Previously cured/hickory smoked Ham Shank

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Meat Mopper
Original poster
OTBS Member
Jul 18, 2005
I was wondering if anyone has ever tried a previously cured/lightly smoked Ham shank with water added in their smoker...You know the type that you find in the grocery store that is cry-o-vacced. They weigh about 8-10 pounds and are not to be confused with Fresh Pork Butts or shoulders.

I have done a hundred or more shoulders/butts but I have never tried one of these in the smoker..

I tried searching our forums for this but came up with nothing.

I don't intend to smoke this for pulling but just to cook it up in my pit smoker until it reaches an internal temp of 160-170 degrees for slicing.

If anyone has had this experience please let me know how it worked out.


ranger72 :)

OTBS # 14
yo ranger dude,
i have put shank hamsin smoker twice.
in my opinion it wasnt worth the effort.
i didnt see any improvement of taste ,
if wanting whole shank ham,
from my pineapple juice cajun injected oven warmed.

i usually cut a couple of ham steaks,
then use the rest for season ing other dishes.

the main reason to buy a shank is to make a pot of beans!!
or have ham and eggs and grits.
larry joe!

Thanks for responding. I wonder if anybody else has had the same experience?

Hotdang! I haven't had any grits since Fort Benning and Fort Bragg! Missem.

Live in Maine now, never have seen or heard of them here.

Thanks again,


OTBS # 14
Since these have been brined and smoked, why smoke them again? When I buy them, sometimes I'll ask the meat cutter to cut the shank into 1/2 inch slices for frying and I use the top of the shank and the hock for a hearty pot of navy bean soup. Other times I'll just have them remove the hock.

As for heating the ham shank up, I just place it into a preheated 325 degree oven. Since most of these have been previously cooked (check the label) you only need to reheat them to an internal temp of 140*.
Thanks Dutch!

Those are all great ideas for this type of cut which is cured with salt sugar and water added it is only very lightly smoked with hickory according to the label.

I found a great idea by Googling on a site out of Great Britain for just such a cut as this, which seems to be more along the lines of what I was thinking about... :idea:

I am doing it up now and later on I will know whether or not I will want to do it again or share it with the rest of my friends and brothers here!

In the meantime I'm making preparations and taking pictures, keeping a log, etc. So in the event it turns out great I can do a tute on the results

But only if it is good! 8)

ranger72 :)
Grits! Very few places around here in SE PA serve them. There's a Bob Evans restaurant close by and they have them, but if I go there I'm diggin into the sausage gravy and biscuits! :P I lived in NC for a number of years and sure do miss cheese grits and grits w/red-eye gravy, which brings a question to do they cure/smoke the ham for the country ham, I'll have to make a new topic for that one...I have the recipe for the sausage gravy, I'll have to try that with a fatty...
Hi There Shellbellc!

Oh yeah! Sounds very good to me...We can find sausage gravy and biscuits up here but grits..I've never seen them and I was born here...Only in my younger days and then only below the Mason-Dixon line.. :(

Seems like they may have been creeping north a bit if grits are now available in the Pa state.

And when ya get into all the heavily cured hams and biscuits and butter and grits with maple syrup :D the cholesterol cops will surely be blowin their whistles!

And my apologies for recognizing only my OTBS brothers in the previous post..It seems we have a few sisters now as well and thats terrific!

I have been a member here since close to the beginning of these forums but I don't have time to visit very often from middle of spring until middle of fall season...Its a very busy time of the year for me I will be popping in more often now that fall and winter is just about here. :)

ranger72 :)

OTBS # 14
If you have not seen or tried this yet do yourself a favor and give it try. I am getting the pinic bone in cheap hams to use for this recipe. It is great.

Dr. Chicken's Double Smoked Ham

Ham should be a fully cooked or partially cooked 1/2 shank variety or can be shoulder variety (water added can be used, as long as the water added does not exceed 23% water added product.) If it is pre-smoked with hickory, that seems to work out best. Patti/Jean or Cooks among the best, but other varieties can be used!

Dr. Chicken's Sweet Kiss of Death Injectable Marinade


1 Cup of Good clean water (if your city or well water has an offensive taste, please use bottled water)
1 Cup of light Karo syrup (make sure it is light Karo brand syrup)
1/8 Cup of Amaretto liqueur (use the real stuff it makes a difference)
2 TBS of Watkins brand Butter Pecan extract (this is the only Butter-Pecan extract I could find)
1 TBS of Rum extract (again, I used Watkins because of the better taste than store bought)
1 tsp of Orange extract (this compliments the orange juice concentrate used in the glaze or basting sauce)
1 to 2 TBS Vanilla extract (again, I used Watkins because of taste after the first run)

Directions for blending:

Into a medium size sauce pan add the water, Karo syrup and Amaretto. Stir frequently and heat very slowly to avoid scorching the sugars in the syrup.

Then, add all the remaining ingredients and continue to stir and heat slowly. When the mix looks uniform in color and smooth, remove mix from the stove and allow it to cool to almost room temperature.

Directions for use:

Wrap ham in 2 layers of plastic wrap before starting the injection process.

Using a marinade hypodermic syringe, inject at least 2 fluid ozs. per pound of meat in a grid pattern throughout the entire ham and don't be afraid to use up to 3 ounces per pound of meat.

Continue to inject the marinade into the ham until the entire amount of marinade is injected evenly into the ham.

Cook the ham as shown in the "Double Smoked Ham" recipe. Be sure to use your favorite wood for smoke flavoring.

Do not cook the ham beyond 145*F internal to prevent over cooking and drying out the ham.

Glazing Sauce:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup (use dark grade B real maple syrup if available, which has more flavor than grade A)
1/4 cup honey
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 to 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp instant coffee granules (use a good brand because it makes a difference)
1 Tbsp dry ground mustard
2 Tbsp orange juice concentrate (a good brand provides better flavor)

Blend all ingredients in a sauce pan with a wire whip and heat slightly until everything combines into a viscous or thick looking sauce.

Cooking instructions:

Score outer skin of ham to a depth of 1/2" in a crisscross diamond pattern. This will allow the glazing sauce to penetrate below the skin, into the actual ham. Place ham (un-glazed) into a shallow roasting pan or roasting rack. If pineapple and cherries are desired on the outside, add them when you start the glazing process. Cook in oven at 275-300*F with a loose tent of aluminum foil over the top for 25 to 30 minutes per lb. Baste with glazing sauce the last hour of cooking time and continue to cook until the ham reaches an internal temperature of 140*F. Remove from oven and allow to sit covered for 20 to 30 minutes before carving!

Cooking instructions for outdoor cooking:

This can be done on a grill over indirect heat or in a water smoker or other type of cooker, again over indirect heat or "low & slow" type cooking. Do not tent over ham if done on grill, water smoker or other cooker; this would prevent smoke from penetrating the ham.

Place water soaked chunks of mesquite, hickory or pecan (we prefer the smoke of pecan over all the others) on coals 5 minutes before putting ham on cooker. This will allow the ham to obtain maximum smoke flavor during the second cook cycle. (The first cook cycle is the cycle the processor uses.) If even more smoke flavor is desired, place ham in freezer for 1 to 1-1/2 hours prior to cooking to allow outer edges of ham to start to freeze. Go easy on this procedure; you don't want the ham frozen hard!

Maintain temperature of cooker/grill at 225-275*F during cook cycle.

If using a water smoker, fill water pan 3/4 full with hot water and add 2 cups of orange, pineapple, or orange/pineapple mix, sweetened grapefruit or apple juice to the water. (All of them act as tenderizer as the steam penetrates the meat.) (I use a 3/4 full drip pan when cooking on the Eggs, filled with a 50:50 mix of water and orange juice.)

Again, cook for 25 to 30 minutes per lb. until internal temp on the ham shows 140*F. A couple of books suggest 145*F and 160*F respectively. Shirley O. Corriher in her book "CookWise" suggests 140*F. We found this to be exactly right. After removing from the Egg, it will climb up to 145*F internally. The ham will retain it moistness and the flavor will go thru out the ham this way.

Baste ham with glazing sauce every 10 to 15 minutes during the last hour of cooking time. Glazing compound will burn, so do not start glazing the ham until the internal temp of the ham reaches 120*F.

NOTE: The secret to this process is plenty of smoke and the real maple syrup and granular coffee crystals in the glazing sauce. Use a cheaper cut of ham like mentioned before, and people will think you bought an expensive ham that you had to "hock" your kids for! Yuk! Yuk! (see my pun there?) The glazing sauce will give the ham a fantastic taste, smell and color!

Dr. Chicken (aka: Dave Spence)

Jim, nice to see you posting. This is defenetely going into my "Gotta Do" folder. It defenetely sounds better than what I've had/done in the past.

Thanks for sharing.
I found this recipe by googling!

It came from the archives of a now defunct British Barbecue Website.

The ham shank I used was cryovacced cured a bit with sugar and salt and had water added.It was also lightly hickory smoked.

Here are the ingredients/instructions:

1 cured ham 7-10 pounds

1 Tablespoon Cinnamon

1 Teaspoon Dry Mustard

1 Tablespoon Ginger

1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cloves

2 Oz. Jack Daniels Sour Mash Whiskey

NOTE: I used Evan McWilliams 100Proof Bourbon whiskey Cause that's
what I had :lol:

2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar

1/2 Teaspoon Molasses

2/3 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar

1 cup Pineapple Juice

2 small containers

In one container place Cinnamon, Mustard, Ginger and Cloves and add the whiskey stirring up well.Set this mix aside for about

2 hours. The alcohol allegedly helps to dissolve and blend the essential oils in the spices. :roll: :lol:

Place the Brown Sugar, Molasses and Apple Cider Vinegar in the second container and stir it up well then add this to first

container with the spices and again stir it up well.

Now add the cup of Pineapple juice and mix the whole mixture up well..Set this aside for a few minutes.

Then I got my smoker going using hardwood lump charcoal and some applewood chunks. 8)

While My smoker was getting up to temperature (220 degrees) I took the cry-o-vac off the ham and took a thin bladed razor

sharp knife and made vertical cuts starting at the top of the shank down to the bottom of the broad base of the ham about 1

inch apart all the way around the ham.

I made these cuts just slightly deeper than the rind (skin) of the ham and then began to work my way around the ham

skinning/peeling off the rind.

Remember this type of cut is already slightly cooked so it was easy to skin..The purpose of this is to remove the heavy rind so

that your mop and the light smoke will get into the meat more easily because this is not pulled pork. We are only cooking the

ham in the smoker until it reaches an internal temperature of 155 - 160 degrees. Same as if we were baking it in the oven.


Then after the rind is removed take your sharp knife and start at the top of the shank about 2 inches down and make horizontal

cuts around the circumference of the ham about 1 inch apart til you have scored the ham all around.

You will now have a completely skinned and scored ham shank ..Leave any fat which may be on the ham alone.Do not trim it


Now here are two images: One is the ham before the skinning process and the other is after the ham has been skinned :)
pic of the Ham after being skinned and scored :)
Now my smoker is up to temperature and I have heated up my Mop mixture and have painted it onto the skinned and scored ham. 8)
I have poured about 1 quart of nice apple juice into my water pan and have placed the Mop Painted ham in the smoker!

Ranger72 :P

OTBS # 14
This is about the size fire you want for this particular smoke because remember we are not making pulled pork!

I add a little hardwood charcoal as necessary and my applewood and a chunk of hickory once in awhile!

Small fire for this is good!
Here is the ham after 2 hours and now I am mopping with the spicy mixture! And also you can more easily see the applejuice in the water pan in this image.

Notice how the scoring of the skinless ham starts to part after cooking for a while which allows the smoke and the spiced mop to penetrate better :P

OTBS # 14
this is now about 5:30pm and is the second mopping with the spicy mixture!

Getting better! drool!
This is the last image I took at about 7:30pm

I apologize its not a very good picture..

But the whole process was now done and the I put the ham in at about 2:30pm and it was ready at 7:30pm.

the smoke took about 5 hours and the prep time was about 1 hour.

And ladies and gentlemen let me tell you! It was wonderful! I will definately do this again.

ranger72 :P :lol:

OTBS # 14
This post is for jminion!

Thank you so much for providing your wonderful post to my query for just such a recipe for this type of Ham cut! :D

I will definately try your recipe and will do a tute when i'm done eating the results and provide the same pictures and opinions.

I really appreciate the time you took to provide us with a quality answer to my question for this type of smoke which is hard to find! :D

You Sir! Are no Novice!

Brother Dutch; I wish to nominate jminion to the brother/sisterhood of the Royal Order of the Thin Blue Smoke not for the quantity of his posts; But for the Quality of his Post!

I remain,

Faithfully yours,

ranger72 :D

OTBS # 14
Ranger, I'm sure Brother Jim would be pleased to know that he's been nominated for membership into the OTBS for 2nd time. :D
Brother Jim is OTBS #023.
The recipe is a standard at our home and we use it for catering. Thank you for your kind words and the nomination.

I have to admit that I missed OTBS the first time. I need to stop by more often.

Thank you for the honor.
Jim is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts

Hot Threads