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How to salt cure ham at home has been on my homesteading bucket list for a few years now. Being able to preserve food with old-fashioned techniques, like salt curing pork, is a skill I find as fascinating as I do yummy. Bring me the bacon! And ham!
When Lee from Tennessee Homestead offered to teach me and you how to salt cure a ham I got all kinds of excited. Lee, teach away!
Salt curing ham is an age-old tradition on our homestead. We use a dry rub cure to make the best-tasting hams possible. The salt/sugar mix adds color and flavor to the meat. Additionally, some of our hams will also go into the smoker. But, today I will discuss with you the first part of the process, how to cure pork with a salt dry rub.
Curing hams used to be the best way to preserve pork before there was reliable refrigeration. Curing and smoking pulls the moisture from the ham to make it safe to store at room temperature. We don’t cure for this purpose anymore, but rather to give the ham a great flavor and color.
If you don’t have a fresh ham from your own hog you can find fresh ham at a meat market or packing house. Remember the ham you buy at the grocery has already been cured and/or smoked. A fresh ham is exactly that, a ham fresh from the hog.
This dry rub mix recipe has been in my family and handed down for generations. ~Melissa, does anyone else get giddy over these kind of things? I may be a family recipe addict, doesn’t matter from whose family either. I know those recipes that get handed down are because they’re just that good.
For every 2 cups of curing salt add:
Here on the homestead, cured hams are just one of the products we make from our own hogs. Other products include lard, bacon, ham, ham hocks, sausage and souse meat. If you are unable to raise your own hog many local custom slaughterhouses can help you find a producer you can purchase a hog from so you too can have your own fresh pork and enjoy the process of curing your own meat.
Lee is a writer/blogger who is also a self-reliance promoter. They call her chicken “Mama” at home where she considers herself an expert pitchfork operator. For more self-reliance and homesteading tips from Lee go to Tennessee-Homestead.com