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Make homemade cured ham for many reasons: bragging rights that you actually did it, the ability to flavor your ham any way you want to, and control over the salt content.

Recipe Summary

20 mins
2 hrs 30 mins
2 days 12 hrs
2 days 14 hrs 50 mins


Original recipe yields 16 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist
Optional Glaze:


Instructions Checklist
  • Place kosher salt, brown sugar, pink salt, and pickling spice in a container large enough to hold brine and ham.

  • Bring 2 quarts water to a boil and pour over brine ingredients; whisk to dissolve. Pour in 1 gallon fresh cold water to cool down mixture.

  • Score the skin side of pork roast with a sharp knife, cutting into the fat beneath the skin but not into the meat. Score about 1 inch apart, then score in the opposite direction to get a classic diamond-shaped pattern.

  • Lower roast into brine, skin-side up. Use a plate to weigh down roast, so it cures fully submerged in liquid. Refrigerate for 1 day for every 2 pounds of pork (cure for 2 1/2 days for a 7-pound roast). Turn roast over halfway through the brining process.

  • Remove roast from brining liquid. Discard brining liquid and transfer roast back to the brining container. Cover roast with fresh cold water to rinse off salt; let soak for a few minutes to overnight, depending on how salty you want your ham. Remove roast from water and blot dry with paper towels.

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

  • Add 1 cup water and 2 whole star anise to a roasting pan. Place roast on a rack in the roasting pan.

  • Roast in the preheated oven until ham reaches an internal temperature of 130 to 135 degrees F (55 to 58 degrees C), about 2 hours. Ham will not be fully cooked at this point. If water has nearly evaporated, add a splash more.

  • Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Continue to roast ham until the skin is browned and crispy and the internal temperature reaches 145 to 150 degrees F (63 to 66 degrees C).

  • Make optional glaze: Mix mustard, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and salt together in a bowl. Brush glaze on baked ham. Return roast to the oven for 5 minutes.

Chef's Notes:

Eighteen ounces of kosher salt equals about 2 1/2 cups Morton's kosher salt or 3 2/3 cups Diamond Crystal kosher salt, as they have different size grains.

Once ham is cured, you'll want to give it a soak to rinse off the brine; how long you do this can affect how salty your meat is. I prefer a quick dunk, but you can soak it for as long as 24 hours, producing what I call a low-sodium ham. It's still pink and flavorful but barely salty. Experimentation is the only way to figure out how long to soak it, but I wanted to give you the range.

Nutrition Facts

484 calories; protein 38.8g; carbohydrates 22g; fat 25.6g; cholesterol 127.1mg; sodium 13995.6mg. Full Nutrition