keep it in the salt that long. It was ready after a few days. If you are going to smoke cuts like that the way, in my opinion is to brine them in a 8% brine and add other seasings and aromaticas as well. You could safely smoke the butt as long as you keep a high temperature (70C) in the smoker.

And I really find it hard to believe that 99% of people in your area dont't use nitrites. I know that Cure#1 and Cure#2 are not available in continental Europe but European curing salt (.5-.6% nitrate) is sold and used everywhere.
Post Reply