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Discussion in 'Pork' started by jetjockey, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. Jeff - Could you please explain the procedures for smoking an un-cooked, bone-in, 15-20# HAM that was ordered from our local grocery store?  I am new to the smoking scene and have only tried baby-back ribs (ended up overdone) and a small turkey breast (came out great).  I want to do a ham for Thanksgiving and don't want it to be an "Experiment" with company coming over.  Could you explain, start to finish (with pictures if possible) how to do this - PLEASE?

    I have an electric Cabelas electric smoker - pretty much a Brinkman electric Bullet Smoker that I purchased used.  It seems to have problems getting up to temperature - max is about 200-220 degrees?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated - Thanks!

  2. pineywoods

    pineywoods SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

    Was the meat cured?
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2010
  3. pit 4 brains

    pit 4 brains Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If it is sold as a ham, it should already be cured but you need to find out for sure. Your smoker will be great for a ham.

    I do a couple every year and I like to smoke mine at a low temp, say around 190 - 200 or so, to let it bathe in the smoke for a longer time. I like to score the outside in cross-cut pattern and smoke bare until about 160 internal temp. I then usually use a molasses and mustard glaze for the remaining time.. I did find that if you smoke it with the cut end down, it will have a greater tendancy to dry out, so lay it on it's side..
  4. Hum - cured?  I am not sure, I will have to ask.  Don't have the ham yet, but will ask and get back to you.  "Thanks" for the reply.

  5. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yes that will be the main question "Is it cured?".
  6. Hey, "Thanks" for the reply.  I will have to check to see if it is 'cured', or not.  I have just ordered it, so don't have it 'in-hand', and I will get back to you on this..  Yes, at those temps and long cooking times, I would expect it might dry out some - so the 'heads-up' on laying it on it's side is a good tid-bit. 

  7. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    If I were you, I would get a cured, pre-cooked smoked ham.

    Then smoke that puppy again (Double Smoked).

    I've been curing & smoking Bacon, Canadian Bacon, Buckboard Bacon, Turkey Breast, Dried Beef, etc, etc, and I would be afraid to cure a 15 or 20 pound fresh (raw) ham. I'm not saying it can't be done, but not by a rookie, including me.

    Years ago, before I had a smoker, I used to buy smoked ham from a small PA Dutch butcher shop. They used to do exactly that (Double Smoke), and that was really great.

    Just my 2 cents,

  8. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Is your called cured, smoked, or even pinic if so then it is already cooked or smoked. Then all you have to do is like Bear said and re-heat/smoke it to get it hot. If not you still can smoke it in yoursmoker but it will take almost forever. The main thing that you would have to worry about is the 40° to 140° in 4 hours rule. You have to get the ham to 140° in 4 hours or you will have to finished it in the oven.
  9. Well All - Found out that the Ham I ordered is in fact, 'raw' with the skin on.  However, it has not shown up at the store yet.  So, based on what you all have told me, I canceled the order.  I have done a bunch of research on "curing" and I agree, it is just too involved for me at this time - and I just don't have the amount of time it would take to cure a ham at this point.  Maybe some other time after I am more 'experienced'?  Anyway, I have decided to order a 12-15 lb. "Cure81" "cured & smoked" ham, and re-smoke it!  I have had several people tell me that the Cure81 is one of the best Hams for quality and 'cut' of meat.

    I want to thank all of you that have responded to my 'post', it has all been useful, and I have learned a LOT!  This is the BEST forum I have found for those like me that are just learning.  I hope that some day, I will be the one giving out the 'expert' information.

  10. pineywoods

    pineywoods SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member

  11. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member


    I think you made the right decision (for now anyway).

    I've been curing & smoking a lot of different things, and even I think turning a raw "hog leg" into a safe to eat smoked ham is above my know how.

    If you look at the link Piney posted before me "From Hog Leg To Easter Ham", you can see much of what is involved, and it would only take one little screw-up to turn it into a nightmare. Don't get me wrong, it can be done, as long as you follow instructions from somebody who knows exactly how to do it, like the author of that link, "Pops". I think he's about the 42nd generation butcher in that family, and there are more behind him! [​IMG]

    He is indeed a "Trusted Authority"