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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 12-07-2008, 09:23 AM   #1
KuyasKitchen
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Default Smoking Ham Hocks

This weekend, I got a request to smoke ham hocks. I told the person that I'd look into it and get back to them.

Honestly, I didn't know exactly what a ham hock was. I knew it was connected to the foot area somehow ... but, that was all I knew. I just spent the past hour or so reading and trying to find good information on how to smoke the hocks. So, I have more of a clue now.

EXCEPT when it comes to actually HOW to smoke the hocks. How long? What rub? Any sauce? Wrap? No wrap?

Could you folks point this newbie in the right direction?

Thanks!
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Unread 12-07-2008, 09:34 AM   #2
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I know that to make a ham pink you need to put it in a brine containing Prague #1. There are many recipes out there but I am going to try one that uses the Prague, pickling salt and pickling spice. Here's a link if it works...http://schmidling.com/ham.htm

Just google "ham brine" and lots will come up. But, be aware that Prague is VERY hard to find in stores. I finally ordered some last night with the hope that I can smoke a ham next weekend.
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Unread 12-07-2008, 10:16 AM   #3
HeSmellsLikeSmoke
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Are the ones you can get fresh?

The hocks we get here are usually cured and smoked already. Some "double smoke" them to produce a more intense smoke taste before using them to season pinto beans and such.
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Unread 12-07-2008, 10:25 AM   #4
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The only hocks I can get are fresh. And, I think I can get my hands on Prague #1 ... here they call it Instacure. It's pink, 15 parts salt to one part sodium nitrite.

Should I treat them like a ham or Canadian bacon? Is it just that simple?

In the case, how long should I brine them? They're small ... so I'd think maybe 2-3 days rather than the 5-7 for a loin or 10-14 for a full-sized ham.

Then, how long in the smoker? Should I do 3-2-1 like ribs? Or, just bring them up to something decent internal (155F?)?

Sorry for so many questions ...
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Unread 12-07-2008, 10:34 AM   #5
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I've never done one, but traditionally ham hocks are cured in a smokehouse at low temps. I am sure you could brine it to cure it and then smoke it afterwards, but it would be different than having smoke cure the meat all the way through. You may want to check with the person who requested it to better understand what kind of product they are expecting. There are a number of ways to prepare fresh hams.
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Unread 12-07-2008, 10:44 AM   #6
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Brother Thirdeye has you covered and dang those look good!

http://playingwithfireandsmoke.blogs...-trotters.html
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Unread 12-07-2008, 10:49 AM   #7
KuyasKitchen
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Brilliant! Exactly what I needed, HSLS! Thanks!
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Last edited by KuyasKitchen; 12-07-2008 at 10:49 AM.. Reason: spelling
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Unread 12-07-2008, 09:13 PM   #8
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Thirdeye's looks pretty similar to what I did. Brine about the same- my recipe is from Ruhlman's Charcuterie. I'd add some bay leaves and/or cracked pepper next time. I didn't manage to get mine out until after 4 days, and the smidge I fried up was a bit salty. I was also doing bacon, so I drained the hocks and held them in the fridge until the bacon was done curing. I smoked at a lower temp (150F to 180F) until the hocks got up to 150F internal. The don't get nearly as much color that way.

Haven't cooked with them yet- vac packed and froze them. Will have to see if they need soaking before use to avoid oversalting the food.
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Unread 12-07-2008, 10:54 PM   #9
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Definitely let us know, Thull .. and I'll be sure to post a write-up and pictures when I find and smoke some.
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