- This is the directions for smoking Hams, Click on the PRINTABLE DIRECTIONS above for more detailed instructions on brining other meats.
- By meat weight, inject 15% brine. Soak covered with brine for 4-6 days before smoking.
- When meat is 1 1/2” or thicker, inject with a concentrated mixture to get cure into the middle. For injecting, mix 1 package of cure with 2 gallons of water. Add 2-3 Tbsp smoke powder per gallon of brine at this point if you will not be using a smokehouse to cure hams or bacons and desire a smoked flavor.
- Pump the ham or bacon by injecting this concentrated brine into the thickest part of the meat and around the bone until it is at least 15% heavier. (Formula= Weight of meat x 1.15.) The meat should appear pumped up and saturated, and brine will tend to run out as it is pumped in when it is completely injected.
- Add one more gallon of water to the remaining injection mixture and submerge meat. Do not stack it so tight that the meat cuts are not totally surrounded in brine. Twice a day, turn and rotate meat to ensure an even distribution of brining solution. Keep the meat cool (36-40 degrees) while brining. See table below for recommended brining time.
- When meat is fully brined, discard brine and rinse meat off with cold water.
- At this point, a ham can be frozen immediately. It is not considered cured at this point, so it needs to be baked like any fresh meat before eating. If you want a ready-to-eat cured ham, you will want to smoke or bake it as detailed in our Quick Reference Guide.