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Fresh ham Question ,Do I have to brine?

BushgatorBushgator Posts: 110
edited 10:16AM in EggHead Forum
I just bought a fresh ham(Pork shoulder picnic) from Sams it weighs in at 9.29
I dont really want to brine if I dont have to but can someone tell me the difference?
I want to smoke it. I have hickory and oak chunks. I would use apple but dont want to drive all the way to Tampa to get chunks(1 hour drive)
what times and temps to use seasons does everyone use? I dont want any sugar on it as I am on a low carb way of eating. Although I thought of maybe using a splenda based maple pancake syrup . Thanks for the advise.

also, do I put the fat cap down or up?


  • Mike in AbitaMike in Abita Posts: 3,302
    With out the brine, ham is just pork. You need the brine to make Ham. See the link

    This is one of my favorite ham recipes.,,FOOD_9936_15538,00.html
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,871
    My local market has a good supply of fresh pinics and a poor supply of bug butts. So I go with the picnics, and have had great result without brining. If you brine them, they will taste more like ham. The picnic will yield a nice pulled pork that is a little less fatty than a butt, a little firmer and maybe a little more flavorful than a butt. It will yield somewhat less meat.

    I've tried all of thirdeye's preparation methods, and prefer removing the skin, and rubbing all over. I cook with the side with the most fat up, 'cause that seems to hold more moisture.

    The picnics I have had from the local market have cooked really quickly. As little as 45 minutes per pound. Way faster than butts. Don't count on a fast cook, but be prepared to wrap and cooler if it goes quickly.

    The sugar in a rub helps make a nice crusty bark. I understand that if you are trying to avoid carbs, you might want to leave sugar out. But I would not use a Splenda based syrup, 'cause I haven't the faintest idea what Splenda does in the presence of heat and smoke. Classic rubs have about an even amout of salt and sugar, and then peppers and other spices in lesser amounts. Maybe try reducing the sugar to just a few teaspoons.
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