Country cured hams are considered a delicacy and are widely accepted by Georgians. Our forefathers cured country hams during the winter months in order to have a summer supply of meat. Country hams, properly cured, develop a distinct flavor during aging. Modern methods of curing and aging country hams are somewhat different from the methods used 50 to 100 years ago. The loss of meat due to spoilage is much less when it is cured under controlled refrigeration and aged under controlled environmental conditions for uniform quality. With a continued demand for country cured hams, there are more establishments being constructed. Country cured hams and bacon are a major source of income in many rural communities in our state. Cured pork valued at many thousands of dollars is lost each year in Georgia due to improper curing and storage. Refrigeration, either by machinery or from our normal weather conditions in the fall and winter, is essential in a ham curing operation. Sometimes the latter is not dependable and may cause ham spoilage. The method of curing described in this publication can be applied to on-the-farm curing for family use or for commercial ham operations. It is not difficult to cure pork if a few basic principles in curing, salt equalization, and aging are closely observed.
Status and Revision History
Published on Mar 13, 2020