Stages of elaboration of Serrano ham


Today we go to the supermarket or the delicatessen and order a ham or several, cut, the whole piece, in mace, without the leg.

But we really must understand the phases behind to have that tasty ham in our hands today. In this post we want to explain the whole process that the ham takes to reach our homes. So we start nothing.


The pigs (in this case we will talk about the pigs destined for Serrano ham) with two months reach the farms of all Spain.

In these farms they are fed with feed, we have to differentiate the breeding farms from the fattening farms .

The breeding farms only raise the animals in their first month of life, later they are taken to the fattening farms in the which are usually between 5 months and 7 months.

In these farms the animal is fattened with feed and it is after 6 months in which the characteristics of the animal are measured.

The weight of the animal to be slaughtered must be between 90-110kg and must meet, apart from exceeding 6 months, characteristics regarding the blood and fat of the animal .


After having correctly selected the pieces and having met the applicable standards of the food industry, the salting process is carried out.

All this is done in rooms already dedicated solely and exclusively to these activities.

The salting process of the pieces consists of adding coarse salt to all the pieces. normally in large steel trays where the legs rest horizontally and aligned.

Once in this position, add the coarse salt or sea salt , this depends a lot on the ham . It is important to bear in mind that the blood that remains between the ham muscles should be removed as much as possible. Normally, machines are used that emit force to the pieces to remove the remaining blood traces.

These pieces are left in the salting room for 10 to 15 days . These rooms must meet certain standards taking into consideration their location (altitude, humidity).

Normally the dryers are located in mountain areas so the temperature of the rooms is usually between 5º 


In this stage what is sought is the correct salting of the legs , that is why in the previous stage with a period of about 15 days we can say that the superficial or visible areas could already be consider that they have the correct salting, we must bear in mind that the internal areas this process is not fast, so to a lesser extent it will be sought to add salt but with temperature changes from 15º to 19º, that is, it can go from close temperatures at 0º to temperatures close to 20º with this it is achieved that the pieces expand and that the salt reaches the deepest area of the legs. This process is measured, and depending on the temperature variations that are applied, it is more or less fast, lasting as it was about 4 months .


This process seeks to eliminate surface salt, a process that depends on the dryer is carried out using rollers that carry spikes or it is done through machines that release water at high temperatures through jets.

It is important to leave the ham very clean so that the crust that covers it is generated correctly.


In the drying rooms, the ham will be allowed to cure in a natural or superficial way, this means that the drying rooms may not achieve the optimal temperature conditions to be able to cure the ham correctly.

This process should last between 6 to 9 months between 15º and 30º. The drying stage is characterized by allowing the fat to distribute evenly throughout the leg .


Taking into consideration weight, drying and fat distribution, at this stage a classification is produced that allows differentiation between the different hams in order to have more or less curing. The cure is between 15º to 20º.

Due to the temperature changes that exist in Teruel and the good weather conditions, Teruel is an ideal province for the natural drying of hams.

At Degusta Teruel we work with dryers that use the open window or natural drying to be able to cure their hams in the most appropriate way, that is why our hams are of the highest quality.

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