Parma Ham Substitute – Is There Any Parma Ham Substitute?

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You probably got a real hankering for a beef wellington, but it’s hard to find Parma Ham around you. Is that a good enough reason to suppress your craving? Not at all. Just find a good substitute for parma ham and cook your beef wellington right away.

But the main question is, what is the best substitute for Parma Ham?

You can use Jamon, guanciale, pancetta, capicola. Kosher meat, beef bresaola, or beef jerky are good options if you want a beef substitute.

Parma Ham SubstituteOrigin
JamonSpanish Dry-Cured Pork Legs
GuancialeItalian Cured Pork jowl or Cheeks
PancettaItalian Cured Pork Belly
CapicolaItalian and Corsican Dry-Cured Pork Neck.

The article also includes:

  • What can I use instead of parma ham in beef wellington?
  • Can I use bacon instead of parma ham in beef wellington?
  • Is prosciutto and parma ham the same thing?
  • Can I substitute prosciutto for parma ham?
  • What can substitute prosciutto?

To know more about parma ham substitutes, let’s dive into the article and learn.

What Can I Use as Parma Ham Substitute in Beef Wellington?

What Can I Use as Parma Ham Substitute in Beef Wellington

If you are a steak lover, you sure do love beef wellington. And you might often get a hankering for it. But what if you don’t have parma ham in the house? Is there something you can use as a substitute for it?

Well, of course, you can. You can use any kind of cured meat in your beef wellingtons, such as Jamon, guanciale, pancetta, or capicola. You could try kosher meat, beef bresaola, or beef jerky if you would like to use a beef alternative.

Can I Use Bacon Instead of Parma Ham in Beef Wellington?

Can I Use Bacon Instead of Parma Ham in Beef Wellington

Yes, you can. Bacon is a type of salt-cured pork meat with a savory and a hint of smoky taste. And you can use any kind of cured meat in the beef wellington recipe instead of parma ham. Thinly sliced smoked bacon is the best substitute for your parma ham.

Bacon has a pretty similar texture to parma ham and tastes like a fattier version of parma ham. So, if you are a fan of fatty meat, you can try bacon in your wellington recipe. You won’t regret the attempt.

As bacon can be served raw and has a savory taste, it can be served as a single dish. Bacon is also used in preparing desserts, and sometimes it is served wrapped around a piece of fruit.

Is Prosciutto and Parma Ham the Same Thing?

No, it most certainly is not. Parma ham is called Prosciutto di Parma, which can cause huge confusion among many people. Let’s see the differences between Prosciutto and Parma Ham in the table below:

Comparison ParameterParma Ham Prosciutto
OriginParmaNot specific
Curing IngredientsSalt and porkSalt, pork, peppercorn, garlic, vinegar
Curing periodOne year7-8 months
Pig breedLandrace and DurocAny kind
Is Prosciutto and Parma Ham the Same Thing

Well, the word “Prosciutto” means ham in general in Italian.

So, Prosciutto di Parma means a special kind of ham produced in Parma, a place in Italy. Prosciutto is a type of cured ham that can be produced anywhere. 

The significant difference between the two types of ham is their curing process. In the curing process of Parma Ham, only salt and pork are used. But in the case of normal prosciutto, salt, pork, peppercorn, garlic, and vinegar is used. 

The specialty of Parma Ham is that they don’t use any kind of herbs in their curing process. But after cooking, there is not much distinction between the two hams. But prosciutto sure does taste a little different because of the herbs used in its curing process. 

For making Parma Ham, they use only Landrace and Duroc pig breeds, and it takes up to one year to cure the meat. Whereas there is no particular breed choice for Prosciutto. And it only takes 7 to 8 months to cure Prosciutto.

Because of the unique procedure and taste of Parma Ham, it is considered one of the finest ham in the world. Even after the curing process, the Parma Ham goes through a test to prove its quality. After passing, the meat is given a Ducal Crown Mark to verify its authenticity and quality.

Can I Substitute Prosciutto for Parma Ham?

Can I Substitute Prosciutto for Parma Ham

Yes, you easily can. Though it won’t be the same thing, you won’t notice much difference either.

Parma Ham is really hard to find in the surrounding stores. In this case, you can try using Prosciutto instead of Parma Ham. You won’t notice much difference if you mix and cook them with other ingredients.

Both hams will satisfy you with a melt in your mouth texture and a lightly sweet flavor. So, you can use Prosciutto instead of Parma Ham without any worry.

However, the taste of the two hams doesn’t differ much after cooking; you will get a slightly distinct taste from prosciutto for using herbs in its curing process.

You can spot the major difference between the two hams by the fatty goodness of the parma ham. You will see a narrow line of creamy fat running down when you slice down parma ham thinly.

How to Store Parma Ham?

How to Store Parma Ham

Storing parma ham is not as simple as you would think. But no need to worry; we can help you learn about storing parma ham.

Now let’s read below to know more about the whole process.

1. Cleaning and Prepping

  • First, extract the ham from the Cryovac packaging.
  • If there is grease dripping from the leg, then wipe it away.
  • Now check for any areas that may have rusted. And scan for pockets of rancid fat and prune them away.
  • Make sure you don’t prune away too much of the fat to avoid affecting the taste. Just be careful when trying to scrape out the part you need to. 
  • As Prosciutto di Parma is supposed to be served with a ring of fat around per slice, You should leave one and a half-inch thick space. If you prefer less fat, leaving at least a half-inch ring of fat is enough. 

2. Slicing and Packaging

  • Prosciutto di Parma is always sliced after placing the order – not in advance. Parma Ham should be sliced paper-thin. And it should be no more than 1/16th of an inch. Hold a thin slice of ham up to the light to know if your ham is sliced properly. It should be translucent.
  • When packaging sliced products, try to place the pieces side by side. You should place the pieces in a slightly overlapping manner. You should place a paper between the layers to stop them from clinging together.
  • Thicker quarter-inch slices are needed when a recipe asks for chopped or julienned portions. You can use the little end of the ham to increase your yield, which is great for this purpose.

3. Storing

You can store a boneless Prosciutto di Parma in its vacuum pack for 12 months and refrigerate it at 40 to 42 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • You can store the ham in the refrigerator for up to 40 days after you break the vacuum seal and start slicing the ham. Don’t put your parma ham in the freezer.
  • After you slice the ham, use a plastic wrap to cover the cut surface of the ham, and then put it in the refrigerator. 
  • To keep track of different ages of Prosciutto di Parma, remove only one leg at a time and restore it to the same spot.
  • If you run a deli, you should train your employees properly on managing the inventory in the deli case for customer satisfaction.


  • What is a non-pork substitute for prosciutto?

If you don’t like prosciutto or simply want to try something else, chicken or turkey bacon can be great options. You can make your seasoning and combine it with the meat to mimic the flavor of prosciutto.

  • Can prosciutto be eaten raw?

Yes; you can eat prosciutto raw if the prosciutto is dry-cured – especiall Crudo prosciutto. Because Crudo prosciutto is smoked and cooked. The second variety of prosciutto, called Cotto, cannot be eaten fresh.

  • What is the difference between culatello and Prosciutto?

Adult swine born and bred in north-central Italy are used to make culatello and prosciutto. Culatello is made completely of thigh muscles, whereas Prosciutto contains just minor amounts of rind and fat, with the bone giving it its distinctive shape.


Parma ham is the most flavorful and delicious ham with its pink color, creamy fats, silky smooth texture, unbeatable flavor, and delightfully sweet and salty taste. It goes perfectly with several dishes; however, it goes best with beef wellington. But what will happen if you don’t have Parma ham nearby?

Don’t worry; several options are there as Parma ham substitute – Jamon, guanciale, pancetta, capicola, etc.

Now, you can relish the sweet-salty meaty goodness, even if you can’t find one of the finest cured hams nearby. 

But make sure not to eat red meat too much. It can’t be good for your health.

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