Fist Ever Ham

Discussion in 'Pork' started by chuckwagon44256, Dec 21, 2011.

  1. Hey Folks,

    I started out here on SMF a couple weeks ago with questions about curing and smoking a fresh ham. I promised then that I'd post pics when the time came. Well, here they are. My first ever fresh ham, cured and smoked.

    I have family coming tomorrow for "Christmas Eve" dinner so I smoked the Ham today and will finish it off in the oven with a glaze tomorrow evening. Here are the pics from today. I'll get a shot of the finished product tomorrow before I carve it.


    I got an 18lb leg from a country butcher and had it cut into 2 hams. I used the larger (10lb) ham which happened to be the lower half of the leg to just above the hock. After getting some great advice and shared info from SMF members I made up my brine and injected it throughout. I payed particular attention to getting the brine right down to the bone(s). I brined it submerged for 5 days and then let it stand, wrapped tight in plastic, in the fridge overnight. Here it is going into the smoker. I made a labyrinth in my char pan out of thin fire brick and put half a chimney of lit coals on one end. The tinfoil is my apple chip "smoke bomb."


    Here it is after 4 hours at 215F and 3 more apple and hickory chip smoke bombs. I just rolled it 180 degrees. Man, it smells good. The labyrinth worked great too.


    Here's another look after 4 hours. Finger lickin' good! I'll give my char pan a good shake; outside the smoker (learned that lesson the hard way,) and put a whole chimney of lit coals in on top of the old coals. I'm shooting for a 6 hour smoke and an internal temp of 145F.


    Here it is after 6 hours. Internal temp 145F on the dot (at least it was about 2 minutes after I took this pic.) Perfect! Sorry the pic's kinda fuzzy. Had the camera outside and the lens fogged when I brought it in. I'm really happy with how it turned out. Great color and the juices just squirted out when I took the thermometer out!


    Finally, one more look after 6 hours. It's kinda hard to see but the meat has shrunk a good deal, it's probably 8-1/2lbs now, and has begun to pull away from the bone up top. It's resting inside to cool. I'll then wrap it in plastic and set it in the fridge overnight.

    Tomorrow I will bake it in the oven under a foil tent at 250F until the internal temp reaches 155F. I'll glaze it with a root beer and cherry glaze recipe given me by a SMF member and dress it up with maraschino cherries on toothpicks. I'll let it rest for at least 30 minutes before carving at the table. Can't wait!

    Final pics coming soon.

    Thanks so much to everyone who helped make it happen and thanks again for making a newbie feel so welcome.

    Merry Christmas to All.

  2. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Now thats a first time ham from a newbie. I might have to argue with that one. It sure looks like you have been doing these things for years. I also know it will taste fabulous too. Great Job Chuck.
  3. miamirick

    miamirick Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    nothing better than  ham,  sandwiches ,breakfast ham and eggs,   ham and black eye peas,   could eat it all day!   looks great
  4. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Great looking ham!
  5. smokin - k

    smokin - k Meat Mopper

    Nice job...! Did you like the wood choice you picked? I start smoking my whole pork leg tomorrow a.m. I did a search to research what smoke to use and I can across this post.

              Happy Smoking, Smokin - K
  6. alblancher

    alblancher Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    Didn't Monty Python do a song or something like that?

    Ham, ham, ham, ham,.........

    Looks good  can't wait for the sliced Qview
  7. miamirick

    miamirick Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    you got it close  

    what do you have for breakfast?

    spam, spam, spam, spam, lovely spam lovely spam
  8. That looks delicious, great Job!
  9. bratrules

    bratrules Smoking Fanatic

    Great job that looks amazing!!![​IMG]
  10. Thanks everyone. It was a HUGE success! Just got back from Xmas in WV (where I smoked a turkey and tried the "Pork Shots" recipe for the first time) and logged on here. Great responses. My Brother took pics while carved the finished ham. I will post them here as soon as I get them.

    The ham was delicious. Wonderfully flavorful and brined throughout. "Pops" brine recipe and procedure worked great and the cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg and coriander (I got a mortar and pestle for Xmas so now all I need is a micro grater and I can grind all those spices fresh) I included added a subtle but festive holiday flavor that made it stand out. I used root beer and added cherry juice and whole maraschino cherries to the glaze recipe Craig posted here. Fantastic! The glaze really complimented the taste of the ham. It worked so well that when I served the rest of the ham, along with the "pork shots",  to the family in WV I simply sliced it thin into slivers and half-slabs and layered it, drizzled with glaze, in a foil covered baking dish to warm in the oven. I put it out with the leftover rolls from the turkey dinner we had earlier in the day. Ham biscuits! Gone in a flash. I used mostly apple (thankfully, my Father replenished my supply with a bushel-bag of apple chunks and another of twigs from a local orchard for Xmas,) for my smoke on the ham, with some hickory thrown in for good measure, and was very happy with the result. Can't go wrong with apple for pork. The ham was nice and smoky without being overpowering.

    Pics coming soon. Thanks again for all the great responses. Happy New Year everyone.

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