How to Make a Sugar Cure for Curing Pork

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Things You'll Need

  • 4 lbs non-iodized salt

  • 2 lbs maple sugar

  • 2 tbsp. paprika

  • 2 oz. saltpeter (optional)

  • Large mixing bowl

  • Large storage jar

Sugar curing creates a traditional ham flavor

Sugar curing is a method of preserving pork that also imparts a sweet flavor to the meat. A traditional sugar cure uses light or dark brown sugar, but you can also try other types, such as maple sugar, for a different flavor. You can also add spices, such as red pepper or paprika to deepen the flavor and add color to the ham. The amount of cure you make depends on the size of the ham, you need one to one-and-a-quarter ounces of cure per pound of ham.


Step 1

Mix the salt and sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Stir until they are completely blended.

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Step 2

Add the paprika and saltpeter to the salt and sugar mixture. Stir until they are completely blended.

Step 3

Spoon or pour the curing mixture into a large airtight jar or plastic container. Store the curing mixture in a cool, dry place for up to six months, or until ready for use.


This recipe makes enough curing mixture for a 10-pound ham. If maple sugar is not available, use the more traditional light or dark brown sugar.


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