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Apr 7, 2009 05:40 PM

Smoked ham, how long will it last in the fridge?

I'm hoping someone can soothe my nerves. I made a home smoked ham, starting with a fresh pork leg, brined for a week and smoked this past Sunday (April 4th) until fully done (about 160).

I'm keeping it in my fridge this week, to be re-heated and glazed for Saturday's Easter lunch. It'll still be safe to eat right? I figure, brined and smoked helps the shelf life. Just want to make sure, because I hyped this thing up pretty good to the in-laws and don't want to look like a fool.

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  1. Dehydration is your biggest challenge. Cover it with a moist towel, and store the whole beautiful mess in a turkey roasting bag in the fridge until Saturday, and consider re-heating it in the bag, maybe with some fresh pineapple.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Veggo

      veggo has a great idea about the roasting bag.

      and your ham will be terrific! have fun!

      1. re: Veggo

        Its been brined for a week. Do you really think "dehydration" is an issue?

          1. re: alkapal

            Perhaps the roasting bag would provide an adequate moisture barrier. In absence of that, foil, waxed paper, butcher paper, or plastic wrap might do nicely.

            I have never seen a wet rag used as a method for keeping meat moist. It strikes me as an ideal place for micro organisms to set up shop. In fact, my states health codes mandate that a wet rag, soiled with food, be kept separate from food itself.

            1. re: Brandon Nelson

              i'd probably just wrap it in saran wrap, then foil. have never done the moist cloth.

              1. re: alkapal

                i think it sweats way too much in plastic wrap, i use a ham bag, which is just moist calico. Ham rarely lasts in my household long enough to worry.

                Anyway, a week and a half is unlikely to present much of a problem.

                1. re: Samuelinthekitchen

                  this ham bag link says it is for country style hams:

                  is there one for regular hams (not dry cured, like country style?) like the original poster is keeping in the fridge?

                  1. re: Samuelinthekitchen

                    Right now, its on a baking tray, covered in saran wrap. It seems to be sweating, maybe I should peel of the saran wrap to let moisture escape.

                    I'm really wondering about safety. I don't think there's an issue, but you never know.

                    My plan is to re-heat it and glaze it on Saturday.

                    1. re: grandgourmand

                      your ham will be safe to eat.

                      take off the saran wrap, tent it with foil and see how it goes with the "sweating." all you want to do is prevent the fridge from drying out the ham's outer portion. if there is a good deal of fat (which i didn't even think to ask earlier), it really probably doesn't need anything to keep it from drying out. maybe a cover of foil to prevent fridge flavors from the ham -- but i guess the fat would keep those off flavors out of the ham!

        1. Was this a cure brine or just a salt /sugar flavoring brine?
          Curing a fresh ham is best done with the inclusion of a nitrate.
          Morton offers Tender Quick a curing salt with nitrate included.
          In dry curing fresh ham they recommend 2 tablespoons of cure per lb of meat and a day and a half of refrigeration in the cure per pound of meat.

          Large pieces of meat like a ham are however, customarily pumped (injected) with a curing brine and also rubbed with a curing rub.

          The Morton site offers guidance on the use of Tender Quick which i recommend.

          Good Luck.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mr jig

            Cure brine. Followed the recipe in Charcuterie. It was a wet brine, and was some was injected close to the bone.

            1. re: grandgourmand

              My question:
              If you had not brined , partially pumped and smoked but rather just roasted it 7 days before serving it would you be comfortable?

              I do not believe a ham can be cured in a brine with "some" pumping in a week. Cooking in a smoker will not extend shelf life unless it smoked all week and was all but desiccated.
              I think the ham is iffy.