Just about a month ago, I was lucky enough to come into a great deal on pork, more specifically, whole hogs. Some may remember...
I had already made back bacon, belly bacon, ribs, and had a lot of sausage planned. But never did a ham. I remember my dad, when he went home to Quebec, always bring back these whole hams, wrapped in a cheese cloth wrap, and smelling like heaven. Him and my mom would debone them, and freeze the packages, and we would have ham with eggs, or as a main dish on special occasions. In my time till I left home, I remember only 3 times, they brought hams home.That and a pile of maple syrup, maple sugar (soft spread, and hard blocks) Dad would make maple toffee around Easter, and pour it on fresh snow to set... But I digress! Lets just say, those memories are fantastic!
So on to this story. After butchering the pigs into the larger primals, I figured I had to do hams for Easter! So took two whole hinds, trimmed them, shortened the hock, put them into a meat tub, and in the cooler. Then run inside to dig up Pop's method of ham making. Made up 3 gallons of Pop's brine but added pure maple sugar as well, cutting back a bit on the white and brown sugars. Injected along, and around the bones in as many places and directions as I could figure, then immersed, and weighed them down, and into the cooler for 28 days.
So after drying, into the stockings they went, then into the smoker to warm up a tad. Pre heated the smoker for an hour or so, it was -5C yesterday.
After 5 hours, the color is coming along nicely! IT @ 105F
It was dark when the smoking was done, IT was at 154 when I turned off the propane. I left them in the smoke house to cool/smoke till the second run of pellets from the 18" AMNTS had burnt out (Todd, this tube smoker is perfect for this larger smoker!!). Went out this morning, and took them in, Still 54F int the smoker this morning, total time under smoke was 14-16 hours. Not sure exactly when the tube stopped smoking.
Here they are, just out of the stockings.
And of course, had to try it!!
Now into the fridge till Easter to rest and mellow!
I have to throw out a huge thank you to all of the experienced, knowledgeable members here, who love what they do. Freely offer help and recipies, and try to keep us knuckelheads safe!!
A special thanks to Pop's for sharing his family recipies, and taking the time to do all the great tutorials. Also thanks to guys like Dave, Bear, Martin, Wade, Joe, and too many others to remember.
Oh yeah! The ham is DAMN good!! Get smokin'!