Fresh, raw Hams on the Pit Barrel Cooker Question

Discussion in 'Curing' started by raven44, Sep 16, 2016.

  1. raven44

    raven44 Newbie

    Hy Smokers,

    I want to smoke a fresh ham (He was slaughtered 2 days go) uncured, on my PBS. Who has done this? I don't want "BBQ", but smoked ham. All tips, tricks and lessons learned appreciated!
  2. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Standard smoke chamber temp of 225* will suffice, and cook to an internal temp of 145* minimum. 145* being the low may want to go closer to 155-160*, depending on your preferences. Without curing you won't get a cured ham taste or texture, but you should not cold smoke...that's not safe. For a non-Bbq flavor, do not use dry rub...toss it in most just rub with salt. Also, be sure the surface is nice and dry before hitting the smoke (if untreated), but if rubbed with salt it will be moist due to the salt drawing moisture from the meat. You may wish to roll with the KISS method for best presentation (no salt). If skin-on you will get less smoke flavor to the meat under the skin, and less formation of bark on the surface...personal preference as to what you want more. If you want to glaze it, try straight maple syrup or honey...start glazing when I/T is about 30-40* below your desired finished temp, or start the glaze early, but remember that every time you open the cooker you lose heat and add cooking time. The earlier you start glazing the more the glaze will caramelize, and it could scorch the sugars in your glaze, especially if you experience high temp spikes regularly. I tend to stay away from sugars on long smokes to avoid scorching, and if I use them at all I don't apply until late in the smoke/cooking.

    Baseline time is around 1hr/lb to reach med-rare (150*) @ 225* smoke chamber temp...your time will likely vary...depends on cooker and a slew of other variables. Probe for temp after 6-8 hours if you like...don't probe too early, as you want the surface meat to become pasteurized before sticking anything in hour is sufficient.

    Fresh hams can be a great center piece for a meal. Season to taste when serving. Don't forget to rest the ham before slicing (minimum 5min/lb...a bit longer for higher internal finished temps)...your meat will thank you for it.

    BTW, if you can catch the drippings while smoking for making a pork gravy...OH, BABY!!!

    Last edited: Sep 18, 2016

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