The Stevens Country Ham Curing Process
Country cured hams have been a mainstay in the South for centuries. Primarily a means of preserving meat when modern refrigeration did not exist, farmers every winter would kill hogs and "cure" the meat.
After retiring from the dairy business, Percy Stevens, Needham's brother, began curing hams as a hobby. In 1961, Stevens Sausage began offering Percy's delicious line of country hams through the sausage company.
Percy's curing methods and careful processing made for a delicious ham that won acclaim throughout the county, and requests for hams increased. Ten years later, Percy turned the entire operation over to Stevens Sausage Company.
Today, Stevens Sausage produces the same delicious specialty ham product that Percy Stevens started over thirty years ago. We don't rush our hams through the curing process. We take each step one at a time.
The Curing Process
Curing hams for all practical purposes is a simple process. It takes time, and conditions must be right. Each of our country hams goes through a three phase process, curing, equalization, and aging. In the past, before modern refrigeration, this process was done by the seasons- winter, spring and summer. Temperature is extremely important when curing our Stevens Hams.
During the first phase, the curing or winter phase, the ham is packed in the cure and salt. Our hams stay in the cure for 30 to 40 days at a temperature of 40-45 degrees.
During the spring phase, our hams begin aging while completing the curing process. During this phase, which lasts about 30 days, the cure equalizes throughout the ham.
Finally, our Stevens Country Hams are aged to reach the perfect taste for which we are known. During this phase, the summer phase, the hams are kept at a higher temperature which ensures a flavorable and quality ham.
From the initial winter or curing phase through the aging process, your Stevens Country Ham will be the best in quality and taste just like those of Percy Stevens.
We invite you to try our complete line of fine Stevens Sausage Company products.