My Step-by-Step Guide to Quickly Curing Ham with Morton Tender Quick

As a busy mom who loves hosting holiday meals, being able to cure my own ham at home is a huge time saver. But traditional wet curing can take weeks or even months. That’s why I rely on Morton Tender Quick to shortcut the process while still achieving delicious cured ham flavors.

In this article I’ll walk through my simple method for using Morton Tender Quick to cure a whole ham in just days instead of months. With just a few basic supplies you’ll be amazed at the “country-style” ham you can easily make yourself.

Why Use Morton Tender Quick to Cure Ham?

Morton Tender Quick is a proprietary blend of curing salts designed specifically for quick curing of pork and poultry. Here’s why it’s my go-to for curing ham at home:

  • It’s fast – Cures in just days instead of weeks or months like traditional methods. Perfect for making holiday hams on a short schedule.

  • Adds great flavor – The natural nitrites and sodium give ham that characteristic cured meat taste.

  • Tenderizes – It helps break down muscle fibers for super tender and juicy results.

  • It’s easy – No complicated ingredient measuring or timing. Just follow package instructions.

  • Convenient – Sold at most grocery stores so no special shopping trips needed.

While you can certainly do traditional wet curing, Morton Tender Quick offers a shortcut for delicious cured ham in a fraction of the time.

Step 1 – Buy Supplies for Curing Ham

Curing a ham at home requires just a few basic supplies:

  • Morton Tender Quick (2-3 cups per 10 lbs of meat)
  • Cheesecloth
  • Non-reactive container for curing
  • Fresh pork leg or butt (optimally 10-15 lbs)
  • Meat injector
  • Digital thermometer
  • Spices like brown sugar, garlic, pickling spice (optional)

It’s also helpful to have food prep gloves, plastic wrap, and a shallow roasting pan, but not mandatory.

Step 2 – Prepare and Inject Ham

Proper prep is key to successful curing. Follow these steps:

  • Trim ham of skin and excess fat leaving about 1/4 inch fat.
  • Make a curing mix of 1 cup Tender Quick, 1 Tbsp brown sugar, and spices per 5 lbs of meat.
  • Inject ham thoroughly with curing mix using a meat injector. Target areas around the bone.
  • Liberally massage remaining curing mix all over the outside of ham.
  • Wrap ham tightly in cheesecloth and place in a non-reactive container.

Injecting the curing brine deep into the meat speeds up curing time and improves flavor.

Step 3 – Cure Ham in the Refrigerator

Once injected and packed in cure, the ham needs to cure in the fridge:

  • Place wrapped ham in a shallow roasting pan or large bowl.
  • Cure in the fridge for 5-7 days based on ham size. Flip daily.
  • Drain and add any accumulated liquid back to ham daily to ensure it stays moist.
  • The meat will firm up and darken as it cures – this is normal.

Curing in the fridge prevents bacteria growth and allows the cure to work its magic.

Step 4 – Rinse and Smoke the Ham

After curing comes the fun part – smoking! Follow these tips:

  • Rinse ham and pat dry. Discard cheesecloth.
  • Apply preferred seasoning like black pepper, brown sugar, or maple syrup.
  • Smoke at 225°F until internal temp reaches 145°F, about 4-6 hours.
  • Glaze ham during last hour to add shine and flavor.
  • Rest ham at least 30 minutes before slicing.

Smoking gives the ham its characteristic flavor, color, and crust. Use your preferred wood like apple, cherry, or hickory.

Quick Glaze Options for Smoked Ham

Glazing adds tons of flavor and visual appeal. Here are some easy glaze ideas:

  • Maple & Mustard – Mix 1 cup maple syrup with 1/4 cup Dijon mustard and brush over ham.

  • Cherry Cola – Boil 1 cup cola, 1/2 cup cherry preserves and 1 Tbsp horseradish and reduce to a glaze.

  • Spicy Honey – Simmer 1/2 cup honey, 3 Tbsp hot sauce, 1 tsp cayenne.

  • Orange & Herb – Whisk 1/2 cup orange marmalade and 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary and coat ham.

Get creative with your own glaze flavors or use the packet if your ham came with one!

Serving and Storing Cured Ham

Your Morton Tender Quick cured ham is ready to serve! Here are some storage tips:

  • Let ham rest 30 minutes before slicing to allow juices to set.

  • Carve thin slices across the grain for tender morsels.

  • Store leftover ham sealed in fridge for 5-7 days.

  • Wrap tightly in freezer bags and freeze for 2-3 months.

  • Add diced ham to soups, omelets, pasta bakes, and more.

With my simple process using Morton Tender Quick, you can easily cure savory, tender holiday hams at home with way less time and effort than traditional methods.

How To Cure A Ham


Can you use Tender Quick to cure ham?

Morton’s Tender Quick is a fast cure salt meant to be mixed in with ground meats or used for curing thinner cuts (or fish). Hams must be brined for days in order for the salt solution to penetrate deeply through the flesh and prevent spoilage.

How do you use Tender Quick for brine?

For brine curing, dissolve 1 cup Tender Quick in 4 cups water. Place meat in brine, refrigerate and allow to cure for 24 hours.

What is the best way to cure a ham?

Refrigerate the ham in the brine for 2-4 days for the best ham curing results (we recommend one day for every 2 lbs. ). After 4 days, remove the ham from the brine, and soak in cold water for 2 hours, changing out cold water after 1 hour.

How many days does it take to salt cure a ham?

Allow the hams to cure 2-1/2 days per pound of ham. If the hams freeze during curing, allow one additional day for each day they are frozen.

Can Morton tender quick cure a ham?

The curing process is very rewarding but can take a long time. It is easy to see why you might not have time for your cuts of meat to be ready! Don’t miss out by using Morton Tender quick to cure your ham. Curing a ham at home is now easier and quicker than ever. Here’s what you need to know about curing ham with Morton Tender Quick.

What is the best cure for a severe pulled hamstring?

Severe Hamstring pollued can be cured with Rest the leg. Ice your leg to reduce pain and swelling. Compress your leg. Elevate your leg on a pillow when you’re sitting or lying down.

How to cure a ham with tender quick?

Ideally, curing ham with tender quick can be done with two distinct methods. The first is with dry curing the ham, while the second is with the use of a brine solution. Here is a step-by-step guide to using both methods. Method 1. Dry Curing Ham With Morton Tender Quick

How do you smoke a Morton tender Ham?

The final step when curing with Morton Tender Quick! – Remove from the refrigerator and take off the wrap. – Rinse off any remaining cure mixture with tap water. – Set your smoker to a temperature of 225°F. – Insert a clean temperature probe into the middle of the cured ham. – Smoke the ham until it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F.

Leave a Comment