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Ham - Temp Control Issue

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Hey, I just had a temperature issue develop with my Bradley Electric. No big deal in the scheme of things because they have excellent customer service. The real problem here is a freshly cured ham I’m in the process of making. I intended to “air dry†it for 8 hours at about 110F and then ramp the temp up to about 130 and apply about 4 hours of smoke and then increase the temp again and heat to an internal temp of about 160. At that point I would “age†it in the refrigerator until Christmas at which point I’d finish it in a hot oven with a pineapple/mustard glaze. Well, since I have no control over temp at the moment, (I’m stuck at about 220F) I’m wondering if any ham guru’s can give some alternate cooking instructions. What would happen if I thoroughly dried it and then put it on the smoker at 220F and applied smoke for 4 hours and just kept it at that temp until an internal temp of 160? Then “age†in the fridge and finish it as stated above? Wouldn’t it essentially be the same final product? Thanks in advance for any help! My family is counting on the ham. I set a precedent during Thanksgiving!
post #2 of 8
I don't think you want to put it in at that high of a temp. Also, IMO, I think 160* seems a bit high, for an IT on the ham. Since it's been pumped (I assume), and been brined in a curing solution, 148* - 152* would be all that is necessary for a ham to be considered "fully cooked". Also, with your plans to reheat it for your Christmas meal, I don't think 160* is necessary.

As far as trying to control your temp, how about using a timer on the electric element ?? You might be able to control it, closer to what smoke schedule you want to follow, without going full throttle, and possibly ruining your ham.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks Bombo. I was sort of guessing at the 160 temp, I don't have my cheat sheet in front of me. I'll definitely keep it at the temp you recommend regardless of what my notes say though. It has been pumped and brined. Out of curiosity, what would happen if I did do it at 220? Would it be tough or just basically burn? $#@!&!!! of all the times for this to happen!
post #4 of 8
How bout yer oven?
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Good question Richtee. I thought about doing the same. The lowest I can get it is about 130. How would this work:

130 in oven for about 6 hours to dry it followed by smoke at 220F until an internal temp of 148-152?
post #6 of 8
Seems close to your original program. Make it so! :{)
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
By God I will! Thanks, just needed some confirmation that I wasn't about to ruin a labor of love!
post #8 of 8
You want to put the smoke to it, while it's still a fairly low IT. Otherwise you won't get much smoke penetration. A slow, controlled temp increase is optimum. By putting it in at 220*, you might get a real tough, dried out bark on the ham, by the time you get a proper IT.

If it's possible, I would even monitor it very closely, and plug and unplug the house manually. Lots of work, but it's better than the bad alternative.

Good luck, and let us know what you end up doing, and how it turns out.
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