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I got a 21lb fresh ham - what to do!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I bought a whole hog a few months ago and had them leave one leg intact. What I ended up with was a 21lb slab of thick meat. Last week I bought a nice offset smoker. I'm new at this and I can't decide what to do with this meat. I've read many many website on "curing" the ham in salt/sugar/pepper/ground clove. I made this mixture up with about 5 gallons of water, but now with it made is this the best route for this meat? It is partially defrosted in the fridge and need to decide quick what I'm going to do. So do I:

A: Cure the meat in the brine for 2 weeks and smoke over apple wood for like 8 hours
B: Just smoke is over wood for 8 hours
C: Find a commercial curing mixture, i.e. mortons or Bradley's and cure that way, then smoke.
D: ?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

BTW, I smoked my first ribs the other day on the new smoker using 2-2-1 method, turned out alright but were a lot better the day after. One mistake I know I did was forgetting to remove the membrane on the ribs. Ah the fun of learning.
post #2 of 6
have you stopped in at roll call??
post #3 of 6
The first question for you to answer is do you want smoked pork or smoked ham? If you decide on smoked pork then rub it and smoke away. If you want smoked ham then you'll need to read up on curing the meat and from the size your talking about 2 weeks may not be long enough. Also which ever way you go you must go by internal temps of the meat and not by time.
post #4 of 6
stop by roll call, introduce yourself,smokers,how bad a smokin habit you got etc...as far as you question, 21 lbs is a big chunk of meat!!!! maybe look at separating that nto smaller portions, 2 or maybe even 3. otherwise it will take a huge amount of time to get that where you want it temp wise cud make ham as you had planned but also dont see why cudnt do a part of it just like a butt and pull. i just pasted a link for a honey cured ham on a different thread which starts out with uncured pork. i will add it here also. let me add curing meat is nothing to fool around with so some research needs to be done on your end to be sure this is really the direction you want to go. good luck, again stop by roll call and let us know a bit...

post #5 of 6
If you choose to cure it you might want to let it sit for 21 days as large as it is.

Try smoking it with hickory or maple. Those are the best fresh cured hams.

Here's my thread on curing hams.


Smoke it to 160ยบ internal temp.
If you don't have a meat thermometer you'll need to get one.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice. I'll stop by roll call. I found some maple cure mix at my local sports store as where I live they don't sell morton's tender or anything of that sorts. I mixed up 4 gallons with boiling water let cool to 40 and put the meat in. In 4 days I'm going to cut it up into 3 pieces and pump some into it. Let it soak for another week then smoke it. We'll see what happens.
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