Ham Making Tips How To Make Ham

Published: 07th December 2009
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Of the many available preserved meats, Ham is one of the easiest to make.  Ham has become one of the favorite dinner meats no doubt partly because of how easy it is to cook, serve and keep stored for future cooking opportunities.   Done correctly, making your own ham can save you money, whilst also providing you the opportunity to create your own unique and delicious flavor.
There are many different ways to make ham but here is a simple tried and tested method you can start using to produce ham at home right away.  In a nutshell, you make Ham by soaking a portion of pork, typically the upper portion of the hind legs, in salt brine solution for a length of time which is usually a function of its weight depending and then either cooking and/or smoking it. 

Some people prefer to use the loin or parts of it to make ham.Simple though the process is, it can be ready to eat very quickly or can undergo 'curing' that lasts for months. (Curing is the process that gives ham its pleasing pink color while also protecting from botulism and other disease causing organisms.)

Here's a useful ham making tip worth noting...

Don't freeze the meat you plan to use to make the ham because freezing modifies the cell structure such that the salt brine is not able to be absorbed properly.  The meat you plan to use to make the ham must be able to absorb salt, spices and undergo the curing process. 

A dry rubbing method can be used as well but most people find using liquid brine a far simpler process.

Here's a handy brine recipe:

Brine Recipe
4 litres of Water

1 cup of Pickling Salt

1/4 cup of Sugar

1/3 cup of Prague #1 (Cure)

1 teaspoon of Pickling Spice

1/2 teaspoon of Cloves

Cool the brine to about 40F before placing the meat in it and keep it close to that temperature during the brining process.

The meat is then removed from the brine, rinsed and then placed in water at 170F. Hold the meat there until its internal temperature gets to about 155F, this usually takes about an hour for a fair sized piece of meat.

Cool the ham in cold water for about 30 minutes after cooking and then put in the fridge overnight.

For added flavor you can go on to smoke the ham for anything from 5 to 24 hours.

Remember to store your ham in the fridge after you're done.

Enjoy eating your ham!

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