• Yearling

    Hey all, need some help! Got a hog back from slaughter and had the processors cut the hams in half for me, so I now have four 12 pound hams in my freezer. I volunteered to make a ham for Christmas dinner, so I can’t mess it up!
    I won a Bunzl giveaway contest on Facebook for a curing packet and some other items, but the curing packet was busted open in the box. I have a few pounds of cure #1 on hand, and of course water, purified sea salt, and various sugars. For a ham, what is the proper ratio of cure salt to meat by weight, ratio to water? I make bacon several times a year from a fresh belly so if it is the same, I’m golden. But being a thicker, stockier primal, and with a bone, I’m not sure. I’ve been a retail meat cutter for 4 years and have yet to have a customer or coworker ask how to make a ham, so this is virgin territory for me.
    Also, I recalled reading years ago that using juniper berries is fantastic in curing a ham, so I bought some from work and hope to use them somewhere along the line as well if I recalled that information correctly.
    Thanks all!

  • Team Blue

    fallis10 Walton’s makes a great ham cure that we have used several times, Country Brown Sugar. When I used to make my own cure, if I remember correctly, I was using a ratio of about 1:1 Pickling Salt & Sugar or Brown Sugar. I often deuced mine up with Maple Syrple, Muscadine Wine, etc. I would boil the brine first, often times with extra herbs too & then let it cool completely before putting the ham to the brine. I would also inject mine, on top of the brine to help get the brine deeper into the main vein quicker. The brine total amount & time depended on the ham size, but the time was usually about 5 to 8 days, kept ice cold in the refrigerator. Then slow smoked with the woods of your choice. Wishing you the best on your endeavor, I am sure it will work out well.

  • Team Orange Masterbuilt Big Green Egg Dry Cured Sausage Sous Vide Canning Power User

    fallis10 calldoctoday has you heading in the right direction. I use to make my own cures for ham and turkey and have had great luck with the Walton’s ham and turkey cures. I would recommend injecting to get the cure deep into the meat and near the bone. It will speed up the process a bit and get a uniform cure into the meat. Walton’s has some good videos on the whole process.

  • Yearling

    calldoctoday injection was the plan, glad I wasn’t alone in that. I’m trying to make my own curing brine as I already have the large selection of ingredients but I don’t know what ratios for ham. Do you have any advise for that?

  • Team Blue Regular Contributors Traeger Power User Veteran Sous Vide Canning

    fallis10 I use 1/2 cup Kosher salt to 1 gallon of water for my brine, with 1/4 teaspoon per lb. of meat of sure cure. You can use up to 1 cup of salt in the brine, I personally like a less salty ham. I also use 1/2 to 1 cup of brown sugar and then package ham spice. I currently have AC Legg here now. I believe it’s 8 ozs. per gallon. I don’t inject my hams though you can, mine sit in the brine for 14 days, then get rinse and equalize in water for 1 day then off to the smoke.

  • Team Blue

    fallis10 I think johnsbrewhouse has you on the right track. Although, if I recall when I used to make my own before switching to Walton’s, I would do one cup Pickling or Kosher Salt with One cup of Packed Brown sugar to every gallon of water. I sometimes would mix it up a but & substitute some of the liquid for other liquids (not a bunch of whiskey or anything like that, just a bit if you are doing that), sometimes add some other herbs, etc. Boil the liquid with the solids for a few minutes until you get everything broken down as just liquid. Let it cool completely, then add the brine mix to the ham in the bucket. I would inject mine too to help get that brine or other flavors deeper into the meat faster. Brine for 5-8 days & usually about 6-7 is a plenty. Then rinse, dry, & go to smoking.

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