Corned Ham Recipe

| January 7, 2018 | 18 Comments

Corned Ham recipe, as seen on Taste of Southern.
Follow our complete, step-by-step, photo illustrated recipe to make this delicious, old southern favorite, Corned Ham. We’ll salt and brine a fresh ham for eleven days, then roast it in the oven to bring back the great flavors of the past. Printable recipe included.


Corned Ham recipe, slider.
How To Make Corned Ham recipe.

If you love what we call Country Ham, you’re going to love Corned Ham. It’s got a unique salty flavor that comes from the fact that it goes through a short cure process of a salt brine that takes 11 days to complete.

Your typical smoked Country Ham will go through a cure process that takes several months, up to several years before it’s cooked and served.

I don’t really have any memories of Mama or Daddy ever making a Corned Ham, but after tasting it, I realized that it seemed to be something I had tasted before. Since we raised our own hogs for numerous years while I was growing up, it’s highly likely that Daddy would have made a Corned Ham and that I just wasn’t aware of it.

While watching the Christmas Special for a program on PBS called “A Chef’s Life,” back around 2016, I became aware of the Corned Ham and knew I wanted to try it.

Just a few days later, I discovered that a grocery store about 30 miles away was advertising them for sale. Seems they only have them right around Thanksgiving and Christmas. I purchased a ham shank that had been corned and cooked it that year. It was a bit salty, more so in some parts than others, but I recalled the taste from years past. I knew that I wanted to make one next.

I must give credit to Chef Bill Smith from Crooks Corner restaurant, up the road from me in Chapel Hill, NC for the recipe and instructions. Bill talked about making a Corned Ham during the above mentioned Christmas special. He serves corned ham at his restaurant from around Christmas to Easter each year.

I also found a recipe for a Boiled Corned Ham in a cookbook (1986) entitled “Old Carolina Tobacco Country,” that I purchased at an auction some time back.

The book didn’t tell how to actually make the corned ham, but it said older folks use to boil the hams in a black, cast iron wash pot. Once done, it was removed from the water and then collards would be cooked in the same water.

Just remember, you need a FRESH ham to begin with. Smoked, cured, or cooked hams will not do. Check with your local butcher. If they don’t have one already, perhaps they can order one for you. Also, try to get one that wasn’t previously frozen.

Basically, you rub a fresh ham with salt, then cover and refrigerate it for 11 days. You remove it about every four days to drain off any liquid, rub on a bit more salt, then return it to the refrigerator. After 11 days you rinse the salt away, cover the ham with water and soak it overnight. It’s ready to cook after that.

So, I trust we’ve caught your interest as well. I’ve adapted this recipe slightly. Bill suggests removing the cover and letting it brown for an hour at a slightly higher temperature, but I didn’t think mine needed to go that long. Thirty minutes seemed enough for what I cooked and it was still browned nicely.

This was my first attempt at making one of my own and I was really pleased with how it turned out. I think you will be too should you decide to make one.

Ready to give it a try?  Alright then, let’s get in the kitchen, and… Let’s Get Cooking.


Corned Ham recipe, you'll need these two ingredients.
Old Fashioned Corned Ham, you’ll need these ingredients.

You must start with a FRESH ham. You can not use a smoked or cooked ham, it has to be fresh. If you can’t find one at your local grocer, ask if they can order one for you.

It’s best to use one around 15-20 pounds in weight if possible, and one that hasn’t been previously frozen. The only one I could get weighed in at a whopping 25lbs. A bit larger than I wanted, but I went ahead and purchased it.


Corned Ham recipe, rinse the ham under cold water.
Rinse the ham under cold running water.


Corned Ham recipe, trim away any excess fat or skin.
Trim away any excess fat or skin. You’ll be able to tell what should be removed once you start looking. Sometimes you’ll find a flap that is connected at one end to the ham and sort of just laying over on the rest of the meat. Remove and discard it.


Corned Ham recipe, the skin side.
This is the skin side of the ham. Note the larger fat pieces that I’ve already trimmed away on the left of the photo. We’ll leave the skin on, removing only any flaps that might have been left on when processing the ham.


Corned Ham recipe, pat dry with paper towels.
Pat the ham dry with some paper towels.


Corned Ham recipe, find the three incision points.
Locate the incision points.

There are three points on the ham that you will need to cut an incision in. They are all right next to a bone and are pointed out in the photo above.

You’ll place an incision right beside the bone in the hock end pictured on the left and next to the two bones that are visible on the rounded end.

Each incision will be about three inches wide and as deep as your knife wants to go, which would be about 6 to 8 inches.


Corned Ham recipe, incision point one.
Use a sharp knife and cut right next to the bone visible on the rounded end. Cut it about three inches wide, and as deep as your knife will go, basically about 6 inches deep.

We’re going to pack these incision points with salt to help brine the ham.


Corned Ham recipe, incision point two.
Incision point two is a little further down on the rounded side.

Again, cut it about three inches wide and about six inches deep.


Corned Ham recipe, incision point three.
Incision point three is on the “hock” end of the ham. Cut between the bone and the skin, as there isn’t much meat at this point. Try not to cut the skin as you do this so it will hold the salt when applied.


Corned Ham recipe, pack with salt.
Pack the incision points with a good amount of the salt. Just keep adding it and pressing it into the incision as it fills up. The salt will begin to dissolve immediately, so just keep working it in until the incision is filled with salt. Do this at all three points.


Corned Ham recipe, pack it full.
Pack each incision point full of salt.


Corned Ham recipe, add salt to the outside.
Sprinkle a coating of salt on the outside of the ham.


Corned Ham recipe, coat well with salt.
Use your hand to rub the salt all over the ham.

You don’t want to pack it on thick, just make sure you have it fully coated.

Flip it over and rub salt all over the skin side as well. It will not stick to the skin as easily as to the meat side, but do your best and coat the skin side too.


Corned Ham recipe, place in a non-reactive pan.
Place the salted ham in a NON-REACTIVE PAN.

You must use either glass, stainless steel, or some type of non-reactive pan. I’m using a stainless steel restaurant type pan for this one.

The salt will eat away at aluminum so be sure you aren’t using that or anything else that isn’t considered non-reactive.


Corned Ham recipe, cover with plastic wrap first.
Wrap the whole thing in plastic wrap.


Corned Ham recipe, cover with aluminum foil.
Then, wrap that in aluminum foil.

If you don’t use the plastic wrap first, the salt will quickly eat through the aluminum foil and could add some undesired tastes and chemicals to your ham. You don’t want that to happen. Smile.


Corned Ham recipe, place in the refrigerator for eleven days.
Place the wrapped pan in your refrigerator for 11 days.

The ham needs to be refrigerated so the salt can do it’s thing to brine out the ham.

You will need to check this every four days to drain off any liquid that will be produced and to lightly apply more salt to the ham as follows.

DAY 4: Drain off any liquid that has accumulated in the bottom of the pan. Apply a light coat of salt to the outside of the ham, and a little more salt into the three incision points. You don’t need to pack them full, just add a couple of more Tablespoons of salt.

DAY 8: Repeat the same process as on day 4.

Day 12: Remove the ham from the pan. Rinse well, soak in water for 24 hours prior to cooking.


Corned Ham recipe, on day four.
Here’s what to expect on Day Four.


Corned Ham recipe, drain off the liquid.
The salt will pull liquid from the ham. Just drain this off as best you can.


Corned Ham recipe, add a little more salt.
Add a little more salt and rub it all over the ham once again. Place a couple of Tablespoons of salt inside each incision that was made.


Corned Ham recipe, cover and return to the refrigerator.
Cover the ham once again with plastic wrap, then with foil.

I did completely remove the plastic wrap and foil so I could drain off the liquid and add more salt. I placed a clean layer of plastic wrap but was able to reuse the foil.


Corned Ham recipe, repeat the process for day eight.
Repeat the same process on Day 8.

Drain off any liquid. Apply another thin layer of salt to the outside and another couple of Tablespoons to the incisions that were cut into the ham at the beginning.


Corned Ham recipe, on day 12.
After being in the salt brine for 11 full days, we can now proceed with the next step.


Corned Ham recipe, remove from the pan after eleven days.
This is what to expect after 11 days in salt.

The meat will have a darker color at this point, but that’s not a problem.


Corned Ham recipe, rinse out the salt pockets.
Rinse out the salt pockets.

Use cold running water as you open the incisions where you placed the salt. Rinse these places out really good to remove any excess salt.


Corned Ham recipe, rinse out the salt pockets.
You’ll find that the meat has pulled back away from the bone and “pockets” have formed where you made the incisions. Again, rinse these out really well.


Corned Ham recipe, rinse out all three pockets.
Rinse out all three of the pocket areas where you placed salt.


Corned Ham recipe, rinse all over.
Rinse the outside of the ham really good too.


Corned Ham recipe, rinse the skin side.
Flip it over and rinse any salt off of the skin side.


Corned Ham recipe, soak overnight in water.
Place the whole ham in a food safe container. Cover with water.

Refrigerate overnight.

You’ll need a large container for this part. I’m using a 22qt food safe plastic container like we used in the restaurant business. It still wasn’t large enough for me to completely submerge my ham in water. I had about 8 inches of the hock end of the ham that didn’t get covered with water. I did fill the pocket at that end with water, so I think that helped a bit.

You’ll still need something non-reactive for this, so select wisely.

Fill this container with cold water, covering the ham, and place this in the refrigerator for 24 hours. This will help remove some of the salt so the ham will not be too salty to consume.


Corned Ham recipe, remove from water.
After the ham has soaked overnight, remove it from the water and rinse it once again.


Corned Ham recipe, place ham on cooking grate.
Place the ham on a roasting rack and in a large roasting pan.

I’m using the same pan that I used to brine the ham and a small wire rack that I had available.

If you have a roasting pan large enough to hold your ham, you’ll be doing good. Better than me for sure. Smile.

They do make larger pans like this but I don’t have one of those. Restaurant pans aren’t cheap. I actually borrowed this one from my brother since he had a couple on hand. It would have been even better if I had a lid for it.


Corned Ham recipe, cover the ham.
The ham needs to be covered while it’s in the oven. A simple tent of foil would suffice, but I wrapped mine up tight.

It IS aluminum foil, and there was still enough salt on the ham to actually eat a few pinholes in the foil after it stayed in the oven and cooked. Not really desireable, but sometimes you have to improvise. Smile.


Corned Ham recipe, time and temp.
Place the ham in a oven that has been preheated to 325F degrees.

The ham will need to cook at this temperature for about 20 minutes per pound.

That means my 25lb ham, will need to cook for about 500 minutes. (20min x 25lbs = 500 minutes) Divide the 500 minutes by 60 minutes per hour, and the ham will cook for 8+ hours. Whew, that’s a long time. Just plan accordingly.


Corned Ham recipe, six hours later.
This is what it looks like six hours later.


Corned Ham recipe, six hour temp.
The temp was showing part of the ham was done, but not the thickest parts.

I always suggest that you use a good digital thermometer to check for doneness.  They are much more accurate and will generally give you a reading in just a second or two.


Corned Ham recipe, save the liquid.
We’re going to want to save this liquid to make some gravy for sure.


Corned Ham recipe, roast uncovered.
Remove the foil once your ham is almost done.

Return it to the oven, uncovered, and let it brown for about 30 more minutes.


Corned Ham recipe, brown the outside.
This is after about 7 hours of cooking.

At this point, the outside was browned and crispy. Maybe a bit too crispy for my personal taste.

However, I let the ham cool and placed it in the refrigerator overnight again before I cut it. The outside wasn’t as hard after that, so all turned out well for me.


Corned Ham recipe, enjoy.


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Corned Ham recipe, as seen on Taste of Southern.

Corned Ham Recipe

  • Author: Steve Gordon
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 7 hours
  • Total Time: 7 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: Varies according to size.
  • Category: Main Dish, Pork
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


Follow our complete, step-by-step, photo illustrated recipe to make this delicious, old southern favorite, Corned Ham. We’ll salt and brine a fresh ham for eleven days, then roast it in the oven to bring back the great flavors of the past.



  • 1520lb Fresh Ham
  • 2lb Kosher Salt, approximately, as needed.


  1. Rinse ham well under cold running water.
  2. Pat dry with paper towels.
  3. Trim away excess fat and skin pieces.
  4. Cut incisions next to the three bones. About 3 inches wide, as deep as your knife will go.
  5. Pack incisions with kosher salt, pressing it in deep, packing until full.
  6. Place salted ham in a non-reactive pan. Glass or stainless steel is preferred.
  7. Cover with clear plastic wrap.
  8. Cover again with aluminum foil.
  9. Refrigerate for 11 days, turning about every four days and draining away any liquids in pan.
  10. On day 12, remove from refrigerator.
  11. Rinse off all the salt, making sure to rinse away the salt inside the three pocket areas.
  12. Place ham in large container, cover ham with water, let soak overnight in the refrigerator.
  13. Remove from water, rinse again.

Pre-heat oven to 325F degrees when ready to cook.

  1. Place ham on wire rack in a large roasting pan. Cover with lid or foil.
  2. Roast at 20 minutes per pound in 325F degree oven or until done.
  3. Internal temperature should reach 165F degrees to be done.
  4. Remove cover, raise heat to 350F, and let brown for 30 minutes during last part of cooking process.
  5. Slice and serve warm.
  6. Enjoy.


Leftovers may be refrigerated for 5-6 days, or frozen and stored for up to 6 months for best results.

Keywords: Corned Ham Recipe, old fashioned corn ham, bill smith, crooks corner, our state magazine, southern recipes


Your Comments:  Have you ever tried Corned Ham? Ever made one? I’d love to hear your comments on our recipe.  It will only take a minute or two for you to share your comments in the section below. Remember, all comments are moderated.  That just means that I personally read each and everyone before they are approved for viewing on our family friendly website. Thank you in advance for sharing.

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Be Blessed!!!


Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Category: Main Dishes, Pork

About the Author ()

Award Winning Food Preservationist, Fisherman, Author of three cookbooks. "From Mama's Big Oval Table, From Mama's Big Oval Table - BOOK TWO and Carolina Christmas Sweets and Appetizers." Online Contributor to Our State Magazine Newsletter.

Comments (18)

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  1. Joyce Valley says:

    Mama always boiled corned ham on stove top and I’ve always done the same. I bought a half corned ham that weighs 8.2 pounds and think I’ll boil it at least 2 1/2 to 3 hours. I’ll check to see if it done and go from there. They make the best sandwiches!

  2. Chuck Overman says:

    Great article

    Curious how you recommend warming to serve later.

    It helps to soak Charlie C’s version overnight before roasting

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Chuck, You could wrap the amount you need to warm up in some aluminum foil and place it in the oven at about 350F degrees for a few minutes. Or, just be brave and microwave a few slices for a few seconds. You only want to get it warm and not continue cooking it. I do love to shop at Carlie-C’s, but we don’t have one here in our little town. Thank you for your visit. I hope you’ll visit with us again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  3. Peggy Kennedy says:

    Very interesting, I never heard of this ham.

  4. Sharon Lentz says:

    My late husband’s grandmother always had a corned ham for Thanksgiving and Easter. Thank you for the recipe.

  5. Nancy Schwabacher says:

    Thank you, Steve for the corned ham recipe. I saw that our local “Food Lion” had them today. Your recipe is well detailed and easy to follow. Thanks again.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Nancy, I’m glad you were able to find a Corned Ham. Not a lot of stores seem to carry them these days. It takes a little time and effort to make one at home, but maybe you’ll give it a try sometime. Thank you for your visit. I do hope you’ll visit with us often. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  6. Janet Birch says:

    I am originally from St.Mary’s County MD.
    I have stuffed a corned ham before. But purchaced it at the Food Lion in Chesapeake, Va. and ordered it before that. I used to stuff hams during the holidays to help with the preperations of the food. For a stuffed ham we only used a corned ham ONLY A CORNED ham.It was up to 25 pounds as well and we stuffed it with greens St.Mary’s County MD style. I ordered a corned ham locally but it turned out to be fresh. I will never go back there either. So if I have to drive a distance of a 4 hour drive for my stuffed ham this year I will.My husband is deathly allergic to mustard or anything pertaining to it so we used kale, cabbage onions and we went lightly on the cracked and ground red pepper. (We preferr ours mild.) We put in salt and pepper and I use some sugar to sweeten the red pepper burn. I wrap it in cheesecloth after cutting holes in the ham and stuffing it with the greens and spices. It is a wonderful recipe I had the delight in growing up with all my life. Now that Ilive in NC and am getting older I will have to teach my son this culinary art. Mom and Dad made stuffed ham and Turkey every holiday season and even Easter to spend time with grown children and grandchildren. Any questions just reply.

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Janet, Thank you for sharing your story with us. I had never heard of this stuffing of corned hams until another reader mentioned it once and I had to look it up to learn more. It was interesting, but I’ve never tried to make one that way myself. I understand it’s very popular up around Maryland and other areas. Just shows how much different we can all be. Smile. You don’t mention what part of North Carolina you’re in. We have a small chain of old fashioned grocery stores around our area called Carlie C’s. They have been making and selling corned hams for years around Christmas time. I bought one of theirs and tried it before I ever actually made this one. You might want to see if there is a store near you. Just a thought. Thank you for your visit. I do appreciate you taking the time to write and share your comments. I hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  7. Frank Strasburger says:

    Steve, your “Instructions Section” says to cook ham at 350⁰ for 20 minutes/LB. Yet in dialogue section above Instructions, you say to cook at 325⁰ for 20 minutes/LB. Which temperature did you use???
    Also, your 25 LB fresh ham was done after 7 hours which is 17 minutes/LB. (you originally estimated 8+ hours or 20 minutes/LB). Please advise.
    Thank you so very much for your help.

    Deuteronomy 6:4-9 & Joshua 24:15

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Frank, The ham cooks at both temperatures. It cooks first and for the most part at 325F degrees while covered. Then, during the last 30 minutes or so, we remove the cover, increase the heat to 350F degrees and let it brown on the outside a bit. The 20 minutes per pound is an estimate of course. Mine was done after 7 hours. The main point is to cook it until it reaches an internal temp of 145-155F degrees to be done. Ovens and cooking times will always vary it seems. I did update the printable part of the recipe to make the changes so it should all be in sync now. Thank you for pointing that out. I apologize for any confusion. Smile. Thank you for your visit today. I hope you’ll let us know how your Corned Ham turns out should you try the recipe. And, I hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

  8. Amy Bayard says:

    I need a corned ham for a special ham we would make in Maryland. Normally I could get a ham already brined but not cooked. I stuff it with a mixture of Kale and cabbage and boil it. What do you think about this cooking method?

    • Steve Gordon says:

      Hi Amy, This is a unique and interesting question. Smile. I’ve never tried this, or heard of this, but I did search for it online. I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to boil the ham as you want whereas I roasted mine. Once you’ve gone through all the steps needed to brine and corn the ham, you’ll be ready to stuff it. Sounds interesting. Please let me know how this turns out for you should you try it. I’d be interested in knowing for sure. Thank you for your visit today. I do hope you’ll stop by again… real soon. Be Blessed!!! -Steve

      • J.Harper says:

        Hey Steve, I believe the info/recipe Amy (10/2019) was referring to is for Corned Ham + Ham Stuffin’; specifically made in St. Mary’s County, Maryland. I was recently treated to this deliciousness c/o Chaptico Market in Chaptico, MD (St. Mary’s) They even make Ham Stuffin’ Salad that’s outstanding as a cracker dip not unlike spinach dip, but SSOOO much better. I only hope you get to experience this local treat. Good luck Amy! ~ J.Harper

  9. Clara Smith says:

    Can you show and tell how to make fried corn bread patties. My mama use to make them and when I try they don’t come out right. Ham looks delicious.

  10. Sandra Lowry says:

    Happy New Year,
    I don’t recall ever having ham like this but since I love country ham this sounds wonderful. Congratulations on the deserved recognition for your Mother’s biscuit recipe. Making biscuits is a skill that I compare to art. My Grandma made them every day and I am lucky and proud to own her bread bowl she used to make them,
    Thank you for the information about the Jane Parker fruitcakes. I ordered one of each style and they were delicious. Also, the company was wonderful to deal with. They will be a part of my holidays from now on thanks to you.
    Stay warm and have a Happy, Healthy New Year.
    Rawlings, VA

  11. Donna says:

    Looks like it’s worth the effort 🙂 Brings back memories of my childhood.
    I enjoyed your article in Our State magazine. Made me shed a tear or two…
    Gotta go and watch a Hallmark movie (heart ya!)

  12. Elizabeth says:

    Thanks for all your recipes. I’ve never tried corned ham. I think I’ll try those biscuits. I, too, am tired of this cold. I’m going to write “I will never complain about the heat again” 100 times and post it on my refrigerator to remind me of this frigid cold when the heat returns.

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