The BBQ Blog chronicles our adventures in search of the perfect all-natural BBQ.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Smoked Fresh Ham


Well I am off and running.

9am - The ham has been brining for about 13 hours in a solution of apple cider, water, Kosher salt, molasses, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, rosemary, crushed mustard, garlic powder, and several bay leaves. (The brine had been brought to a boil to help extract some of the flavors and then cooled with ice to 39 degrees F.)

Fresh Ham, scored.

10am - After rinsing and patting it dry I applied a dry rub of mostly crushed and whole coriander seeds, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and some other herbs and spices.

Fresh Ham, brined.

10:45am - Started fire in a chimney and now am waiting for it to get going. I estimate that I am about a half-hour behind schedule. Not too bad.

11:58am - Got the ham in the smoker, on the lower rack. It is a little chilly outside, so I think I might have some issues with running the smoker has hot as it needs to be. Normally you run the smoker at 225-250 degress F, but I need to get it closer to and even above 300 degrees F. I think this will be the challenge of the day. I am going to head off to a place where I should be able to get a bag of hard wood charcoal which usually burn hotter that briquettes, and get some of that started in my Weber Grill just in case.

The Weber Smoking Away.

03:00pm - The smoker seems to be holding at exactly 300 degrees when measured in the hood. Since the ham is on the lower rack, I assume it is hotter there, which should be just about right. I can tell the outside fat is starting to sauté as opposed to just render, so for now that is exactly what I want.

Fresh ham about 1/2 through the smoke.

The meat temperature is only at 107 degrees F, but there are still a couple hours left before I have to address the situation. Let's see how it goes.

06:30pm - I got a little side tracked and didn't get to pull the ham until it reached 155 degrees F internally. I don't think for such a large ham it will make too much difference.

Fresh ham, finished.

It looks mighty tasty.

07:00pm - Just letting the ham rest while I prepare the rest of the meal. My friends just showed up. Looks like everything has somehow come out on time.

Fresh ham, close up.

07:30pm - Carving Time.

Fresh ham, sliced.

The fresh ham appears more like a pork roast on the inside than one would expect a cured ham to appear. It smells superb. The hickory smoke was a good choice I think. The whole house has a great aroma - my guests are very excited.

07:45pm - It's eating time.

The Ham tastes great, but not as you would expect a cured ham to taste. Sort of a cross between a pork-butt (cooked to slice not to pull) and a pork roast. It is really really great.
Thanks to everyone, especially Kevin Kruger, over at The Virtual Weber Bulletin Board.

A fresh ham is a very different experience than a cured ham, but one you should definitely give a try.

09:30pm - Our Dessert: Mississippi Mud. Made from scratch while waiting for the smoke to do it's job.

Mississippi Mud

Now that is a good way to finish off this meal.
blue skies,


It turned out looking like a pork roast because you did not use any prague 1 or cure. I had the same problem, and it is hard stuff to find. I bought a bunch after the fact at the local hunting shop.