Fresh Ham

Discussion in 'Pork' started by brentforsberg, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. brentforsberg

    brentforsberg Newbie

    I purchased a Fresh 24 lb ham for Easter.  I have put it in a Brine of

    1 gallon apple Cider,

    2 Gallons Water,

    2 cups Kosher Salt

    1lb Brown Sugar

    6 oz Maple Sugar

    6 cloves crushed

    some ground cinnamon

    Garlic cloves crushed

    Lat night and plan on leaving it until Saturday morning.

    My plan is to smoke it at 120-140 Degrees for about 16 hours than finish it in the oven at 250 Easter morning until it is 160 degrees.  Right now it is just sitting in the brine.  Would it help with the pickling flavor if I injected the ham today and let it sit till Sat morning or am I better off just brining and go with it as it. 

    This is my first time smoking something this big,  I understand it won't be fully cured but just want to get some of the flavor imparted in it so it tastes different than my pulled pork everyone is used too.  Any suggestions anyone could give would be appreciated.

  2. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Hello Brent - please do us a favor and update your profile with your location then stop by Roll Call and  introduce yourself. 

    Regarding your plan - I do not see any cure in your brine and 3 days is not a lot of time for it to cure even with some cure.  Cold smoking is going to be risky. I am going to reach out to a couple of our resident experts on curing for some help for you. They should be along sometime today with more info 
  3. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The Brine you have will give some good flavor...But...If this Leg has not been previously Cured, all you will end up with is a Brined Pork Roast. If you want Ham you will need to add 3 TBS Cure #1 to the mix, inject 10% of the Legs weight and you will need 30 days to Cure it into a Ham that can be Safely smoked at anything less than 200*F. If you wish to proceed as you are, I recommend you Smoke it at 225*F until it hits an Internal Temp of 150-160*F for slicing or take it to 205-210*F and Pull it for Pulled Pork...But it will not taste anything like a Smoked Ham.... Here is the procedure for taking a Hog Leg to Easter Ham...JJ
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012
    kid creole likes this.
  4. Is this a skin on fresh ham?
    If so, considering that's a rather weak brine, I think you're definitely going to need to inject to get an adequate level of brining in that short amount of time.

    120-140 Degrees for about 16 hours is definitely in the danger zone for un-cured meat, you need to up the temperature above 190 degree to smoke safely.

  5. brentforsberg

    brentforsberg Newbie

    Thank you guys.  I will def. bring the smoke box temp up to about 200-225.  That was my original plan but the meat shop said it was too high and to start lower.  I have done a lot of pulled pork but never tried a ham.  This is the temp I keep at when i make ribs and pork shoulder.  Looks like I still haven't tried a ham but should end up with a good piece of meat.  I will probably bring the internal temp of the meat up to 160 then so I at least end up with a good roast. I read the Easter Ham article and that looks like a lot of fun and I definately want to make one sometime.

    As far as the Brining, I left the skin on.  Would it be worth injecting some brine down to the bone as was done with the making a true ham, and would it be worth adding pickling salt into it to get a little more cure on it for four days?
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012
  6. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    You can inject all over to get more flavor in. It will definately help considering the short brine contact time. Since this is not going to be a low temp smoke, you really don't need the high salt content of a Cured Ham so you can stick with what you have and inject that brine...JJ
  7. brentforsberg

    brentforsberg Newbie

    Thank you JJ.  I will do that this evening after work!  I am excited to take some time to read through some of the posts and learn more about smoking!  I have seen some great pics and pointers from the few minutes I have had to look through the site!
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Well, Welcome to the SMF Family. I am glad you checked in and posted your plan before you ran in to trouble and made anyone sick...JJ
  9. JJ will set you right. Glad you checked in.
  10. great info for a newbie like me!  i just assumed an uncured ham would taste smoked too.  i'm glad i read this thread before i tried one.

    any suggestions on the best place to buy Cure #1?
  11. thanks alelover!
  12. brentforsberg

    brentforsberg Newbie

    Very true and I appreciate your input.  I am still excited to smoke the roast this weekend.  The tough questions is do I leave it a roast or take it all the way to pulled pork and make some mustard bbq to put on it!  Leaving it up to the people ieating it to decide:)
  13. brentforsberg

    brentforsberg Newbie

    @ lilwren  I agree it was very enlightening.  Glad I asked the questions.  I can wait to follow the hogleg to ham recipe.  I have always wanted to fully cure meat but haven't attempted it yet.
  14. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    I wonder if that's the same meat shop Nepas went to yesterday?
  15. brentforsberg

    brentforsberg Newbie

    [​IMG]  The Roasted leg came out great!  Thank you all for the suggestions.  I will go through the pics I took.

    I know not a great picture but brined the leg for 5 days using the solution above.  I also injected the leg with a lot of Brine on Thursday evening. 

    [​IMG]   It went it the smoker at 1pm Saturday over pecan wood and was kept pretty steady around 215 degrees.

    [​IMG]   5 hours in I am adding more woodchips.

    [​IMG]   Pulled it out of the smoker at 5am and put it in the oven at 250 wrapped in tinfoil until it reached 165 internal temp.  I did that to make room to smoke the cured ham I bought in case it didnt turn out.  The cured ham had just come out of the smoker and was going into the oven after 5 hours of smoking to finish up.   It tool another two hours.

    Final report was it came out wonderful.  Had a great smokey flavor,  the brine had gotten down into it though I would have like a touch more flavor out of it, could have use a day or two more in the solution.  Everyone who had it rated it as some of the best smoked pork they had in a long time.  I served with with apple cider glaze made simply by reducing a medium sauce pan full of cider, a splash of OJ, a handful of brown sugar, 4 oz of maple syrup, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, and 6 cloves I steeped in it for about an hour.  I kept it at a low boil in an open pan,  had to add two tablespoons of cornstarch to thicken it,  remember to add to water before pouring into a hot liquid.

    [​IMG]   The leftovers went home with my mom who took the bone as well and turned it into bean soup last night and brought it into work today for lunch!  She already had the beans soaking and it came out unbelievable.  The next project is following the steps JJ sent me regarding hogleg to Ham.  My friend and I will be starting this next week!  What a fun project!  Thank you all for the tips!
  16. All such good info. Was googling this morning for info on smoking FRESH hog meat and  came across all this. Love it thanx

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