I started out with 2 fresh shoulder hocks, about 1 1/2 lbs each. Pops said that 7-10 days would be more than ample for hocks as they are mostly bone, and that injecting would not be necessary. I used his standard full-strength brine recipe (1 gallon water, 1 cup pickling salt, 1 cup white sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, and 1 oz Cure #1). I soaked my hocks in this brine for the 7 days, let them sit in the refrigerator overnight on a rack, then hot smoked them.
Pops said they could be hot smoked to a partially cooked IT of 135 deg F, or a fully cooked IT of 146 deg F. I went to the fully cooked IT of ~ 146 deg, which took about 4 hours at around 200 deg F. I used Pitmaster Blend in the AMNPS.
Here are the hocks right out of the brine.
In the smoker.
After smoking for 4 hours at 200 deg F.
I like the color!
Here is the hock immersed in my baked beans. I simmered it for 3 1/2 hours in the baked beans in a 275 deg F oven. This is my standard go-to baked bean recipe which I make from scratch. If you want to see details on the recipe (just substitute the ham hock for the trotter), here is a post I did on it previously: http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/151768/ham-and-trotter-baked-beans-from-scratch-w-q-view
After 3 1/2 hours of simmering the hock, I removed the meat from the hock, chopped it up, and put the meat back in the baked beans.
I returned the baked beans to the oven and let them continue simmering uncovered for an additional hour until thickened.
The baked beans came out really delicious. I'm definitely a woman who loves her pig trotters, but using home cured and smoked ham hocks in baked beans is even better. I might cold smoke the hocks for a couple of hours before applying heat next time to give them a more pronounced smoky flavor. However, the saltiness level was just right for our taste.
Thanks again for your help and advice, Pops!
Thanks for reading, and Happy Holidays!