I started out here on SMF a couple weeks ago with questions about curing and smoking a fresh ham. I promised then that I'd post pics when the time came. Well, here they are. My first ever fresh ham, cured and smoked.
I have family coming tomorrow for "Christmas Eve" dinner so I smoked the Ham today and will finish it off in the oven with a glaze tomorrow evening. Here are the pics from today. I'll get a shot of the finished product tomorrow before I carve it.
I got an 18lb leg from a country butcher and had it cut into 2 hams. I used the larger (10lb) ham which happened to be the lower half of the leg to just above the hock. After getting some great advice and shared info from SMF members I made up my brine and injected it throughout. I payed particular attention to getting the brine right down to the bone(s). I brined it submerged for 5 days and then let it stand, wrapped tight in plastic, in the fridge overnight. Here it is going into the smoker. I made a labyrinth in my char pan out of thin fire brick and put half a chimney of lit coals on one end. The tinfoil is my apple chip "smoke bomb."
Here it is after 4 hours at 215F and 3 more apple and hickory chip smoke bombs. I just rolled it 180 degrees. Man, it smells good. The labyrinth worked great too.
Here's another look after 4 hours. Finger lickin' good! I'll give my char pan a good shake; outside the smoker (learned that lesson the hard way,) and put a whole chimney of lit coals in on top of the old coals. I'm shooting for a 6 hour smoke and an internal temp of 145F.
Here it is after 6 hours. Internal temp 145F on the dot (at least it was about 2 minutes after I took this pic.) Perfect! Sorry the pic's kinda fuzzy. Had the camera outside and the lens fogged when I brought it in. I'm really happy with how it turned out. Great color and the juices just squirted out when I took the thermometer out!
Finally, one more look after 6 hours. It's kinda hard to see but the meat has shrunk a good deal, it's probably 8-1/2lbs now, and has begun to pull away from the bone up top. It's resting inside to cool. I'll then wrap it in plastic and set it in the fridge overnight.
Tomorrow I will bake it in the oven under a foil tent at 250F until the internal temp reaches 155F. I'll glaze it with a root beer and cherry glaze recipe given me by a SMF member and dress it up with maraschino cherries on toothpicks. I'll let it rest for at least 30 minutes before carving at the table. Can't wait!
Final pics coming soon.
Thanks so much to everyone who helped make it happen and thanks again for making a newbie feel so welcome.
Merry Christmas to All.