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Braised smoked ham surprise.

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Braised smoked ham surprise.

Jerry_K | Jan 30, 2011 12:28 PM

This is not a recipe, just an observation of braising process or more accurately put, interrupted braising process.
Late this morning I have decided to braise one of smoked hams that I bought last week on special and then remove all the fat and bones and vacuum pact it and freeze it. So, I put the ham in large pot, poured in water half way up, brought it to boil, covered, stuck a thermometer probe half way in and placed in 350°F oven. The normal braising thing, right? Well, after one hour we had to leave the house for about an hour and since I didn’t want to leave the oven on I took the temperature reading. The pot was sitting on a pizza stone that is always in my oven and infrared gun read 365°F and the meat inside was 68°C (the meat was 36°F when I stuck the probe in). When we came back one hour later I repeated measurements and while the pizza stone went down to 228°F (137°F loss) the meat gained astonishing 60°C – 128°F! When I turned the oven back on it was done at 160 °F in less then half hour. That means that even though I cooked it for 2-1/2 hours, oven was on for only 1-1/2 hour, just a bit over half the cooking time. I think that I am up to something here, don’t you think? Right now I’m braising another ham and will try to repeat the process. Why waste natural gas!
Of course it is not a mystery, just simple physics. After all, even though the oven wasn’t on, the ham was still in 220°F water in a pot that was in turn surrounded by hot air and most likely boiling for a long time.

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