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  • Ellen Marshall

Wholesome Black Bear Ham Recipe

Updated: Dec 6, 2023

Posted by Ellen Marshall | May 28, 2021 | Recipes


  • Netting Elastic Stitch

  • Netting Application

  • Scale, that measures to the 2nd decimal point is preferable

  • Meat Thermometer

  • Meat Injector

  • Large non metal bowl / FoodSaver bag

  • Cooking pot

  • Measuring utensils

  • Gloves

  • Knives

  • Smoker

  • Calculator

  • Apple wood chips

Ingredients For Brine:

  • Bear meat

  • Water

  • #1 Cure

  • Kosher salt

  • Maple Syrup

For Steam Bath:

  • 500ml stock (used half bear stock, half potato stock)

For Honey Mustard Glaze:

  • 60ml butter

  • 120ml honey

  • 15ml grain dijon mustard

  • 30ml plain dijon mustard

  • 1.25ml ground cloves

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

*NOTE: The brine is based on water volume not meat weight – Interestingly enough it is only a difference of about 1% – That being said, it does make a difference is colour and saline taste

Instructions For Maple Brine: 1. Place meat in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover meat 2. Remove and measure water (for this ham the was 1.2 litres) 3. Calculate formula: Water + 7.5% Kosher salt + 7.5% Maple syrup + 3.7 grams #1 cure per litre of water 1.2L Water + (0.09 L) 90ml Kosher salt + (0.09L) 90ml Maple syrup + 4.4 grams #1 cure 4. Heat up brine until the salts are dissolved. Add any other spices and seasonings at this time. Let brine cool in refrigerator before injecting into meat 5. If needed, incase ham elastic netting by placing netting over a netting applicator (about $120) or improvise, used here was an old hard Tupperware container 6. Drop meat into container. Gently pull netting up and over top of ham 7. Then turn container upside down while pulling on end of netting and ham, incasing the piece of meat. Trim excess netting 8. Place ham in a FoodSaver bag that is about 15cm longer than the ham 9. Remove as much air from bag and seal 10. Brine for a minimumm of 3 days, or 1 day per pound of meat. Turn bag once a day 11. Remove ham from brine and pat dry, keep in fridge uncovered for about an hour. Dry smoke at 140F for 10 hours (my smoker does not get any hotter). Heavy smoke with apple chips for additional 2 hours. Total smoking time 12 hours 12. Internal temperature only reached 125.8F with smoker at 140F. 13. Preheat over to 275F. Add stock to pot, place ham on rack above the stock and cover tightly. Steam bath for about an hour or until the internal temperatue reaches 160F for at leasst 3 minutes 14. Let ham rest 15-20 minutes. Glaze can be brushed on every 10 minutes and after slicing if desired This ham hit 165.1F it was not in the least bit dried out. by Ellen Marshall

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