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A Christmas ham...sort of (with Q-view) Part 1

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Boy it's been a while since I've been back here. Great to see all of the activitiy and new faces. For Christmas this year I decided to go for Rytek Kutas' schinkenspeck recipe (less the 'speck' or bacon) and cure/smoke according to his ham recipe. Here's the play-by-play. I'm a complete ham 'virgin' so everything I'm doing is a first.

1. Buy a fresh ham: Um, not so easy as I found out. Not a butcher in Orlando could get their hands on a ham. I decided to go with the shoulder (picnic) as I like the bone and the potential flavor that might bring (again, just guessing here as I don't really know if that's true).

2. Mix the brine: The ingredients are simple enough. Got the juniper berries from The Sausage Maker and ground the berries and white pepper in a coffee grinder. I mixed it all with water, stirring for a while to be sure it all disoved.

3. Trim and pump: I trimmed all of the skin and loose fat and then weighed the beast. The recipe calls for pumping to 15% of the green weight so at 11lbs, I did my best to fill'er up with 1.7lbs of brine. As you can see, some of it is sitting in the bottom of the tray. Not sure if I did this right or not but I pumped in as many places as possible. I then put into a bucket with the brine and kept in the fridge for 7 days.

4. Let the wild rumpus start: I pulled the picnic out this morning in preparation for the first step; drying for 12 hours in the smoker at 120 degrees(went in at 8a today). I realized only then that the netting I bought was too small. UGH! I improvised with a make shift net of my own using 4 long pieces of string tied together in the middle and placed the ham on that and tied it up. I think it will be fine.

5. The Smoke (tba): Got the smoke started around 8:30p last night. Had it going all night until about 8am this morning. About 4:30 am I got up and checked the box and all was well. I decided to speed things up a bit and took the smoker temp up to 165. The meat temp at the time was 132. As of about 9a (5 hours later) it was at 137. So about a degree an hour. Looks like I may have another 7 hours left. Here's the shot of the ham at 7:30a this morning after 12 1/2 hrs of drying and nearly 12 hours of smoking. From here, I've shut the damper in hopes of reaching the magic number of 145 sooner than later.

6. Serve on Christmas Day: I'll get some shots of the carved beast and update sometime that day, unless the bubbly gets to me first...burp.

Merry Christmas.
post #2 of 16
Things are looking good for you and the girls. Keep the pics coming.
post #3 of 16
Great start and excellent blow by blow so far, can't wait to see the rest...PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif
post #4 of 16
Great Start...
post #5 of 16
Wow that thing is a beast, keep it coming.
post #6 of 16
Nice looking ham.
post #7 of 16
Looks great. Nice presentation. Keep us posted.
post #8 of 16
Aww, Wow, I can't wait.
Thanks for such a great blow by blow too----Keep it comin'.PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif

post #9 of 16
Man that looks soooo good and I cann't wait for Christmas. Isn't funny how all of us here just want to smoke and cook things for Christmas and not to worried about what we are getting. But what we can give for Christmas.
post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
I couldn't agree more, Mballi. I think in general, whether at Christmas or any other time, Q'g is about giving AND receiving (the kudos-ha!) I'm aready thinking about what I'm smokin' on Dec 26. Married to a Brit and dec 26 in England is also a big party day called "Boxing Day". Just another reason to drink that delicious English beer I guess.

Just checked the temp on that ham and it hasn't moved for 3 hours. Holding at 137. Not sure if it can plateau at such a low temp. Any thoughts?
post #11 of 16
Looking great!
post #12 of 16
Looking very good. Excellent presentation!
post #13 of 16
Shame you couldn't find a fresh ham around your area.

Looks good though, can't wait for some sliced shots.
Great job!
post #14 of 16
Now you're talkin! We have a great British pub in Portsmouth....love, love, love goin there for a few pints of Old Speckled Hen and Old Thumper Cask Ale!

Anyhow.....the ham looks great! I did a fresh 28lb fresh ham last Easter. It wasn't cured at all, but it turned out pretty tasty.
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
BS...you got it just right as my wife is your same town, only in England. Portsmouth, England.

Anyhow, I pulled that sucker about two hours ago. It stalled at 137 degrees and I couldn't figure it out. Got anxious and stuck in the oven at 200. Was feeling a little guilty that my Bradley had worked 30 hours straight. Didn't want to push too hard on this first marathon smoke.

Pics coming day after tomorrow...I hope.
post #16 of 16
Ham looks great. Love the step by step!!

Oh pray tell the name of this fine establishment? Good friend lives in P-mouth and will need a good place to hang out when we visit her!
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