Tasso ham

Tasso ham

The Hang Fire Cookbook

As in much of Louisiana cooking, getting that exact ingredient is integral to the authentic flavour of the dish. Tasso is essentially a cured, spicy ham that you can use in Gumbo, Red Beans & Rice, soups, salads, sandwiches and to serve as charcuterie. It’s such a versatile meat to have around that you’ll always want to have a little stock of tasso in your fridge, and because it’s fairly straightforward to make, there’s no excuse not to have this amazing ham to hand.


Quantity Ingredient
80g fine sea salt
2 tablespoons paprika
3 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 x 350g pork fillets or tenderloins


  1. In a large bowl, add all the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined. Put in the pork and coat liberally and evenly in the spice mixture. Place in a ziplock bag, expel as much air as possible, or vacuum-pack the strips, and refrigerate for 3 full days.
  2. Remove the cured pork from the fridge and arrange the pork on a wire rack over a baking tray. Get a fan on them and leave to dry for an hour or so, turning them over now and again.
  3. Next, you’re going to smoke the cured pork on a low temperature, forcing further dehydration while absorbing maximum smoke. Regulate your smoker to about 93°C. Place the cured pork in the smoker and add your first lot of hickory and oak wood. Cook for about 3–4 hours, adding more wood as it burns out every hour, until the tasso reaches an internal temperature of 74°C on your instant-read thermometer.
  4. Remove the tasso from the grill and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Put into ziplock bags (or vacuum pack them) and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before using (this will lock in the smoke flavour). The tasso will keep, well wrapped, in the fridge for 5 days and also freezes brilliantly for up to 3 months.

Cooking methods

  • Curing, Indirect Grilling/Smoking


  • 50/50 Hickory/Oak mix

Fresh is best

  • Make sure you pick up the freshest pork for this as we’re not using any curing salts. You can also use pig cheeks or thick strips of pork shoulder instead. Bear in mind if using more meat, you would need to increase the ratios of salt and spices.
Deep South
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