It's easy to go out and buy a cured ham, but it's also easier than you think to cure your own. You can cure a ham using both a dry or wet rub. Dry rub is preferable for most, probably because the wet requires a bucket large enough to hold the ham and such ingredients as pickling salt, Prague No. 1, pickling spice and cloves (see Resources).
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Things you need
- Stiff brush
Buy good-quality hams that don't weigh more than 10.9kg. each. Make sure the hams are fresh and don't have too much fat. Keep the hams chilled below 4.44 degrees C before you cure them.
Gather all your ingredients. For 22.7kg. of ham, you'll need 1.81kg. salt, 0.454kg. sugar and 28.4gr. saltpetre.
Mix the ingredients together well in a large container, and divide the mixture in half.
Cover the ham with half the cure mixture, working it mostly into the surface that doesn't have fat. Rub a thin coat over the parts with fat and skin.
Put the ham back into below-40-degree storage.
Wait six days, then cover the ham with the rest of the mixture on the seventh day.
Return the ham to storage and keep it there for seven days for each pound, less one pound because you've cured it for seven days already.
Put the ham in cold water to soak for an hour after your curing period has ended.
Go over the ham with a stiff brush to get the rest of the mixture off, then let it dry for a few minutes.
Put the cured ham in storage at 10.0 to 15.5 degrees C after it has dried. Leave it there for 14 days to set in the cure and let it shrink. This is when you can smoke your ham if you desire.
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