Experiment 49

To determine the effect of various factors affecting the palatability of ham.

Hams may be secured with a light or a heavy salt cure. The former do not need to be soaked before cooking; the latter may be improved by soaking.

Preparation. For hams with a light salt cure, scrub with a brush. Dry, then weigh. Insert thermometer so that the center of the bulb is at the center of the thickest portion of the ham, with rind or fat side up. To determine the depth for inserting the thermometer use two rulers at right angles to each other. Or with a steel skewer pierce the rind or fat side, running the skewer point just through the ham. Withdraw and measure the depth the skewer was in the ham. The thermometer is to be inserted half this distance. If the rind has not been removed, it will need to be cut away with scissors or a knife so that the thermometer can be inserted. Use hams of about the same weight for all the tests.

For hams with a heavy salt cure, soak, keeping the time of soaking and the amount of water used standardized. Soak over night using a quart of water to each pound of ham. Remove from the soaking water and drain 10 minutes. Weigh and proceed as for non-soaked hams.

Record the temperature of ham and oven every 10 minutes for the first 30 minutes, then every 20 or 30 minutes. For hams from which the rind has not been removed, remove the rind after the ham comes from the oven. If to be scored hot, cut as soon as the maximum temperature is reached. If to be scored cold, store after removing rind.

A. Baked ham.

Place the ham skin side up on a rack in an open weighed pan. Add no water or seasoning.

1. Bake in an oven at 125°C. (about 255°F.) until an interior temperature of 70°C. is reached.

2. Repeat (1) but cook to an interior temperature of 75°C.

3. Repeat (2) but cook to an interior temperature of 80°C.

4. Repeat (1) but have the oven temperature 150°C. (about 300°F.).

B. Boiled ham.

Use kettles with covers, ham boilers, or boilers of such size that the water will cover the ham. The ham is placed on a rack, rind or fat side up. Use an ordinary laboratory thermometer to take the temperature of the water. Add 1 quart of water per pound of ham. Occasionally add water at the same temperature as water in which ham is cooked to replace that lost by evaporation.

1. Let simmer in water at 83°C. until an inner temperature of 75°C. is reached. Or, if preferred, use the interior temperature preferred with baked ham. Remove from the water. Drain. Weigh. Keep over night in the refrigerator.

2. Repeat (1) but let the ham cool over night in the liquor in which it was cooked. Let the kettle remain in the room so that the liquid will cool to room temperature. Remove from the liquid. Drain 10 minutes and weigh. Place in the refrigerator to be scored with hams from (1) and (3).

3. Repeat (1) but put the kettle or boiler in the refrigerator over night, letting the ham cool in the liquor in which it was cooked. Remove from liquid. Drain 10 minutes, and then weigh.

4. Repeat (1) but keep the temperature of the water at 87°C.

5. Repeat (1) but keep the water at 78°C.