What is the curing process?
That is when salt, sugar, pepper and other ingredients are hand rubbed onto the fresh hams. This is done twice during the first 40 days the hams are in refrigeration.
What is the aging process?
After the first 40 days the hams are hung in refrigeration for an additional 30-40 days. During this time the hams continue to cure, and will be ready for the heat process. They will continue to hang, but refrigeration is no longer needed, heat is then applied. This is the final stage before the hams are ready to be sold.
Where is the best place to store your Country Ham?
A cooked country ham should be refrigerated and wrapped to prevent drying out. Cooked hams can be refrigerated for up to 3 months or frozen for future use. An uncooked / unsliced ham can be stored in a cool dry place for up to a year. Keep in mind however the uncooked ham will continue to age and the longer you have it, the dryer and saltier it becomes.
How long can I store your Country Ham?
If you have an uncooked ham, you can store it in a cool dry place as long as you would like, just keep in mind that it will continue to age. This means that the ham will continue to lose moisture and become very salty and very dry. If you have a cooked ham and it is still vacuum sealed airtight, we recommend refrigerating it after receiving but definitely after opening it. Once opened, it can last in the refrigerator up to 3 months. We do recommend sealing it if possible or freezing it in increments that you can pull out and use again later. It will start to turn brown and form salt crystals the longer you have it open unsealed just from air getting to it. This does not mean that it is bad.
What is the difference between the cooked and uncooked ham?
The uncooked ham is fully cured and can be eaten as prosciutto or sliced into steaks for frying. A cooked ham has been heated to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, then wrapped and refrigerated to maintain moisture. We do not soak our hams prior to cooking.
How do you warm or prepare a cooked ham?
Heat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the ham hourly to see if it has reached desired temperature. Keep in mind that it does not need to reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit as the product has already been fully cooked, you just want to warm it. You may wish to apply brown sugar prior to heating to help keep the ham from drying out.
Should country cured hams that show signs of mold be discarded?
NO! DO NOT DISCARD your ham. The mold can be scrubbed off with a brush and cold water before cooking. It is a typical characteristic to cured hams and not harmful to the ham.