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First timer smoking a ham - a couple questions

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I've been designated the ham smoker for tomorrow's ham.  None of us have done it before but since I like to grill steaks and burgers I guess they figured I would be the man for the job.  I'd really like to get this right, so I have a couple questions before tomorrow's endeavor.


First, the ham they have selected is a pre-cured, pre-smoked ham.  I was under the impression that this meant that the ham had been cooked already and just needed to be "warmed up" with some more smoke and I was good to go.  However, on the label, it says "READY TO COOK".  Does this mean I need to actually cook it?  If this is the case, what time and temps would I be looking at?


Second, we have bought a small horizontal type smoker ($60 or so at Home Depot if I remember).  I have chosen cherry as the wood I will be using.  I plan on soaking the chips for a couple of hours beforehand.  Then use charcoal on one side at the bottom to start my heat and after the flames die down a bit, add the chunks on top of the charcoal to get the smoke going.  I will then add my water pan above the heat/smoke source and put the ham in on the other side of the smoker.  Is this plan solid?  I was planning on smoking for about 3 hours.  That time may change if I have to actually cook the ham instead of just heating it up.  Thanks for any advice, and happy holidays. 

post #2 of 8

Go to the top of this page. On the right side is a sign that reads smoking-meat.com. Click on it. Then click on smoking meats, then click on pork, then click on smoking ham. Everything you need to know plus a video too.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

I appreciate the reply, and I looked at the link.  However, it didn't seem to address my first question about the ham being pre cooked, and I still have concerns with the type of wood I'm using (cherry).  I've heard that some woods, such as hickory, are a bit too strong to smoke a full 3 hours with.  I don't know if that is the case with cherry wood. 


I suppose it's possible that I missed it, but I did look pretty good at the article and watched the video twice.

post #4 of 8

Can you tell us what brand it is? I'm pretty sure you just need to heat it and serve unless you want to put a spin on it and SMF it.

post #5 of 8

If I remember correctly unless it says "Fully Cooked" or "Ready to Eat", you need to cook it.  The "Ready to Cook" label you describe seems, to me, to describe the issue.  The FDA has a web page on the various types of hams that are available.  Here is the address:




I don't know whether this will show up on the forum as a link or just something you have to copy and paste into your browser

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

That website was very helpful, thanks!  It does not say "fresh" anywhere on the package, and from what is described on the website, looks like a cooked ham.


It is an Appleton Farms ham.  Here's exactly what it says on the package:


Shank portion

Hardwood smoked

Bone-in ham

water added

Ready to cook.  Slow cook to an internal temperature of 148 degrees F. 


Thanks for all the help.  Merry Christmas.  :)

post #7 of 8

If it says slow cook to 148° then thats what i'd do. sounds like it's cured and smoked but not fully cooked

post #8 of 8

How did it come out?

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