Ham hock help

Discussion in 'Pork' started by expat smoker, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. expat smoker

    expat smoker Smoke Blower

    attached [I hope] are some local ham hocks on sale at our meat supplier in Thailand @ about $1/lb and my first thoughts were to brine and smoke them and want to bounce this off you guys before I buy them.  They are about 2+ inches on the small side and 4+ inches on the large side.....look pretty meaty with thin layer of fat and skin.

    My plan.....

    to use the brine calculator with a 2% salt and sugar, plus some traditional secret herbs for ham.  Cut them in a spiral just down to where the meat begins so that the brine can penetrate easier.....maybe 4 slices per hock....or maybe X cut it?? and being thick at the bottom, I would inject [how much?] brine into them. and leave them in the brine for [how long?] before smoking @ 225f for [how long?].  

    Another question is ....in what position should I put them on the rack in the smoker?? on the side, or with the large end down??

    Any tips and suggestions would be appreciated..........

    thanks in advance...
  2. stanjk

    stanjk Smoke Blower

    I've had good results with the following:

    Pork Shanks

    5 pounds pork shanks, approx. 1 pound each

    1 quart water

    7 1/2 ounces salt, 70% brine solution

    45 grams brown sugar

    30 grams cure #1

    Inject shanks with 2 1/4 ounces of brine solution. Place injected shanks into remaining brine mix and place in refrigerator for 5 days.

    Rinse shanks with cold water and soak in running water for 30 minutes (starting point). Test for saltiness.

    Place shanks on racks and let dry for 6 to 8 hours at room temperature.

    Put shanks in 130F smoker for 3 hours, gradually raising temperature to 170F in 10 degree increments.

    Cook until internal temperature of 142F is reached.

    Shower shanks in cold water to reduce temperature. Allow shanks to dry.

    I use these shanks making fresh beans, or braise them until tender for other dishes.
  3. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I do these often,my brine is dark beer,orange peel,bay leaf,brown sugar.I follow pops ratio for the cure 1 . I inject down around the bone,soak in brine for 7 days.I smoke them at 65c with the AMZP loaded with hickory,maybe 8 hours .Sit them big end down on the rack in MES,to begin with.
    Mine are for soups,beans dishes & European dishes with sausage.
  4. expat smoker

    expat smoker Smoke Blower

    Moikel....you place the shanks with the big side down, then turn them??  That was my first inclination, but worry about drying them out and would like to get a 'glaze' on the skin.....some crackling rind, so then you rotate them as they cook.  Wow, 8 hrs....how about higher temps [225f] for shorter times??  
  5. doctord1955

    doctord1955 Smoking Fanatic

    Id use Pops brine with a full cup of salt and brine them for 1-2 weeks not worrying about injecting!  Then lay them on there side on racks in smoker not worrying about turning them!  But I'd also skin them!
  6. You could do a 2:1 equilibrium brine with 2% salt/sugar and 156 ppm nitrite.
    Pump as much brine as they'll take and brine for 7-10 days to equalize..
    No need to score the skin.


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