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Spanish Iberian Ham Production Process

Now, we go to explain the Spanish Iberian Ham Production Process step by step. Since the birth of pigs to the marketing of hams under the names of origin that regulate and provide reliability and guarantee the proper performance of the whole process, as the Denomination of Origin Protected Dehesa de Extremadura.

Elaboration process of Iberian ham from pigs born to obtaining Iberian hams


1º Ham Production Process - Reproduction

Normally it takes place in March for mothers to stop in July. The management is three months, three weeks and three days.

  • The mother should always be pure Iberian yes, but the father is not always; You can be the "Duroc" race and their crosses with pure Iberian
  • The piglet birth weights between 700 and 1,000 grams
  • The litter is usually 8 and 6 half-breed with a lactation period of 30 days.
  • A 30 days begin to feed feed rich in protein and in the third month they began to adapt to the environment, reaching 2 pounds, 23 kg, 90 days after birth.
  • When you reach 23 kgs. he changes the feed composition, and need less protein

2º Ham Production Process - Breeding

The livestock is the pig reaches montanera campaign with 9-10 pounds of weight to kill mid-January with 161-175 kilos of weight (14-15 pounds).

This mast is made from October to February, when the acorns fall from the oaks, cork and oak. These acorns are rich in carbohydrates, starches and sugars, which promote animal growth and will give the ham that particular grain. An estimated Iberian pork acorn can consume 1tonelada montanera.

This power and continuous movement to go from one area to another looking for food is what gives the Iberian pig fat acorn infiltration that distinguishes the excellent hams good


3º Ham Production Process - Classification

The Iberian pigs for breeding are marked as Iberian or pure Iberian, and this process controlled by technicians of Appellations of Origin, which conduct regular inspections to monitor the process.

According to the different types of food and fattening of pigs can distinguish.

  • Acorn Pork: The Quality Standard of the Iberian pig Iberian states that there must be place in the final phase of fattening or fattening at least 46 kilos (four pounds) in the field eating grass and acorns.
  • field Pig bait: You must replace at least 2.5 pounds in the
  • Pig bait: requires only the pig has food at a distance of at least 100 meters drinking water

4º Ham Production Process - Slaughterhouse, Cutting and Salty

When pigs reach a weight between 14 and 15 pounds are taken to the slaughterhouse for slaughter, at technicians of Appellations of Origin must be present to verify the process and seal the pieces correctly during exploded.

The hind legs or hams are completely buried in sea salt for one day per kg, but now every teacher believes the right time to give the optimum point of salt. At this time the pork meat loses water and compacted.


5º Ham Production Process - Washing and Drying

The hams are washed to remove all salt and move on to the dryers where they slowly heal naturally by an ancient system, now automated, which windows will regulate to allow certain drafts and regulate moisture, playing with different temperatures of the day and night.

After a period of about six months, and in autumn, the hams are taken to the cellars of healing.


6º Ham Production Process - Healing in the aging cellars or rooms

In these wineries is where you get your ham aroma, flavor and texture definitive, but to do so, slowly, Iberian ham should be greased with butter and gradually stabilizes fat and the meat gets its characteristic flavor.

The time the hams are kept in cellars growing old is crucial to obtain a quality ham, increasing it with the healing time, usually up to 4 years.

When the hams lose about 30% of its weight from the slaughterhouse often and be ready for marketing.


7º Ham Production Process - Marketing

Once Iberian hams have been cured properly and are ready for marketing, in the case of designations of origin, must pass a final technical review to ensure that the aroma and characteristics are correct.

Finally, after passing the assessment, if everything is correct, the hams are labeled and can proceed to marketing and consumption.

Testimony of JdeEx

What do the ham's experts think?

  • Getting a good Iberian ham is a long and complicated process, where small details make the difference
    Santiago del Pozo // CEO JdeEx
  • Comprehensive control in the manufacturing process is essential to get a taste, aroma and unique texture.
    Antonio Ferreira // Production Coordinator
  • If you take care of your pig will make a good iberian quality ham, however if you don't take care of your pigs will make a normal ham.
    Manuel del Peral // Breeder
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