If you’re reading this, then a holiday is near and as a basic rule of thumb, every pitmaster should learn how to cure a ham at home. The curing process will give your holiday ham rich flavor and make the end product something to drool over.
How to Cure a Ham at Home Video Tutorial
Ingredients for Curing Your Ham
- 1.5 Cups Kosher salt
- 2 Cups Brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp Coriander
- 1 Tbsp Rosemarie
- 1/2 Tbsp Garlic powder
- 1 Tbsp Mustard powder
- /2 Tbsp Onion powder
- 12 cloves
- 1/2 Tbsp Pepper
- 7 tsp Prague powder or Pink salt
Curing your own ham is way easier than some people may think. In reality, there are four simple steps you have to follow.
Trimming Your Ham
Step one, remove the skin from the pork leg. This has to be done carefully, in order to leave as much fat as possible on the ham. Use a sharp knife, and make small, shallow cuts parallel to the meat, until you get the hang of how deep you can go. You can probably ask your meat provider to do this for you.
Making Your Brine
Step two, making the brine. Bring 8 cups of water to a boil, then add the Kosher salt, brown sugar, spices, and most important of all, the curing salt. This last ingredient is what gives the ham its unique taste and texture. When done, add 8 more cups of water and let it cool down so it’s ready to use.
Injecting And Scoring Your Ham
Step three: injecting the ham. Grab your marinade injector and fill it with the brine solution, then inject close to the bone.
For step four, use a sharp knife to score the fat about 1 inch deep. Then place the pork leg in a large enough food safe container or a large pan, and pour the remaining brine over it. Add cold water until the pork is fully submerged.
Now simply place the container in your fridge, and let the brine do its magic for 48 hours!
When ready to smoke, it’s important to use a high quality and reliable meat thermometer to properly measure the internal temperature of your meat because without one you risk the embarrassment of overcooking your ham or mis-timing the completion of you cook.