About Country Ham
What is country ham?
It’s a common question we get around here. It started many, many decades ago when curing hams and other meats was a necessity. The country ham curing process was developed because people needed a way to preserve their fresh pork in the days without refrigeration. Curing whole hams became an art, much like wagon making or quilting that was passed down from one generation to the next, with each family safely guarding their secrets.
The taste and flavor of their country cured ham was a source of family pride. People didn’t just talk about their hams, they had their neighbors over for a big country ham breakfast including eggs and scratch biscuits, or fried chicken and grits with fried corn, topped off with homemade peach preserves and sorghum molasses with fresh butter from the farm, with the center of the meal being the country ham.
A lot has changed since the early days of curing country ham in barns, but the pride in making the best tasting country ham has not.
In our modern facilities, we still follow the old country curing recipes handed down through our family, and we are still sharing our country hams with neighbors.
Our process today for country cured hams:
- Start with a whole bone-in fresh ham.
- Hand rub it with a mixture of salt, sugar & curing agents. Do it a couple of times to make sure the hams absorbed all of those ingredients while hanging & aging in our temperature-controlled rooms.
- After a few weeks of aging & hanging in winter-like temperatures, we bump up the temperature in those rooms from winter to spring temps.
- And a few weeks after that, we finish the hams aging time in the smoker, plus with a temperature much like a humid, Tennessee summer might feel like outside.
- After around 90 days of aging our hams, cured with the salt mixture and temperature increases, we bring them down from hanging & prepare our delicious country hams to be packaged & ready to be shipped to you.
We hope you are enjoying one or trying one soon!