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Old 11-14-2011, 07:01 PM   #1
Knows what a fatty is.

Join Date: 11-13-11
Location: Laveen, AZ
Smile 1st ham - it came out GREAT, but

My first ham - 12 Lbs. fresh, 1/2 ham (skin on - shank end).
I cured it, smoked it, and baked it.

The cure:
Cured for 6 1/2 days @ 34 - 40 deg in a brining bag.
Water 256 oz. 8 Qts
Kosher salt 22.5 oz. 3 Cups
Brown Sugar 30.0 oz. 4 Cups (packed)
Prague powder 3.3 oz. 16 Tsp.

The smoke:
Webber 22 1/2 in. charcoal w/hickory chips. (Indirect heat walled off w/aluminum foil.) Large drip pan with water. 8 1/2 hours to an IT of 137.
The ham was too large to smoke with cut side down.
Temp control was a b^?@*!
At the grill 215 to 250.
At the dome 240 to 270.

The bake:
Next day 4 1/2 hrs @ 350 to an IT of 158.
Scored (full length) and inserted cloves after about 2 hrs.
(I wonder if I should have waited another hour before scoring?

I ended up with about 7 lbs. of meat and a nice soup bone. I'm sure the skin and fat helped most of the meat stay moist. About an inch of the cut end was kind of dry, and had a black "skin" over it. The rest of it was very good. I had hoped it would come out even more moist, but no one complained. Four of us sat down and demolished 1/3+ of it in less than an hour. Now, two days later it's almost gone.

Was the cure time and mixture OK?
What could have I done to protect the cut end from drying out?
What about the smoking temperatures?
Should I do the final bake longer at a lower temp?
Should I have let the smoker finish cooking the ham instead of finishing in the oven?
Any suggestions about temp control?

I would really appreciate any suggestions or comments. Luckily, there is a pig farm about 45 minutes away so I can get really fresh meat. I'm pleased this came out as well as it did, and will probably do more very soon. (The wife is wondering "MORE HAM?? What the h#!! are we are going to do with more ham?) Maybe I can freeze some and send to friends and relatives at the other end of the country.

FYI: For size comparison: The cutting board is 16 inches long.
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File Type: jpg ham number 1 001.jpg (66.6 KB, 132 views)
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Old 11-14-2011, 09:34 PM   #2
somebody shut me the fark up.

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Join Date: 10-16-10
Location: Culver City, CA

Thanks for putting that up - curing a ham is something I've been wanting to do - probably will either for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Looking forward to hearing what folks have to say.
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Old 11-14-2011, 11:23 PM   #3
Crazy Harry
is Blowin Smoke!

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Join Date: 07-08-09
Location: Deer Park, Wa

nice work, did you use Prague powder #1 or #2?
No trees were harmed in presenting this post; however, a great number of electrons were terribly inconvenienced.

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Old 11-15-2011, 04:44 AM   #4
somebody shut me the fark up.

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Join Date: 10-19-09
Location: Melbourne, VIC

I've had one go at it. Came out OK, but didn't brine long enough or inject well enough.

Look for your first time that's a fine effort and you should be proud of the result!


Still Smokin'

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Old 11-15-2011, 01:48 PM   #5
Knows what a fatty is.

Join Date: 11-13-11
Location: Laveen, AZ

Crazy Harry asked: "did you use Prague powder #1 or #2?"
I used Prague powder #1. My understanding is that #2 should never be used with high heat (in excess of what temp??). True or false?

I just received a container of INST-A-CURE #1 from Sausagemaker. It's very pink, Prague #1 was not.
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