Our story of curing ham that has led us to being in business for 65 years! And we'll give a little behind the scenes about our process. Our story begins in the 1800's when our Founder's Mother, Hulda, traveled to the U.S. with her expertise in curing ham and the family recipes. Curing ham was a way of life, not a future business!
When E.M. Burger first began the process of curing ham & sharing them with more than just his family, he would start by taking a fresh ham and applying a mixture of salt & sugar to the ham. After making sure the ham was fully coated, the ham was wrapped tightly with paper & hung in the small barn, called The Ham House. The curing ham aged through winter, spring and then finally emerged as temperatures began to warm and the ham curing process was finished - delivering a flavor & taste that was celebrated and not easily replicated!
Curing Ham - Original Ham House
As the decades have progressed, one thing that's stayed the same - is the Burger Family attention to detail and an unwavering quality of our products - which means a traditional ham curing method is still in place today.
More about our Ham Curing process...
We take a Fresh Ham - Ham Shank intact - and we expertly hand rub our salt, sugar and seasonings dry rub mixture all over the ham. Immediately after adhering the mixture, we wrap the ham in butcher paper and use netting to tie it up to a wooden rack.
Curing Ham - Hanging Hams
We then age the ham for several weeks in an area with a temperature, near that of an average Missouri winter. After those weeks & days, we "shuck" the ham or remove it from it's white paper and apply only a net for the rest of its ham curing days. We hang the ham back up on the wooden racks and next age the hams in spring like conditions. After spring - you guessed it - summer. Depending on the type of ham we are creating will dictate exactly how many weeks and days, we allow it develop it's bold flavor.
Once a ham is done aging, a.k.a. developing it's flavor, the cured ham is either sold whole or portioned to meet our customer's expectations. After deciding whole or portioned, one can choose from a fully cooked ham, one of our smoked hams or a ham from our Attic Aged Country Ham collection.
Curing Ham - Cured and Aged Ham
Although you can try your hand at curing meats at home, we would advise allowing us to do it for you. We have a team of curing experts - here daily to make sure your future ham is curing properly and will have a flavor & taste you love! We take an artisanal approach to curing hams and bacon and you can check out our full selection on our website or give us a call to talk to one of our Burgers' Smokehouse customer care experts to find the perfect one for you!