This is an old Canadian Prairie recipe for smoking ham and bacon.
- 50 kg (100 lb) Ham or Bacon
- 4 kg (8 lb) Salt
- 1.5 kg (3 lb) Sugar
- 60 ml (2 oz) Saltpetre
- 16 l (4 gal) of hot water, approximately
Make brine by mixing the salt, sugar and saltpetre in hot water until completely dissolved. Cool the water to the temperature of your meats. Then, place meat in a large barrel, skin side down on the bottom and up on the top.
Pour in the brine until meat is completely covered and add weighted cover to keep the meat submersed. This recipe should take about 28 days to cure. After 7 days, remove your meat. Scald the barrel with boiling water and reload with the a new brine. Make it with 1/3 less ingredients, and the meat. Repeat this process every 7 days for a month, using 1/3 less ingredients in the brine each time.
Store at approximately 5°C (40°F). If stored at too cold a temperature the meat will not take the cure. Too warm the brine will start to ferment, causing the meat to taste sour. After the 28th day remove meat from the brine and allow it to dry.
Place meat in the Bradley Smoker and smoke with Maple flavour bisquettes. If the temperature is 25°C to 30°C (80°F to 90°F) smoke for 3 to 4 days; 40°C to 50°C (100°F to 120°F) smoke for 3 days. Too much heat causes the meat to shrink. Your hams are ready to be cooked.
Note: This recipe is designed for a large smokehouse, however it can be modified for smaller portions of meat that will fit in the Bradley Smoker/Smokehouse.