There’s nothing tastier or more satisfying than serving your very own smoked ham for Christmas lunch. Here’s our step-by-step guide to making your own from scratch.
Ingredients & Equipment Required:
- Full Back Leg or Picnic Cut (Front Leg) – uncured
- Brine Pump or Marinade Injector
- Maple Ham Cure
- Large bucket or Food Grade Tub
- Wood Chips or Chunks
- Meat Smoker
- Meat Thermometer
- Space in the fridge!
Curing your Ham:
1. Mix your maple ham cure with water to make the brine. You need approximately 130g of cure per Litre of water. You will need enough brine to completely submerge your ham in your container / tub.
2. Injecting your cure – use your brine pump or injector to inject your ham with cure/brine as deeply as possible. For a proper cure, you need to inject the equivalent of 25% of the weight of the ham. Eg. If your ham weighs 4kg, you need to inject it with 1 litre of cure/brine. Inject the ham all over until it won’t retain anymore brine, make sure you get right along the bone.
3. Completely submerge your ham in the brine, then place it in the fridge to cure. How long you leave it to cure in the fridge will be determined by a) how large your cut of meat is and b) how salty you like your ham. For a rough guide, cure your ham for 24 hours per half kg. So for that 4kg ham, leave it in the fridge to cure for 8 days. Turn every 24 hours. That said, 10 days is usually more than sufficient for any full leg of ham.
4. Remove from the fridge and rinse with fresh water. Soak in a tub of fresh water for 30 mins. Rinse again.
5. Put back in the fridge on a plate / rack uncovered for 24 hours.
Cooking your Ham:
1. Pre-heat your oven or smoker to 120°C. You can cook it slower or faster depending on your preference, but we’d suggest you stick within a range of 100-140°C.
2. If you’re using a smoker, we’d suggest Maple, Apple or Cherry wood chips or chunks
3. Test your internal temperature constantly. Your ham is ready when it is 68°C throughout internally.
4. Allow to cool for 2 hours.
5. Store wrapped in a tea towel or Ham Bag in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.