Many times, new customers ask us what to do with an under-cured ham, how to cure a raw ham at home, or how to know if a ham is properly cured. And we always tell them the same thing: an under-cured ham is not ham, or at the very least, it's a ham of very poor quality.
If unfortunately, you find yourself in this situation, you should know that this type of ham should never reach consumers, so we always recommend returning it and exchanging it for a new one.
But that's something you won't have to worry about if you decide to buy it from Enrique Tomás, as all our products undergo rigorous quality control before reaching your hands.
How to Fix an Under-Cured Ham?
As we mentioned, if your intention is to fix an under-cured ham, the answer is very clear: it cannot be fixed. We can let it dry for a few days as a solution if there is no other remedy, but the solution is to contact the seller as soon as possible.
A ham is not like a fuet, where if it's too soft, you let it dry in the pantry. This comparison causes a lot of confusion, but a ham requires specific temperature and care from the first phase of the process to its arrival in the store.
If the ham is under-cured, it may be a low-quality ham or simply not ready for commercialization. At Enrique Tomás, we do not sell our hams until they are perfectly cured. Some people prefer them less cured, while others prefer them very cured; this is a matter of taste, but undoubtedly, every ham seller must be very clear about when a ham is ready to be sold to the public.
At Enrique Tomás, we have a triple quality control that ensures a ham is at its ideal curing point before it goes on sale. However, it's not an exact science, and nothing is infallible, so if an incompletely cured ham accidentally reaches the customer, our total guarantee comes into play, and we replace it as soon as our customer notices. We strive to prevent it, but if it happens, our customers, both in physical stores and online, can rest assured.
How to Finish Curing a Ham at Home?
Curing is a mechanical salting process performed by a master ham expert. That said, never attempt to cure a ham at home. We advise you to contact the seller as soon as possible. This entire process takes place using containers that automatically turn to facilitate turning the hams.
Depending on this salting and drying process, the pieces will achieve one flavor or another. Furthermore, ham curing occurs in stages. Let's look at them in detail:
- The first stage involves preparing the legs: they are cut, peeled, cleaned, left to rest, and massaged to remove any traces of blood (this is done using specialized machines).
- In the second stage, the pieces are buried in salt to enhance their flavor and prevent bacterial activity. This process may take more or less time depending on the pieces and the desired flavor, but it usually lasts around twelve hours per kilo.
- Next comes a stage of about six months, during which the legs are hung in drying chambers to allow the fat to infiltrate the muscle fibers for some time (between three or four months), and then the temperature is raised slightly, with a slight variation in humidity.
- Finally, the maturation or aging stage arrives, during which it is crucial to ensure that the ham is cured as evenly as possible by greasing the pig's hind legs with lard (between six and thirty months).
How to Tell if a Ham is Cured?
Understanding the importance of ham curing, it's normal for many customers to ask us how to tell if a ham is poorly or properly cured. But the truth is, to know that the ham is just right, you need to perform a tasting process by piercing the ham in three different areas. If, upon removing the core, the smell is somewhat unpleasant, it means the ham hasn't been cured properly.
At Enrique Tomás, we guarantee that a ham that isn't properly cured will never enter our stores. Remember that this information applies whether you're buying an Iberian ham or if you intend to buy a shoulder ham. Here are some of our customers' favorite products:
So, are you ready to try a well-cured ham of the highest quality? You can visit one of our physical stores or buy Iberian ham on our online website.
We'll deliver it to your home at no cost for national orders over 50 euros!