Experimenting with my first ham. Picked up a whole boneless pork leg from Cash & Carry and decided to brine it with Pop's brine. This was about 16 lbs. raw, and needed very little trimming.
I diverted from Pop's recipe somewhat by substituting 1 cup of molasses for 1 cup of brown sugar in 2 gallons of brine. I thought it might give it a little deeper and earthier flavor. I usually use 1/3 cup of salt per gallon when doing bacon, so that is what I did here as well.
Sorry, didn't get pics of the naked leg, but here it is out of the brine after 14 days. Deboned, it sort of folds out flat, laying between 4"-5" thick.
I hadn't read anywhere where anyone else has done this with ham, but I rubbed both sides with my usual pork rub, and then rolled the whole thing up. And since I suck at using butcher's twine to tie up meat, I cheated by using some silicon bands that I purchased from our good friends at Owen's BBQ. They worked like a charm, and have the added advantage of constricting as the meat shrinks in the smoker.
Then into some netting, and hung in the smoker. I had all weekend, so I decided to try something else I haven't seen anyone else do here. The first day, I cold smoked. Then the second day, I smoked while putting the heat to it.
Cold smoking with 70/30 corncob and cherry.
After 16 hours of cold smoking, back into the fridge overnight.
2nd day: Rubbed with a coating of maple sugar, then back inside to smoke at 220° with more corncob & cherry pellets.
Spring ahead another 10 hours, and the IT has reached 155°.
At this point, my chief taste-tester enters the room to give her seal of approval. Note the tail: it was spinning like a helicopter blade. I thought she was about to take off!
Not bad for a first try, but I don't think I hit it out of the ballpark. It could have used a bit more salt for my taste, but it is a fine low-sodium ham. And for as much smoke as I put to it, it did not have a pronounced smokey taste. In fact, although it tasted good, it didn't have a real "hammy" flavor to it, either. Perhaps it needed more time in the brine to achieve that; I'm just not sure.
Thoughts or suggestions?