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Turkey ham – A delicious pork ham alternative

In this post I show you how you can make a cooked turkey ham yourself. With moderate effort, you will achieve a super tasty result.

Cooked turkey ham goes perfectly with a freshly baked loaf of bread and is a great change from the classic cooked pork ham.

It takes 30 minutes to actively prepare. You should allow about 3 days for curing. Then the ham is cooked and must rest for 1 day. 

You want to know more about ham? No problem, I have written down all my knowledge in my ham book. Interested? Then click here.

Here you can find the complete turkey ham recipe as a video or to read through.

Have fun and good luck!

Making your own turkey ham – What do you need?

Turkey ham- all ingredients

Ingredients for your turkey ham

  • 1 kg turkey meat 

Spices for the curing mixture: 

You need about 20-30% of the meat weight as brine. So if your ham is 1.5 kg -> you need a maximum of 500ml brine. You can either boil 1 liter and then use only as much as you need or scale down the recipe.

Equipment for making turkey ham 


In order to inject the brine into the meat (the process ensures that the meat stays juicy), you will need a roasting syringe. If you don’t have one yet, you can buy one here for around €10*.

Thermometer & cooking pot / Sous Vide cooker

There are several ways to cook your meat.

The easiest way is to use a sous vide cooker. With it you can gently cook the meat at a constant temperature. This reduces the risk of the meat becoming too hot and thus too dry.

If you don’t have a sous vide cooker and want to cook the ham in a pot, you will need a ham mold. I can recommend the following set* (which also has a thermometer included).

(Optional) Ham press / ham fairy

Personally, I make my ham in a bag and don’t care much about it being nice and round. So since I cook it sous vide, this part of the kit is optional.

Making turkey ham yourself – Step-By-Step Instructions

1. Put all the spices in a mortar and grind them.

Turkey ham-mortar

2. Add the salt and cure to the spices and mix them well. 

Turkey ham- mix

3. Put the water and all the spices in a saucepan. Bring it to a boil and let it sit for 30 minutes. Stir the brine well several times. 

Turkey ham- pot

4. Filter the brine through a sieve and let it cool down. 

Turkey ham- sieve

5. Inject the brine into the ham with a syringe. You can stop as soon as you notice that the brine is running out more and more.

Turkey ham-Syringe

6. Put the ham together with the leftover brine into a resealable bag.

Turkey ham-bag

7. Squeeze as much air as possible out of the bag. Try not to squeeze the ham too much (otherwise the brine will leak out again). Close the bag once the air is out.

Turkey ham- press

8. The ham must now be cured for about 3 days in the refrigerator. Important: Turn the ham once every day so that the brine can soak in from all sides and is well distributed. 

Turkey ham- freeze

9. After 3 days it is time to cook your turkey ham. Use the method that suits you best.

Sous Vide method: With a sous vide cooker your ham will take about 3 hours at 70 °C (158 °F). Your goal is to reach a core temperature of 67 to 70 °C (152.6 – 158 °F) maximum. Otherwise, the ham will become dry.

As an alternative to the sous vide cooker, you can use a pot with a ham press. To do this, transfer the ham from the bag into the device and press. Then place the ham press in a pot and bring to a boil. Then reduce the temperature to 80 °C (176 °F) and cook for about 2 hours.

Again your goal is also to achieve a core temperature of 67 to a maximum of 70 °C (152.6 – 158 °F).

Important: Measure the core and water temperature regularly. Nothing is more annoying than investing all the effort and not being able to enjoy a good product afterwards.

Turkey ham- cook

10. Once the ham is cooked and cooled down a bit, you can drain the liquid and put the ham in the fridge overnight.  

Turkey ham-pour off

11. The next day you can remove the leaked protein from the meat. 

Turkey ham-proteins

12. Your cooked turkey ham is ready 😄. Enjoy it. 

Turkey ham- ready

What is the shelf life of turkey ham?

Your turkey cooked ham will keep covered in the refrigerator for about a week. The alternative is to vacuum pack the turkey cooked ham in portions. When vacuumed, it should keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 weeks. You can also freeze it. This increases the shelf life many times over.



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