First time ham

Discussion in 'Pork' started by stoner86, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. Hello all,  thought I would share my experience brining/smoking my first fresh ham.  After butchering a whole pig for a friend he gave me a whole fresh ham weighing 22 lbs.  After some browsing through the forum I decided to use Pops6297 curing brine which I modified a little bit and also take some ingredients from my grandfather's brine which he used in the 80's.  I started with 2 gallons of water and added 1 lb. sea salt, 2lbs brown sugar, 25 oz of molasses and 2 tbsp. of cure # 1.  After all ingredients were well mixed in a 5 gallon bucket I placed the ham in the bucket making sure it was completely submerged in the brine and placed the lid on the bucket.  It was brined in the fridge for 33 days figuring a day and a half per pound of meat.  After the 33 days I took it out and hung it in my garage for 24 hours letting it drip dry ( temp was about 40 degrees ).

    After it had dried for the 24 hours I hung it in the smoker set the temp to 55 to 65 degrees and let it smoke (maple wood) at that temperature for approximately 12 hours.

    After the 12 hours I gradually increased the heat over an 8 hour time frame to 180 degrees cooking the ham to an internal temp of 145 degrees.

    After reaching the internal temp I removed the ham and let it hang for an hour letting it cool.  After the hour I sliced and saw a great smoke ring and and nice pink color.

    The taste is hard to describe other then the best ham ever.  After the long process it was well worth the wait. I lost the pictures from the butchering and brining process sorry I couldn't include them.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
    crazymoon, bauchjw and smokinal like this.
  2. bauchjw

    bauchjw Master of the Pit

    Really impressive! Beautiful job, my mouth is watering!
  3. smokinal

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

    About all I can say is WOW!

    That's a good looking ham!

    POINTS to you!!

  4. crazymoon

    crazymoon Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    S86, your ham looks incredible ![​IMG]
  5. dockman

    dockman Smoking Fanatic

    Wow I am bringing one now. I was sure not prepared to smoke it like you did. I may be in for a lousy ham! Yours looks excellent

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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