Dry Curing Very Large Hams

Discussion in 'Curing' started by tennec, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. So we bought a couple weaner piglets back in March 2014, and finally slaughtered our barrow male a few days ago. He weighed 580 pounds. Needless to say, the hams are massive. One ham is in the mid 40lb range and the other is almost 50lbs. During process, the skin collar was cut back a bit to expose more collar fat and meat. This is our first time raising meat pigs and curing our own meat.  

    I purchased two 7.5lb bags of Mortons Smoked flavor Sugar cure and plan on mixing in some black and cayenne pepper.

    My plan is to pack on the recommended amount of sugar cure, pack some under the skin around the hock and in around the bone.

    At 1.5 days per pound, I'm looking at about a 75+ day cure.  I'm in middle Tennessee, and this year, we're not getting  many cold days so I'm worried about the temp. Way too many winter days in the 50s for my liking.

    Will hams this size finish curing properly? Can anyone provide any tips for ensuring I get a good cure on such large hams?

    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
  3. mr t 59874

    mr t 59874 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the forum

    Last year I dry cured several hams trying to replicate the original " Country Cured Ham " as was done in your area of the country years ago.  The results were mixed.  They were from what some thought to be very good to sour, but none met my taste expectations which may have been influenced by the time and effort put forth. 

    Although I have some pics to add to the thread, the following was the process used.

    Country Cured Ham - From Go to Show: Q/View - Updated 6/10/13

    In short, I would strongly recommend that you inject the proper amount of brine around the bones to prevent souring.

    It is my feeling that "Nothing ventured, nothing gained" thus you have to be willing to accept failure as I did on a couple hams.

    If you have any questions, please ask.

    Have fun and good luck.


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