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Fresh Ham - Cured, cold smoked & baked?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone,


I am new to the forum but have been a newsletter subscriber for quite a while. I have done a fair amount of standard hot smoking but have just gotten into cold smoking. I've got a offset firebox from which I pipe the smoke (8 ft.distance) to my Brinkman vertical smoker. It seems to work very well. I have cold smoked fish, cheese, sausage & turkey dstix/thighs so far. The results have been good but now I want to step it up and do something really impressive for Christmas Eve dinner.


I have ordered a whole fresh ham (bone-in obviously) from a local butcher which I pick up today. It is 16lbs and I have asked to have it cut in half. I will freeze the less visually pleasing of the two halves. The good half I plan on brining for 4 days in solution of salt, water, apple juice, ginger, clove, nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon & garlic (with insta-cure #1.) The basic recipe is from Michael Rhulman's (sp?) book; "Charcuterie." After the 4 day brine I will rinse and let stand overnight before starting to smoke. I plan on cold smoking the ham with apple, cherry and hickory for a total of 9-12 hours (3-4 separate smokes of 3-4 hours each.) at less than 80dF. I will wrap in plastic and let rest in the fridge overnight between smokes.


On Christmas Eve I plan on baking the ham at 350dF until the internal temp reaches 150dF. I figure 20-30 mins per pound, so 3-1/2 to 4 hours. I'll score the skin with a 1"-2" diamond pattern before starting to bake. I want to glaze with something sweet to compliment the smokey flavor.


So, here are my questions or topics for discussion: 1. Does all the above sound correct/safe/tasty?  2. What would you recommend for a glaze?


Thanks a lot.



post #2 of 7


 I will let someone w/ more experience answer the part about curing . The  glaze part i can help with.

 I like to melt 1 stick of butter add  1 cup dark brown sugar add 1 cinnamon stick and 6 whole cloves. add 1/2 can of cola ,dr pepper or root beer.(your favorite)  Bring to a low boil while stirring over med heat. simmer for 5 min while stirring. Remove cinnamon stick and cloves and pour aver the ham at least 3/4 way thru the smoke. Ham should be in a pan before you glaze so that you can catch any run off.

post #3 of 7

I'm no expert on curing, but it seems to me that unless you inject the ham with the brine, 4 days is not long enough for the cure to reach the middle of the ham. This is a good one for Pops to answer.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

Eman - Thanks for the recipe. That sounds like a perfect glaze to accentuate the flavors in the brine. I'll give it a try.


SmokinAl - Thanks for the input. I have an injector and can easily do that. I had read that the brine should cure about 2lbs of meat a day but I certainly see your point about the thickness of the meat and getting full penetration.



post #5 of 7








This site has tons of info.

I suggest you spend some time reading all the different forums and the WIKIs.

Ask questions and use the handy dandy search tool for specific interests!!

Take the awesome free E-Course!!!

Have a great day!!!



      Make bacon the easy way!!



post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Craig - Thanks a bunch. Great link. Just the kinda info I was looking for. And don't worry, I'll be spending plenty of time researching in the forums. That e-course looks very interesting. Great info here.

post #7 of 7


Now Craig has sent you down the right road for your ham so enjoy and don't forget the Q-View.

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