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Making ham


Fire Starter
Joined Nov 21, 2010
I am starting to research making my own ham. All commercial canned and fresh ham has preservatives in it which can make me very sick. I read a little about making ham which talked about soaking the pork in a brine solution with a "cure" for a couple of weeks at 40F and then smoking. I would like to know if anyone out there has done this and their experiences.

Thank You,



Gone but not forgotten. RIP
OTBS Member
Joined Jul 19, 2010
Put "pops6927 ham" in the search tool and have fun reading how to do it!!

Have a great day!!



Gone but never forgotten.
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jul 23, 2008
Made hams and bacons with wet cure process for many years at my dad's store.  

Essentially, the only ingredients you need to use are:

water, brown sugar, white sugar, salt and cure. 

For every 1 gallon of brine add:

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

1 cup plain salt

1 tablespoon cure no. 1

with hams and pork shoulder picnics you have to pump the brine into the meat so it cures from the inside-out as well as the outside-in, otherwise by the time it gets into the center of the meat it could be spoiled (known as "sour-bone").  That's easily accomplished with a simple brining pump that's not terribly expensive ($29.99).  You can order both the brine pump and the cure from Butcher Packer:

http://www.butcher-packer.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=2_45_231&products_id=25    meat brine pump

http://www.butcher-packer.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=237_12&products_id=56   curing salt

There is also a 'cure no. 2' but that is for fermenting meat under controlled temperatures, like dried sausages, etc.; totally different useage.

At the bottom of this post is a link to my post about making my own ham, recreating the process that my dad did making thousands of hams a year at his store.  It gives instructions on how to trim and pump the ham, letting it cure, smoking it, and preparing it for Easter dinner last year.  Almost time to do another for this year!

No other preservatives are used, only what is in the cure which is what is necessary for the curing process to occur.

Hope this helps and have fun doing it!

BTW, Craig and I grew up together!


Gone but never forgotten.
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Jul 23, 2008
Forgot to add, since having my second stroke, this year I'll be making a lo-salt version and reduce the salt in half.  I've successfully done this with turkeys down as low as 1/3 the amount; but on the ham I'll take it to ½ instead to make sure it cures properly.

Just looked, Easter is April 24 this year so probably March 20 (Sunday, my only day off) I'll have to put down the hog leg into the brine to start the process again, let it cure close to a month and pull it and smoke it the previous Sunday, April 17, for Easter Sunday April 24.  You can cure it 3 weeks vs. 4 but time is on my side so may as well do it completely.

To try it out, you may want to do a picnic first and see if the tasting is to your liking; a much cheaper cut of meat but with similar results.  And, that you can let cure only 2 - 3 weeks as it's smaller.  Of course, I'm refrigerating it while it cures, have a fridge out in the garage just for that purpose.  You can do one in your regular fridge in the bottom crisper as long as it's not cracked so it won't leak, too.  Or, you can do it boneless too.

Don't hesitate to pm me if you have any questions!  We're all here to help!
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