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Tiny Green Ham

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have a 2.2 pound fresh ham (boneless) that I got from a local farmer. I have never done anything with a fresh ham, nor have I smoked any kind of pork that was this small (typically I do boston butts that are 6-10 pounds). So I'm wide open for suggestions here - brine? rub? ideal internal temp to pull off?

post #2 of 18
Thread Starter 
Anyone have any ideas? I need to make this thing soon but I don't know what I'm doing :)
post #3 of 18
How about some buckboard bacon, or canadian bacon? You could also just smoke that thing and pull it.
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I'm just looking to smoke it whole... I just have no idea what temp I should pull it. I normally do boston butts to about 190 and they just fall apart. But being a totally different cut I'm not sure about this one. I've read 160, 170, 180... doesn't seem to be a consensus...

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
I made this today (sorry about not having pics). Wasn't real happy. Had the smoker at 220 with a water pan. Started basting at 140 degrees internal temp, took off at 155 degrees. Still ended up being pretty dry. Flavor was ok, but just not very moist. I really hate spening all day cooking and having it turn out like crap. mad.gif
post #6 of 18
sorry man... i cannot believe you posted this a few days ago and didnt get much help. it usually isnt like this. sorry to hear about your pork roast turning out dry. next time i would either try curing it in advance if you are interested in ham or buckboard. or injecting it say with apple juice or that cajun butter stuff everyone uses right before going on the smoker. or just slather in mustard and your fav rub... that a pretty small piece and be easy to dry out, have to watch that one close.
post #7 of 18
I apologize no one responded to you before you smoked your ham. Curing it may have helped along with a rest afterwards. I have not done a ham yet but I did search the forum in the pork section & came up with some interesting posts.



I hope your next one turns out better.
post #8 of 18
that is for sure a hard item to smoke
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. No need to apologize, though, this forum is one of the most helpful I've found on any topic. The big thing I'm struggling with at this point is trying to change techniques to work with the pasture raised animals. I know these meats are supposed to be leaner and not require as much cooking time, but I don't typically cook by time, I go by temps. So when I am doing pork from a Berkshire hog, should I not be targetting 160 degrees as a minimum? I've read that most of those USDA minimum temps are basically just a safeguard to make sure you aren't going to get sick. But if I have a piece of a meat from a local farmer that I trust, can I get by with less? I eat my steaks rare and so far I have loved all the grass-fed beef that I've made. But nobody eats rare pork and I've been struggling with trying to get ribs and roasts to taste as good as the grocery store versions did. I'm open for any tips though. My parents are coming in to town this weekend and I'd like to smoke some things for them. I don't want my lack of experience to make the Big Green Egg look bad :-)
post #10 of 18
For lean cuts, I typically do not go over 145 before foiling and resting. Bacterian and other bad guys in pork die at 137° to 138°. Taking lean pork to 160 will get you what you got. Dry meat.
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Good to know, thanks. I did foil (and then wrap in towels and put in a small cooler) and let rest for about 3 hours actually so I'm confident that the dryness was due to the cooking, not the post-cooking phase.

Question: why would I ever want to go to 160 or higher even if the cut isn't as lean? Won't this just be drying out the meat to some degree no matter what? I know with things like a Boston Butt you need to break down all the connective tissue and what not, but for a chop, nice roast or other quality cut, is there any reason to go more than 145-150?
post #12 of 18

no need

In my opinon....

The long cook times for naturally tougher pieces of meat are strickly to make them tender. If you have a naturally tender piece of meat, like a pork loin, or pork chops (which usually are just cut up pork loins), or a steak you only need to cook it to the doneness that you prefer. They don't have all the connective tissue that needs to be broken down, hence no need for a long cook.
post #13 of 18
i agree 100 percent, many of the cuts we smoke or BBQ, are naturally tough cuts and are generally cheaper. the whole deal with bbq is to take these substandard cuts and make them into the beautiful delicacies we do. the one thing to remember is that the cuts with more connective tissue will have much more flavor than one of the tender cuts like tenderloin, or a premo steak, etc...
post #14 of 18
I would listen to Erian and Forthwinds I have been here a while with theses guys and they know what they are talking about. Now I have been a kinda city boy growing up and didn't get farmed raised meats so we were the grocery store buying. But I do smoke or grill my pork and take it off with alittle hint of pink and then the carry over will bring it to a safe finishing temp.
post #15 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the input guys!

Sounds like a) I need to try to get some larger cuts of meat and b) I need to pull them earlier if they are leaner cuts. Based on feedback I've gotten from other people that have cooked the Berkshire pork before, they are thinking the meat size is probably the biggest problem. Supposedly the Berkshire hogs are supposed to have even more fat that a normal factory hog. I guess it's just genetic and not related to how much activity they get. But if the piece is too small it sounds like it is hard to smoke it without drying it out.
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
So this weekend I was planning to attempt some pork spare ribs from one of these same animals... I've never used a meat probe for ribs before so I've always just gone on time... any thoughts on how I should do these? I've read about the "3-2-1" method, would that be appropriate in my case or do I need less time? or more? Not really sure what the heck to do on these :) Should I start another thread?
post #17 of 18
i would go with the 3-2-1 on the spares. esp if first time. pretty much will give you a good end product, you can tweak times to fit your likingsmdoen the road... have some applejuice on hand to spritz with and add a lil bit when going into the foil stage...
post #18 of 18
Watch for pull-away on the rib bones, it will indicate amount of doneness. They should indent but not expose the rib bone end to any great extent.

Here's a great tutorial on spares by an expert:

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