Smoking a ham - questions and/or advice needed... - Updated with pics!

Discussion in 'Pork' started by tpc74, Apr 13, 2013.

  1. tpc74

    tpc74 Fire Starter

    So I plan on trying my first attempt at smoking a ham tomorrow.  It is a fully cooked smoked ham with no bone.  My wife is giving up half to me to play with so it will be around 5-6 pounds.

    This will be only the second thing I've tried on my new smoker, a masterbuilt duel fuel 30 (I think its a 30) vertical and I will be attempting to do with lump charcoal not propane.  The only thing I've done on it so far was salmon, which tasted great but cooked a bit too hot and fast, primarily due to my newness using the smoker and the lump charcoal.  All my other smokes have been using my weber kettle and kingsford briquettes.

    I have on hand some chunk mesquite and chunk hickory wood.  Which would be recommended? Soak or no soak?  Direct on coals?

    Should I remove all the skin prior to smoking?

    Any suggestions for a rub?  (for ribs I usually coat with yellow mustard and then I have a rub that I bought that everyone seems to like)

    How long should I smoke?

    What target temp should I shoot for inside the smoker?

    Any helpful advice, tips, tricks, links anyone could give would be greatly appreciated.  I've already read some threads here but I thought I'd ask anyways, and it gives me a good placeholder for some Q-View!

    The big challenge is going to be the charcoal.  The way this thing is designed they have a round pan that goes over a propane burner.  It is my understanding that you either place chips directly in that plan and use the burner or put charcoal in the pan.  However the charcoal takes up a lot of room inside that area to the point where it is very close to the water pan.  This makes it tough to control especially if you need to add charcoal or wood, and the water evaps pretty quickly.  Of course I suppose you could use the burner to light the coal but it doesn't seem right to do it that way and I don't think it would work right anyways.

    I really didn't want the propane setup anyways, so I may have some mods to make sooner than later.  Seems a lot of unused space in that part of the box on the sides, but I am unsure if they are strong enough to handle coal directly on them.  Wait!!...this is about pork, not mods for my smoker, right??!!

    Anyways, thanks in advance!
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  3. tpc74

    tpc74 Fire Starter

    Ok so here are some pics!  A couple of things to note, one my ham was semi boneless, not boneless, but I couldn't cut through the bone so I just removed it from the piece I was working with.  This left a large hole in the middle of my ham.  Second I decided to go with a rub after cutting off the skin and coating with mustard.  Ham turned out fine but was a little too smoky....I know right, too smoky??!! but I probably left it on too long, a little over 3 hours.

    Here are the pics!

    First  my modification to cover the opening where the propane burner is located:

    Pic of new and improved charcoal pan!  (ok its a grill wok):

    Pic of new location of the water pan and overview of setup:

    Pic of smoky goodness on its way to temp:

    Pic of the ham going on:

    Pic of the ham just prior to removal:

    So in the end, the modifications to the charcoal area and location of the water pan helped greatly.  That and I used the minon method with my hickory chunk.  The vents on the side now actually allow some control of temp, and the water in the water pan doesn't boil.  I was able to keep it right in the 200-220 range and I only added some coals once near the last hour or so.
  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks good from here!!!

    If it was too smoky, it probably was too heavy a smoke----3 hours of light to medium smoke is not long at all.


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