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Urgent question before I smoke hams today

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Smoking two Smithfield partially-cooked hams today. They're out of the fridge and warming up now. I decided to use a rub instead of the recipe Mr. Minion offered simply because I had all of the rub ingredients on hand (and not most of the ingredients from Jim's friend's recipe) and things are a little tight right now. Hope to try the other recipe soon.

My question is this . . . I scored the hams and rubbed them last night, trying to get some rub into the score cuts. Both are shank portions, with skin on the bone end. Both are heavily covered in fat for most of the outside. Should I have trimmed all of this fat off? Otherwise it doesn't seem like much of the rub will reach the meat. Same question regarding the glaze at the end. Will most of that fat render away so that the glaze isn't just on a ring of fat that I won't eat? To trim or not to trim?

post #2 of 7
Hey donnylove

I did a ham the other day left the fat on and scored it seems to me the melting fat pulled the rub into the meat. Either way good luck and share some Q-view
post #3 of 7
I have seen folks trim the fat away and then put the rub on. Myself I leave the fat on. My thoughts on this.

When you cook a ham in the oven you score it and put cloves
in and baste, I use Vernor's ginger ale. The flavor goes to
the meat. I also think it will aid in keeping your ham moist.

Well that's my opinion. You are in the right place for advice.

Good luck,

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
I ended up leaving all of the skin and fat on one shank and then went with the skin off and much of the fat removed for the other. We'll see if I can tell any difference. Qview to come later. Thanks for the advice!
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
So where exactly should I be checking the temperature in a shank ham? I'm having trouble finding a temperature that I think is reasonable.
post #6 of 7
hey, donny -

sorry i caught this late - i havne't done a ham but did read some about it in the BBQFAQ. here's a link to download the FAQ in word format:


it's a handy reference that you can keep on your desktop!

anyway, trimming to 1/4 inch is a good idea, you shouldn't "need" any more on tehre than that - having said that, i've heard a lot of folks extoll the virtures of leaving the skin on. the fat will render down quite well in any case, and you should be in good shape. with it scored well, i don't think you will ahve any problems, but i like your idea of doing a comparison.

as for taking the temperature, a good rule of thumb is to put the probe into the thickest part of the meat AWAY FROM ANY FAT OR BONE, as these will gie a false reading. i check in a couple of different places that look to be away from fat and bone - results are usually good but i ahve of course made a mistake a time or two. foiling when the ham is done should help a bit with this as the temp continues to rise, assuming that foiling is a part of doing a ham (i am not 100% sure that it is, but it would make sense to do so).
post #7 of 7


Whether you remove the skin, or "rind", save it. Folks in the fouth love the skin from baked ham, myself included, and a lot think that's the best part. I cannot disagree. If you remove the rind either before or after cooking, save it. Cut it up into 1 or two inch pieces and fry it up in a cast iron pot or aluminum stockpot. The Fat will render out of it and fry up the skin. Cook them on low-med heat until they are golden brown and crunchy. Pull them out with a slotted spoon and let drain on paper towels.

These are cracklin's and the best snacking in the world! I love to put them in a paper sack, sprinkle old bay in there and shake it up real good. Woo-Hoo! That's some mighty fine eating there!

A few months ago I made a country ham and made cracklins. Took them to work and those babies disappeared faster than an ABT hot off the grill. I never did get to eat any of them.....but good thing I'd eaten a bunch the day before at home biggrin.gif
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