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Ham hock help

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

attached [I hope] are some local ham hocks on sale at our meat supplier in Thailand @ about $1/lb and my first thoughts were to brine and smoke them and want to bounce this off you guys before I buy them.  They are about 2+ inches on the small side and 4+ inches on the large side.....look pretty meaty with thin layer of fat and skin.

My plan.....

to use the brine calculator with a 2% salt and sugar, plus some traditional secret herbs for ham.  Cut them in a spiral just down to where the meat begins so that the brine can penetrate easier.....maybe 4 slices per hock....or maybe X cut it?? and being thick at the bottom, I would inject [how much?] brine into them. and leave them in the brine for [how long?] before smoking @ 225f for [how long?].  

Another question is ....in what position should I put them on the rack in the smoker?? on the side, or with the large end down??

Any tips and suggestions would be appreciated..........

thanks in advance...

post #2 of 6

I've had good results with the following:

Pork Shanks
5 pounds pork shanks, approx. 1 pound each
1 quart water
7 1/2 ounces salt, 70% brine solution
45 grams brown sugar
30 grams cure #1
Inject shanks with 2 1/4 ounces of brine solution. Place injected shanks into remaining brine mix and place in refrigerator for 5 days.
Rinse shanks with cold water and soak in running water for 30 minutes (starting point). Test for saltiness.
Place shanks on racks and let dry for 6 to 8 hours at room temperature.
Put shanks in 130F smoker for 3 hours, gradually raising temperature to 170F in 10 degree increments.
Cook until internal temperature of 142F is reached.
Shower shanks in cold water to reduce temperature. Allow shanks to dry.
I use these shanks making fresh beans, or braise them until tender for other dishes.
post #3 of 6
I do these often,my brine is dark beer,orange peel,bay leaf,brown sugar.I follow pops ratio for the cure 1 . I inject down around the bone,soak in brine for 7 days.I smoke them at 65c with the AMZP loaded with hickory,maybe 8 hours .Sit them big end down on the rack in MES,to begin with.
Mine are for soups,beans dishes & European dishes with sausage.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Moikel....you place the shanks with the big side down, then turn them??  That was my first inclination, but worry about drying them out and would like to get a 'glaze' on the skin.....some crackling rind, so then you rotate them as they cook.  Wow, 8 hrs....how about higher temps [225f] for shorter times??  

post #5 of 6

Id use Pops brine with a full cup of salt and brine them for 1-2 weeks not worrying about injecting!  Then lay them on there side on racks in smoker not worrying about turning them!  But I'd also skin them!

post #6 of 6
You could do a 2:1 equilibrium brine with 2% salt/sugar and 156 ppm nitrite.
Pump as much brine as they'll take and brine for 7-10 days to equalize..
No need to score the skin.

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