Curing and Smoking a Fresh Green Ham
Start to finish process of smoking your own fresh ham.
|Prep Time||10 days|
|Grill Used||Kamado Joe|
|Cook Time||14 hours|
Fresh cracked pepper
Buy a fresh ham leg (uncured pork), a half fresh ham, or a piece of fresh ham in whatever size you're comfortable with. You can get from a local farmer or food service company. I am using the term ham here to refer to the hind leg section of a pig - you must buy fresh, not already cured pork. The size doesnt matter; buy it as big or small as you are comfortable with and make sure it will fit on your grill.
Prepare the brine- this is what keeps your ham from drying out and gives it the pink color that you see in a typical bought ham.
2 quarts of water
Ύ cup of kosher salt
1 cup of brown sugar (1 packed cup)
4 teaspoons of pink salt (sodium nitrate or insta cure #1 (4 teaspoons) you will not find in a normal store you can get online, I got mine from a local chef
Anything else you want to throw in is fine. Orange juice, molasses, apple juice, cider vinegar.
Stir all ingredients together until dissolved. I heat mine and stir it up. This brine can be multiplied as needed, and if you are doing a whole ham, you will probably need to double it.
Optional, I also injected the brine into my ham every half inch or so.
Place your pork in a bowl or pot that is large enough to hold the meat completely submerged in the brine, but one small enough to fit in your fridge (or pack in cooler and pack in ice, must stay at 40 degrees or cooler. Add the cold brine to the pork, and lay a heavy plate on top of the floating meat to keep it submerged.
Keep it in the fridge or cooler until done. It will cure at the rate of 2 pounds per day. A large ham will take about a week.
Rinse it off and prepare it in any way you enjoy. I ground fresh black pepper and mixed with kosher salt and rubbed all over the ham.
Smoking the ham
Set up grill, With the Kamado Joe you do not need a lot of charcoal a few handfuls will do. If you overfill it will be difficult to maintain a low temp.
I use wood chunks and wood chips. I usually will mix different types of wood. Chunks tend to last much longer.
Set Kamado Joe up for indirect heat and place drip pan on plate setter. I fill my pan with frozen OJ, apple juice, apple cider and spice and refill as needed.
Bring temp to 225 degrees, drop on wood chunks and chips and maintain
Once the smoker is smoking, place ham on and shut the lid
With a few handfuls of coals, I can maintain a 225 temp with the top vent and the bottom vent barely cracked open
Every couple of hours, I will remove ham and drip pan to add chips/coals/liquid to drip pan.
Get ready this is going to be a long but fulfilling day
My ham was 22lbs and took about 14 hrs to get to 155 degrees. Around the 10hr point I started checking the internal temp every hour or so with a meat thermometer.
Some say its completely safe to eat at the 140 degree mark but I cooked mine to 155.
For the last 30 minutes, I put on my ham glaze and dressed with pineapples and cherries.
Double wrapped in foil and let it rest until time to eat.
Can be served hot or at room temperature.
I can assure you very few people are doing this and it is very impressive when your guest see how much work you put into your HAM, ENJOY!