A Genuine Yorkshire Receipt for Curing Hams and Bacon


  • Pork, 20 stone
  • salt, 20 lbs.
  • saltpetre, 20 oz.
  • sugar, 10 oz.


“Let the swine be put up to fast for twenty-four hours before they are killed (and observe that neither a time of severe frost, nor very damp weather, is favourable for curing bacon). After a pig has been killed and scalded, let it hang twelve hours before it is cut up, then for every stone or fourteen pounds’ weight of the meat, take one pound of salt, an ounce and a quarter of saltpetre, and half an ounce of coarse sugar. Rub the sugar and saltpetre first into the fleshy parts of the pork, and remove carefully with a fork any extravasated blood that may appear on it, together with the broken vessels adjoining; apply the salt especially to those parts, as well as to the shank-ends of the hams, and any other portions of the flesh that are more particularly exposed. Before the salt is added to the meat, warm it a little before the fire, and use only a part of it in the first instance; then, as it dissolves, or is absorbed by the meat, add the remainder at several different times. Let the meat in the mean while lie either on clean straw, or on a cold brick or stone floor: it will require from a fortnight to three weeks’ curing, according to the state of the atmosphere. When done, hang it in a cool dry place, where there is a thorough current of air, and let it remain there until it is perfectly dry, when the salt will be found to have crystallized upon the surface. The meat may then be removed to your store, and kept in a close chest, surrounded with clean outer straw. If very large, the hams will not be in perfection in less than twelve months from the time of their being stored.”

14 to 21 days.