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Jon Wisnoski

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since Jun 11, 2014
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Recent posts by Jon Wisnoski

What I think is really interesting about the bucket method is that it should retain the most nitrogen from the piss as possible. The point of the experiment should not be to compost the wood, so much as maximize the nitrogen.
3 weeks ago
I know this these hams are long since saved or thrown out. But I had some specific experience that I thought might help other people. Note: I have not read every response, so sorry if I am retreading old ground.

Regarding the Method:
The bone in ham cures I have researched had you separate skin off the front of the hock up to the knee area and push a ton of salt into there, as that is apparently the area that goes bad.

Moisture Level. You do want the ham to eventually lose quite a lot of its water mass, but I do not see any problem with allowing the salt to equalize for a bit before you start drainage, if stored in a cool area. It should work, I would think?

Smell:
Nobody where I live has a good sense of smell, but in my experience while moist it should smell like meat, while dry basically like nothing, and while old maybe a little of cheese if it gets moldy.

3 weeks ago
Hello all,

I finally opened my first prosciutto style ham. We were all happy with the result, but their is still loads of stuff I unfamiliar with.

Based on my research, while everyone has their own very specify recipe, as long as you get as much salt into the ham as it will take (making extra sure to gets lots on the front knee, under the skin) it will work out. Cold, hot, stable or chaotic temperature; Moist, dry, moldy, clean; Freezing or even cooking temperatures. It does not matter. Super expensive hams seems to be made in every climate and storage method imaginable.


I just made sure to have good drainage and kept mine in a fridge for 8 months. It appears to have worked. The main issue is you will clearly have to age it for at something like twice the time to get the same result, but it should be similar to cellar aged ham. It did get moldy near the end, but that was easy to clean up and the outer edge of the ham was still edible. The only thing I am not eating is the pig skin and bone.

What I am really wondering about, is at what point exactly does a ham become edible? articles mention that you want to expel water and get to a 4% salt level throughout to retard bacteria growth. But we do not eat pork raw because of parasites, not bacteria. So at what point have to guaranteed the death of all parasites?

The best single Reference I found: https://gallatin.ca.uky.edu/files/how_to_make_a_country_ham.pdf
3 weeks ago
It depends on what you want to do, that is about right for long term preservation (no fridge of freezer needed). But that is probably more than you want if you are going for flavor. For preservation, it looks like you are trying to end up with a 4% salt level throughout, so if you were preserving something smaller, you might be able to more confidently use less than 10% of the mass and still get the 4% all the way into the middle.

I used this document(https://gallatin.ca.uky.edu/files/how_to_make_a_country_ham.pdf). But note that with all the skin and bone, the 10% salt is quite a bit more than 10% of the mass of the meat, but so much of it falls off. At least for dry cured hams, the 10 lbs per 100 lbs goes down to getting as much into it as it will take without stabbing holes and filling them with salt. Alternative methods even include just storing the ham in a box filled with salt.

TL;DR:
For preservation, using a dry cure method, you get the meat to absorb at much as salt as possible, the 10lb/100lb is only in recipes to make sure you have enough salt even with half of it falling off, being expelled with the juices.

But if you were to just fill a bucket with salt and bacon, I expect you could get by with only like 5% salt, as eventually it should all equalize to above 4%. But it depends on how preserved you want the bacon to me.

Disclaimer. I do not have much experience, it is all coming from my research into preserving hams I did a while back, and primarily that one document.
3 weeks ago
Thanks Bert Rowe,

Will give that forum you mentioned a try. I have found some good looking knifes on the websteraunt forum linked before, but am still open to alternatives.

Some of the knives you listed are apparently made for wood, is the recommended steel/hardness the same for wood as meat/bone?
1 year ago

Andrew Mayflower wrote:If the cleaver is listed as being over 2lbs, and the blade isn't crazy long (so up to 8" or so) it'll most likely be 1/4" thick, give or take a little.  If you're calculating 1/10" thick you either are assuming incorrect dimensions or density for steel.  Or a unit conversion issue (I see you're Canadian, so perhaps it's the conversion from kg's to lbs that's the issue - recall that 1kg=2.2lbs, so the cleaver should be weighing in around 1kg).



Yes, I think I got that wrong, it should be closer to 1/5th of an inch.


r ranson wrote:
Are you planning to use the cleaver for bones or for standard butchery (cartilage)?  Your style of use will have a huge effect on which cleaver is right for you.  


Probably somewhere in between. I am not going to hack at a leg bone with it, but their are backbone joints and the ends of ribs where bones are weak and ill-suited to a bone saw.
1 year ago
Thanks Andrew Mayflower, A good point.

Many of the cleavers listed on the website are specifically for bone, but I was wondering how thick they should be. The ones I am looking at are over 2 pounds, but if I try to estimate a thickness based on the profile size vs weight I get something around 1/10th of an inch.
1 year ago

Doug Steffen wrote:I just watched  a review of cleavers tonight on ATK.
https://www.americastestkitchen.com/equipment_reviews/1838-meat-cleavers?incode=MASAD00L0&ref=new_search_experience_1
I tend to trust them. There first choice was $150....Then they had best value at $55 .
you may want to check it out.



Maybe you can post a summery of the results, that website requires a credit card to view.
1 year ago
Thanks for all the suggestions.

I have used that website before even, but does anyone know what is going on with most of those knives be called "cast iron"? How could you make a (functional) knife out of cast iron?
1 year ago
Hello all.

I have a decent amount of experience in hobby butchering, but one thing I have always done without is a cleaver of all kind. I plan on ramping up my butchering, and thought a decent butchers cleaver would be a good addition.
I was wondering if anyone has any tips or suggestions for where to get a decent large butcher's cleaver capable of cutting through small bones and general carcass prep, hopefully without breaking the bank.

The ones you see in butchery videos are far larger than the ones you get if you just type cleaver into google search.
1 year ago