Fresh Smoked Ham
Want to smoke a fresh 9-10 ham for Thanksgiving dinner. Never smoked a fresh ham before. Need suggestions!!! Should it be soaked in a salt, sugar and water brine for 24 hrs.? Injected with flavor solution? Sprayed with mixture of OJ, Apple Juice and pineapple for golden brown color?
Need recipes, smoke temps and smoke times. Best flavor of wood chips?
It will be smoked in a gas smoker.
Fresh smoked ham, or a fresh uncured green rear pork ham leg that is uncured and unsmoked?
Linkey a deux:
I own several smokers and have never done a fresh ham myself. But I'm not a big "ham" kinda guy.
Pork butts, beef, poultry and fish all day long. Just never a fresh uncured rear leg ham. Unless cured, it's just smoked pork. Not a ham.
amazingribs.com or bbqbrethren will get you the 411.
If you want a rosy, pink ham, you'll have to cure with nitrites. It'll take about 10-14 days if you wet-cure with injection, upwards to 3 weeks without the injection. American Thanksgiving is 7 days away - kinda tight schedule.
If you want a basic smoked leg (kinda like a roast pork), very easy. There's plenty of methods on the web, you could probably search for some you like.
Me? I don't quite smoke the ham - I bake it in an off-set smoker using straight lump maple *inside* the cooking chamber (not in the firebox). This doesn't produce lots of smoke, but the 12+ hour cooking time lends a nice smoky flavor nonetheless.
I start the night before, setting the leg on a rack on the counter, letting it come to room temp. The morning-of, I make a kind of paste with olive oil, salt, and crushed garlic, and rub this over the skin. Using lump charcoal I get (and maintain) the chamber to about 350F and place the leg in at about 6:00am (opposite the fire, on aluminum foil). I also create an aluminum baffle between the leg and the fire - this to deflect direct heat.
About the last hour, I remove the baffle and get the fire hotter, this to crisp up the skin.
Its usually up to 165F-170F by 6:00pm or so.
I posted pictures of this here
A gas smoker might be different - I only made bacon in my gas smoker, so don't have experience with a ham or pork leg.
I have found that since ham is so dense you can not inject it. I take a large two prong fork and stab it in all the ways I can . Place ham in a large heavy duty plastic bag and fill with pineapple juice to cover ham completely. Keep in frig 2-3 days before smoking. Smoke at 200 degrees f for about 10 to 12 hours or until 170 internal temperature.