We started curing our mangalitsa country ham at the end of May, we went with 1.5 days of curing time per pound. After the curing process we hung the ham to dry and form a pelicle.
We have an electric smoker at the hotel that automatically feeds itself hickory pellets. You can set the time, temp, and hold time if you like. The only issue is it doesn't produce a lot of smoke if you set it below 140F. Our country ham required 2 days of smoking @ 100F so I took it home and used my smoker which is much more time consuming but runs on good old Florida oak. I've been working with it for long enough that I know how to control the temperature for long periods of time.
I soaked some oak logs and trim to quell the fire when necessary. The one benefit of having a huge smoker in this case it takes a long time to heat but requires a lot of attention when it comes to keeping a low flame going for such a long period of time.
This is the ham that has already gone for a day in the smoker. I removed it until I had time to give it one more run.
You can see the smoke already at work after the first day but we wanted more.
This is after the second round of smoking. We have a really nice crust on the meat, The skin is hard as a rock and we are ready to begin the aging process.
Here it is back at home in our cooler where it will stay for the next 12 months or so. We ended up rubing the exposed meat with a mixture of lard, curing spices, and corn flour for added protection which you do not see here.
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