Smoking a ham at home -
- bayoucook Feb 16, 2009 07:10 AM
So far unable to find info on this. What kind of ham (fresh?), marinate or brine? Does it have a rub? Smoking instructions, how long? Had this at a party a few months ago and can't get the recipe!!
You will want a fresh, uncured ham, yes. A brine or a marinade is a nice thing, but it's not required. Same with a rub; it's simply an option, not required. As far as time, time is almost irrelevant. You want to cook to a desired temperature, not for a set length of time. The questions you're asking are highly variable and mostly depends on what your idea is for this ham. Are you serving it for an elegant dinner? If so, you might want to avoid the rustic-ness of a BBQ rub. Likewise, if you're serving this as a Saturday afternoon gathering with the neighbors, you might not want to bother with some subtle & delicate flavoring notes.
Have you ever smoked anything before?
Thanks for your help. Yes, I've smoked everything from pork ribs to mullet (fish). It's not planned for an elegant dinner, just a casual gathering of friends. I'm from the deep South where people like a like of flavor with some fire. Now that I know what kind of ham to buy (and I have a meat thermometer), I can do it I think....think I'll make a pineapple-jalapeno type relish to go with it...
OK so you know what you're doing.
The temp you're shooting for is lower than with pulled pork so it won't actually shred like pulled pork as CocoaNut mentnioned. If it does shred, you've overcooked it. I can't quote an actual number for that temperature - it's out there somewhere, I'm sure! Probably in the neighborhood of 150-155. For pulled pork, you aim for 180+.
Smoking alone will turn the fresh "ham" into a basic pulled pork. But perhaps you're talking about taking an already cured ham and doctoring it with add'l seasoning and smoke. If so, there are a couple of links at the bottom of this link:
To turn a fresh ham into a cured "ham" you need to employ a really long, drawn out process.
The prosciutto in the Italian site is not a smoked ham, but rather air-dried and is very different.
I would suggest curing the leg first.
My brine is about a gallon of H20, 1C salt, 1/2C instacure, 2C brown sugar, 1.5C white sugar, handful of pickling spice, and a handful of whole clove. Bring to just a boil (don't boil vigorously) and let cool. Place in fridge to get cold (overnight).
I use a rear leg of pork. Not right down to the foot or ankle, but to the 'knee' (bout 10lbs, example), fresher the better.
Ice the brine to get very cold.
Figure out 10% of the weight of the meat (1lb for a 10 pound ham, example). Weigh out the same amount of the brine (1lb of brine, example) and inject this into the meat at different points and different depths, especially around the bone. Use a cajun injector syringe or similar. Called spray pumping and cures the meat from both outside and within.
Place meat in a plastic container, pour brine over, weight down with a plate or something similar to keep submerged, cover and into the fridge for 10 days to 2 weeks. Turn every other day.
You now have ham (cured pork leg) and it will retain a beautiful rosy-pink color when cooked
Discard brine and wash (rinse) ham.
You can cook the ham now (boil or bake), but it wouldn't have the smoky flavor you want.
Follow your smoker's directions for smoking the ham.
You could give it a bit of smoke (maybe 4-6 hours at 140 degrees or so), but it would require more cooking later on.
You could also cook the ham in the smoker (maybe 12-15 hours at 165 degrees) when the internal reaches 155.
I prefer to smoke for a shorter time, then oven roast with a glaze.
Or you can use a regular ham and throw it on the grill.
The skin is a slight barrier to curing, but with spray pumping and a 2 week cure, it isn't a problem at all. I leave the skin on (plus cooked skin! OMG).
I don't have pics of my ham, but I did grill-smoke a pork leg for Xmas.
I started with a fresh leg, rubbed with fresh chopped garlic and olive oil.
Indirect grilling for 14 hours.
Part of xmas table.
It was fantastic; basically a roast pork (crackling the best part) with added smoke. My hams are different, having a cured flavor and beautifully pink, but along the same lines. I'll take pictures of this next time.
Maybe if you cook the ham for 14 hours like Porker. I've never gone quite that long, maybe 8 hours, and I forget the temperature I used, but I still needed to strip the skin and finish in the oven at 350 or so. That's remove the skin when the ham is done, not remove and cook separately from the start.