Which wood to use.....

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Feb 25, 2009
Lexington, SC
I am smoking a 10lb fresh ham for New Years.  What type of wood would be best to use  Apple, Hickory, Cherry, etc.?  I have never smoked with apple or cherry.

Thanks in advance.

I personally pefer apple but cherry is good too. Now I'm not a great fan of hickory thou.
Its all a matter of personal tastes. To me of those Hickory would be the strongest flavor followed by Cherry and Apple with the lightest smoke flavor. I've had some people tell me the Apple tastes a little fruity tho I don't notice that
When you say fresh ham do you mean Not Cured? Not to be the wise guy but some people don't know the differance and end up with a pork leg and not a ham.

I'd do it like I do butts and shoulders....with hickory. but each his own.
I'd put it in at 230˚, with a mix of Hickory & Cherry. 

Then foil it when it gets to 165, and put it back in.

Then pull it at about 205˚, double foil it, wrap it in a towel, and put it in a cooler for an hour or two.

It won't be Ham, but it'll be some great pulled pork.


It is a fresh ham.  Not cured or precooked or anything.  Thank you for your input.  Since I've never smoked with apple or cherry I needed some suggestions.  It would have been nice if I had smoked with apple and/or cherry in the past so I would know.
It all depends on how strong you like your smoke flavor. Apple, cherry, maple all will be a light smoke, hickory will be stronger and mesquite is a very strong smoke. I like mixing myself. All good suggestions above ^^^^. My personal taste would be hickory with a kiss of mesquite but I would stay away from mesquite until you try out a lighter wood first. Kinda like trying a jalapeno first before going for the habanero. Hope this helps.
For ham I think that I'd incorporate a little bit of maple into the mix. Another to consider is apricot, I like using it with pork.  It is similar to apple mild and sweet but perhaps not as much tang or "bite". A little bit of hickory maybe but my top suggestions would be apple, apricot, cherry and maple. Almond would go good with your cherry if you like cherry. Personally, I'd go with apricot or apple along with some maple any of those should work just fine.
I'm a fan of Apple on anything, but Hickory has a place too.

i use Hickory on pork butts and sometimes chicken.  If I want a stronger smoke on bacon I use Hickory, but usually use Apple.

It's really personal preference....

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