Homemade Schinken or Prosciutto

Schinken, Speck, Prosciutto

I pride myself to have mastered the art of smoking a German Schinken, also known by the name Prosciutto. The difference is that Schinken is cold smoked and dried and ready in about eight weeks, versus Italian Prosciutto is hung/dried for about a year

I watched many German YouTube clips, joined Social media groups about smoking meats, and developed my own method. I held on to this recipe for a very long time, and since I am traveling more, I thought it is time to pass it on.

You will have to follow many steps, also buy equipment to make Schinken. First, you will need a smoker. They can be bought at Costco, Sams, Lowes or Home Depot. If you don’t have any of these stores, smokers can also be found on Amazon.

I prefer Masterbuilt Electric smoker because they have a cold smoking attachment (see below).

Cold Smoker attachment:

Since I usually start smoking Schinken or Speck, and fish like Salmon or Mackerel early November, I had a lot of smoked goods as gifts for Christmas. I vacuum pack, so it will last least 6 month in the refrigerator. It taste great with my German Bauernbrot

You need curing salt. I can recommend to buy it right here:

Homemade Schinken or Prosciutto

Homemade Schinken or Prosciutto
Category: Appetizer
Cuisine: German
Prep Time: 30 hours
Cook Time: 72 hours

My experience is that Sams Club has the best meats, so I purchased 3 large pork loins for Lachs or Nuss Schinken. I have a large Masterbuilt smoker with a cold smoke attachment. There should to be a constant temperature anywhere around 50 to 60 F when drying, and hanging the Schinken, preferable it would be a basement


  • Wet Cure marinade ingredients:
  • 2 Gallons of water.
  • 5 tbsp Prague Powder #1 curing salt (see Amazon)
  • 3 cups Kosher salt
  • 6 Juniper berries (crushed)
  • 6 Black pepper corns (crushed)
  • 3 tbsp sugar, preferable brown
  • 3 tsp Herbs of the Province, or Italian herb seasoning
  • 4 large garlic cloves, halved
  • Wood chips for smoking (Alder, Cherry, Apple wood that can be mixed)


  • Day 1: Curing: Immerse the pork pieces in the cure marinade for 7 days. I used a food safe plastic container or a cooler.
  • Day 7: Wash the meat and soak in water, changing into fresh water 5 times at the beginning. Leave it soaked in fresh cold water for 48 hours in a cool dark place.
  • Day 9: Remove from soak, rinse again and dry off with paper towels. Hang up to dry in a cool, airy place for about 3 days (recommended temperature 50 to 60 F). If there is no basement and the room is too hot, maybe a window air conditioner can achieve this with a temperature control.
  • Day 11: Cold smoking: Prepare smoker by attaching the cold smoke attachment (see Amazon). Cold smoking actually means 55 F to 77 F. Choose a day where the heat does not exceed this temperature. I used Alder, Cherry, Apple wood chips. Mix or use alone. I found Hickory too strong.
  • Smoke 8 to 12 hours. Let rest overnight in the smoker, then smoke again all day, and the next up to 4 days.
  • Day 15: Hang to dry and cure on meat hooks for 4 to 6 weeks in an airy cool place (45 to 65 F).
  • It should be ready. Cut in very thin slices, it should have a nice pink-red color.


After 4 to 6 weeks of hanging and drying the Schinken it should have a nice pink-reddish color. I have a food slicer that cuts meats very thin. Can be stored vacuum packed in the refrigerator for up to 6 month.

Nutrition information

Serves: 12
Serving Size: 1 Schinken

If you have additional questions:

I have been living half of my life in Germany, then US, and traveling since then. My passion is cooking, painting and glass mosaic art. I try to re-create recipes I grew up with, or I tasted while traveling in Europe.

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