Storage & Preparation Tips
Aged 3-6 months, your Smithfield country ham requires no refrigeration prior to cooking. For peak flavor, prepare within 2 months of purchase. Store by hanging in cool, dry place. If stored longer, ham will continue to dry and become more intensely flavored.
Smithfield Country Ham Preparation
Mold on skin of an aged ham is natural and harmless. Remove by washing with hot water and stiff brush. Can be soaked in hot water overnight to remove salt. If you soak your ham, be sure to change water before cooking.
After washing & soaking, place ham in large pan and fully submerge in cold water. Bring water to slow SIMMER (not boil) and maintain for 20-25 minutes per pound (e.g., approximately 5 hours for 12 lb. ham) or until meat thermometer shows internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit . Add water as needed to keep ham covered. When fully cooked, remove ham from pan and, while still warm, remove skin and trim fat to 1/4” thickness. After skin removal and fat trimming; rub 1 cup of glaze (or brown sugar) over ham; score fat in diamond pattern; and stud with whole cloves. Bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes, or until lightly browned.
Baking (alternate cooking method)
After washing & soaking ham, place ham in pan with tight-fitting lid. Pour 5 cups of water over ham, place lid firmly on pan and place in pre-heated oven at 500 degrees Fahrenheit. After 15 minutes, turn off oven. DO NOT OPEN OVEN. In 3 hours, re-heat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Bake for 15 minutes, and turn off oven again. (DO NOT OPEN.) Leave ham in oven overnight, or until oven is completely cool. Finally, take ham out of pan, remove skin and trim fat to 1/4” thickness. Glaze ham, if desired.
Cut UNCOOKED ham into slices no more than 1/8” thick, wash and trim off skin. Place in skillet with 1/3 cup water. Parboil until water is gone. Cook slices over medium heat until slightly browned. Avoid overcooking, as this will cause ham to become tough. Frying tends to intensify the flavor of aged ham.
Remove fried slices to platter. To skillet drippings, add ¾ cup water or water/coffee mixture. Bring to boil and serve with ham slices.