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Brine (wet-cure) for fresh ham

Have fresh pork you'd like to turn into ham? Here's how to make it happen!


  • 2 1/4 cups kosher salt
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. pink curing salt
  • 1 Tbsp pickling spice
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 6 quarts water (divided)
  • 7 pounds pork roast (adjust recipe if using more pork)


1. Place salts, sugars, spices, and molasses in large food grade bucket.

2. Bring TWO quarts of the water to a boil and then pour over the dry ingredients in the bucket. Stir to dissolve.

3. Then pour FOUR quarts of cold water into the bucket. Stir until well combined.

4. Carefully place your pork roast(s) in the brine filled bucket. Turn a plate upside down and place on top of pork roasts to keep them completely submerged.

5. The pork needs to brine ONE day for every TWO pounds of pork. (7 lbs of pork = 2.5 days) and needs to be refrigerated that entire time.

6. When brining is completed, you need to rinse the roast(s). You can rinse the pork in cold water for several minutes (saltier ham). Or put pork back into a clean bucket with fresh water and let it sit overnight (less salty ham).

7. Blot ham dry, or dry on racks with a fan.

8. Smoke (electric smoker or smokehouse) until internal recipe reaches 150-160.

9. Don’t have a smoker? The ham should be blotted dry, brushed with liquid smoke, and then baked at 325 for 30 minutes per pound, or until the internal temp of the ham reaches 150 degrees F.