Hello friends and welcome to the Christmas edition of the Smoking Meat Newsletter! We talked about smoking turkey in our last issue and while that may be on the menu for Christmas as well, I am going to give you a few easy tips for smoking a ham even if it is pre-cooked.
With no further explanation, I am going to jump right into it!
To start with a little lesson on ham, let it be known that ham is actually just a pork loin that has been processed with brines, sugars, etc. in such a way so as produce a distinct flavor that has become well known around the Christmas season and just about any time for that matter.
Most folks who do not cure their own hams (quite the long process by the way) will purchase a pre-cooked ham and throw it in the oven according to the directions on the package.
Well let me tell you how to take it to the next level, pop that baby in the smoker and keep it around 225 degrees and surrounded by smoke from your favorite wood for a few hours and you will have influenced the flavor of that ham in a remarkable way.
I do not think you need to take it all the way up to 160 or it may dry out too much on you but you can smoke it to around 140 or so and it will be extremely flavorful and delicious.
I have experimented with different ways of taking the flavor to new heights and some of those are described below:
- Rub with Jeff's Naked Rib Rub.. ENOUGH SAID!
- Make narrow, deep incisions and insert about 12 garlic cloves all over
- make a mop out of 1 part pineapple juice and 3 parts honey and mop the ham generously every 30 minutes as it smokes.
- Attach pineapple rings with toothpicks all over the ham and mop with pineapple juice every 30 minutes while it smokes.
Now if you are intent on doing it yourself and not using a pre-cooked one this is easily done but it will have a different flavor due to the lack of sodium nitrite and other curing agents used to make commercial hams.
I recommend a whole pork shoulder cut in half which is basically the pork butt (sometimes referred to as a Boston Butt) and the picnic. each piece will weigh in at around 6 to 8 pounds usually and will cook better and faster and with better results if it separated into the two pieces rather than being left whole.
I recommend coating it with a thin coat of yellow mustard and rubbing it down real good with Jeff's Naked Rib Rub. Get your smoker going and when it settles in at around 225 set the piece(s) of pork in the smoker.
Mop the pork every hour or so with pineapple juice or other liquid to keep it moist while it smokes.
When the pork reaches around 165 it will be done and sliceable. You can cook it to a higher temperature to further tenderize the meat if you like. I like to leave it in until it reaches about 175 at which point it still slices pretty good and is tender without falling apart.
By the Way..
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I just wanted to say Thanks! I purchased your rub and sauce recipe last week. This past weekend I smoked a Pork Butt, Brisket, Chicken, and Ribs for some friends. I then took leftovers to the KC Chiefs game for a huge tailgate party. Your sauce made me look like a professional! It was definitely the hit of the day! Tailgating at a Chiefs game looks like a BBQ cookoff at the American Royal. So for these BBQ masters to rave over your sauce was something to be said! Thanks for your very informative Website. I have only started smoking meats a few months ago and have learned more from your site and different links than I have anywhere else. Keep up the great work!
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