If you have been contemplating turning that wild pork you harvest into some of the best tasting ham imaginable, follow my instructions below.
by Luke Clayton | Jun 11, 2020 | LIFESTYLE, RECIPES, Slider
Curing and smoking pork is a very simple process that has been practiced for hundreds of years.
As a boy growing up in very rural Red River County in northeast Texas, I remember watching my dad cure and smoke hams from the domestic hogs he raised.
Through the years, the process of curing and smoking pork at home has almost fallen by the wayside, probably because of the convenience of purchasing “store-bought” ham and the simple fact that few people today have access to fresh pork.
Then, a buddy cured a bone-in ham that turned out great. I decided it was time to follow suit and try my hand at an old, well established process that has been in practice in rural America for generations.
Sodium Nitrite is the “cure” compound, and I opted to purchase a curing kit from Butcher Packer Supply that contained the correct amount of the cure, mixed with salt and maple flavored sugar. These kits are widely available and cost only a few dollars. They are simple to use and require no measuring other than the appropriate amount of water to create the brine. You can also mix your own cure to create the brine by mixing the correct amount of sodium nitrite, salt and sugar, but I highly recommend using one of the pre-mixed packets.
If you have been contemplating turning that wild pork you harvest into some of the best tasting ham imaginable, follow my instructions below. You will find the process easy and the finished product worth the effort.
Brine the Ham
Ham in Smoker
The pork from feral hogs usually contains far less fat then that of domestic hogs, thus it tends to be a bit dryer. The “pumping” of the liquid cure throughout the ham helps add moisture to the finished product. To be on the safe side, I always slice and cook any cured ham, whether store bought or the ham I cure at home. We’ve used my home-cured and smoked ham in all sorts of dishes, everything from ham, fried potatoes and onions to seasoning beans and of course, served for breakfast with eggs and potatoes. Cure, smoke, enjoy!