Is There Pork in Turkey Ham?

Turkey ham, a processed meat product, has sparked curiosity due to its name, leading to questions about its composition. This comprehensive guide delves into the intricacies of turkey ham, addressing the presence of pork and exploring its unique characteristics.

Defining Turkey Ham

Turkey ham, as its name suggests, is a meat product crafted from turkey, specifically the thigh meat. Unlike traditional ham derived from pigs, turkey ham contains no pork whatsoever. This distinction stems from the legal requirement for ham to be made exclusively from pork.

Historical Origins

The genesis of turkey ham can be traced back to 1975, when Jennie-O, a renowned turkey products brand, introduced this innovative creation to the market. This breakthrough was driven by the collaboration with Robert C. Baker, an influential agricultural scientist.

Production Process

The production of turkey ham mirrors that of traditional ham, involving curing and sometimes smoking. The process commences with deboning the turkey thigh meat. Subsequently, a curing solution, comprising a blend of salt, sugar, and other ingredients, is injected into the meat. This curing process not only enhances flavor but also aids in preservation.

Flavor Profile

Turkey ham boasts a flavor profile akin to traditional ham, characterized by a salty and slightly sweet taste. The addition of smoked paprika to the exterior of turkey ham further elevates its flavor, imparting a subtle smokiness without overpowering the inherent taste.

Nutritional Value

While turkey ham is a source of protein, it is essential to note its high sodium content, a byproduct of the curing process. A typical serving of turkey ham contains approximately 300-500 milligrams of sodium, which can contribute significantly to daily sodium intake.

Culinary Applications

Turkey ham’s versatility extends to various culinary applications. It serves as a staple ingredient in sandwiches, adding a savory touch to salads, and enhancing the flavors of omelets and pasta dishes. Additionally, turkey ham can be substituted for traditional ham in recipes, offering a leaner alternative.


Turkey ham is widely available in grocery stores, often found in the deli section. It is commonly sold in pre-sliced packages or as whole pieces, similar to traditional ham.

Turkey ham stands as a distinct meat product, crafted from turkey thigh meat and devoid of pork. Its flavor profile resembles that of traditional ham, offering a slightly sweet and salty taste with a hint of smokiness. While turkey ham is a convenient and flavorful option, it is crucial to consume it in moderation due to its high sodium content.

Turkey ham – A delicious pork ham alternative


Is pork in turkey ham?

But rest assured, turkey ham is made from turkey. There’s no pork in it. It’s a similar type of confusion as the kind associated with almond milk and other non-dairy milk alternatives.

What is ham made of in turkey?

For turkey ham, the turkey thigh meat is first deboned. It’s then cured by injecting a mixture of salt, sugar, sodium diacetate, sodium erythorbate, sodium phosphate, sodium nitrite, potassium lactate, and water into the meat.

Does Butterball turkey ham have pork in it?

Made from 100% high quality turkey meat, sliced turkey ham is high in protein and low in fat. This product is perfect for delicious deli sandwich creations.

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