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Advice on Smoking Fresh Ham

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

I want to smoke a fresh ham for Thanksgiving and have never done it before.  Here are a few questions I have:

 

Do you suggest brine?  Marinade?  Injection?  If so, any recipe?

 

What is the cook time like?

 

Any specific Do's or Dont's?

 

 

I have done the pre-cooked spiral sliced ham's and they turned out very good.  This is a bit of adventure :)  I am deep-frying a turkey for the first time and smoking salmon along with this ham, so thanksgiving will be full of adventure this year.  I'm just running a little late on planning lol.

post #2 of 14

What do you mean by fresh ham? Do you have a whole uncured pork leg? Or do you have a store bought cured and smoked ham that hasn't been sliced or glazed yet? 

post #3 of 14
deep frying for the first time ?? PLEASE read this first and heed all warnings...

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/172790/deep-frying-a-turkey-please-read-this-first#post_1486921




Quote:
Originally Posted by bmaddox View Post

What do you mean by fresh ham? Do you have a whole uncured pork leg? Or do you have a store bought cured and smoked ham that hasn't been sliced or glazed yet? 

yeahthat.gif
post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

By fresh ham, I mean a raw, uncooked ham.  I do not mean a pre-cooked ham.  I am planning to pick it up from my butcher in the morning. 

 

I will read the turkey fry thread also.

post #5 of 14

It's really too late for a Brine or marinade to have much impact. Injection would be fine but you need to babysit the smoker to make sure the heat does not drop below 225. Treat it like a Roast. Smoke to an IT of 150-160 near but not touching the bone. It will slice nicely and be juicy. I don't care for pulled ham because it can be dry. Guys that have more experience with these should be able to give a time. I have only roasted them at 325 and they take about 15 minutes a pound...JJ

post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 

I plan to get the ham in the morning, brine/marinade all day, and cook early Thursday morning.  So I will have almost 24 hours of brine/marinade.  Is that not enough?

post #7 of 14

In 24 hours you will get maybe 1/2" of penetration. Will not have a big impact but will get some flavor...JJ

post #8 of 14

@Chef JimmyJ is spot on. To turn a pork leg into a ham takes 3-4 weeks in the brine to cure it (using cure #1). If you are getting a fresh ham that has not been cured it will not have the traditional ham flavor. If it has been cured then you can smoke it to 145 then glaze it and take it to 160. 

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
If it will not taste like a ham, what will it taste like? I didn't think it would take that long. I have heard about curing but didn't think it was necessary. So am I better off to just do one of the pre cooked hams?
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by djtech2k View Post

If it will not taste like a ham, what will it taste like? I didn't think it would take that long. I have heard about curing but didn't think it was necessary. So am I better off to just do one of the pre cooked hams?

It will taste like pork, as in pork loin or pork chops.
post #11 of 14

The cure is what gives pork the pink/red color and the ham taste. Without cure it will just taste like regular pork (think boston butts). You can still smoke a store bought ham. Here is one of Bear's recipes:

 

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/236101/double-smoked-ham-bear-style

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

Can you get a cured, uncooked ham and then cook it? 

post #13 of 14
If you get a "Raw Pork Leg"... Look at this..... Making a ham will take at LEAST 6 days using the method below.....

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/236375/ham-from-fresh-picnics-update-10-21-money

Any questions, I'm here.....
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by djtech2k View Post
 

Can you get a cured, uncooked ham and then cook it? 

They are out there but rare and usually a special order for guys that like to smoke their own.

 

In the grocery Biz and small Butcher Shops, a Fresh Ham, is a back leg, raw, uncured and smoked or Roasted. It taste like Roast Pork, just a lot of it.

 

Pork%20Leg%20Roast%20$9kg,%203kg%20approx%20New%20Zealand%20Pork,%20order%20meat%20online%20wellington.JPG

 

The general term Ham, refers to a Cured, and Smoked Fully Cooked rear leg. Pink, Salty, a little Sweet and gets covered in Pineapple and Cherries. You probably have eaten these on Easter, Christmas and fried with Eggs at your local breakfast joint.

 

4550-Unglazed-Half-Spiral-Ham-41.jpg

 

Both above are before cooking. Notice raw skin on Fresh ham and the Smokey rind on the Spiral Ham...

 

Lots of SMF members buy Fresh Hams and Cure them for whatever lenghth of time needed and Smoke them. Pops does one for Easter every year

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