Fresh Ham - Cured, cold smoked & baked?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by chuckwagon44256, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. Hello everyone,

    I am new to the forum but have been a newsletter subscriber for quite a while. I have done a fair amount of standard hot smoking but have just gotten into cold smoking. I've got a offset firebox from which I pipe the smoke (8 ft.distance) to my Brinkman vertical smoker. It seems to work very well. I have cold smoked fish, cheese, sausage & turkey dstix/thighs so far. The results have been good but now I want to step it up and do something really impressive for Christmas Eve dinner.

    I have ordered a whole fresh ham (bone-in obviously) from a local butcher which I pick up today. It is 16lbs and I have asked to have it cut in half. I will freeze the less visually pleasing of the two halves. The good half I plan on brining for 4 days in solution of salt, water, apple juice, ginger, clove, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon & garlic (with insta-cure #1.) The basic recipe is from Michael Rhulman's (sp?) book; "Charcuterie." After the 4 day brine I will rinse and let stand overnight before starting to smoke. I plan on cold smoking the ham with apple, cherry and hickory for a total of 9-12 hours (3-4 separate smokes of 3-4 hours each.) at less than 80dF. I will wrap in plastic and let rest in the fridge overnight between smokes.

    On Christmas Eve I plan on baking the ham at 350dF until the internal temp reaches 150dF. I figure 20-30 mins per pound, so 3-1/2 to 4 hours. I'll score the skin with a 1"-2" diamond pattern before starting to bake. I want to glaze with something sweet to compliment the smokey flavor.

    So, here are my questions or topics for discussion: 1. Does all the above sound correct/safe/tasty?  2. What would you recommend for a glaze?

    Thanks a lot.
  2. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member


     I will let someone w/ more experience answer the part about curing . The  glaze part i can help with.

     I like to melt 1 stick of butter add  1 cup dark brown sugar add 1 cinnamon stick and 6 whole cloves. add 1/2 can of cola ,dr pepper or root beer.(your favorite)  Bring to a low boil while stirring over med heat. simmer for 5 min while stirring. Remove cinnamon stick and cloves and pour aver the ham at least 3/4 way thru the smoke. Ham should be in a pan before you glaze so that you can catch any run off.
  3. smokinal

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

    I'm no expert on curing, but it seems to me that unless you inject the ham with the brine, 4 days is not long enough for the cure to reach the middle of the ham. This is a good one for Pops to answer.
  4. Eman - Thanks for the recipe. That sounds like a perfect glaze to accentuate the flavors in the brine. I'll give it a try.

    SmokinAl - Thanks for the input. I have an injector and can easily do that. I had read that the brine should cure about 2lbs of meat a day but I certainly see your point about the thickness of the meat and getting full penetration.

  5. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    And BTW


    This site has tons of info.

    I suggest you spend some time reading all the different forums and the WIKIs.

    Ask questions and use the handy dandy search tool for specific interests!!

    Take the awesome free E-Course!!!

    Have a great day!!!

          Make bacon the easy way!!
  6. Craig - Thanks a bunch. Great link. Just the kinda info I was looking for. And don't worry, I'll be spending plenty of time researching in the forums. That e-course looks very interesting. Great info here.
  7. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Now Craig has sent you down the right road for your ham so enjoy and don't forget the Q-View.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011

Share This Page