Curing Hams

I’ve made good use of my ‘homemade’ hot smoker and have just finished a cold smoker. I was talking to Catfish the other day and he was telling me he thought his dad cured his hams before he smoked them. After a little research as to how the Amish cured hams before smoking them, I came up with the following suggestions. We’ll have to adjust the ingredients to a more usable amount, but here’s my findings.

100 lbs ham
3 oz saltpeter
1 pt fine quality salt
1/2 lb brown sugar

Mix the saltpeter, salt and brown sugar thoroughly and rub over the hams and let stand for 24 hours. Then rub the hams with

2 pt fine salt
1/8 lb black pepper

After doing the above, let stand for 5 days and then rub the hams again with more fine salt. Set aside for 30 days. At the end of the 30 days, hang the hams up and brush off the salt. Smoke the hams with your choice of a good wood for 10 days. At the end of the 10 days of smoking, rub the entire ham with red pepper. Wrap the hams carefully in brown paper. Place the wrapped hams in muslin bags and hang up with the hocks down. Hams prepared this way will keep indefinitely with the flavor and quality improving with time.

Keep your fork


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