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Double Smoked Ham

Charleston DaveCharleston Dave Posts: 571
edited 6:13AM in EggHead Forum
The local store had a sale on "Carolina Pride" smoked ham and I picked up an 8.43 lb bone-in smoked ham for $8.35. It was described as low-sodium, smoked, with water added (no mention of what percentage water).

ham.jpg

I'd been wanting to try the Dr. Chicken double-smoked ham recipe, so gave it a whirl. That recipe says to avoid hams with more than 23% water, but despite careful searching I could not find anywhere front or back on the ham's label the amount of water added.

I mixed up Dr. Chicken's "Sweet Kiss of Death" injectable marinade (water, Karo, amaretto, extracts of butter pecan, rum, orange and vanilla), and it occurred to me that it makes less injection mess if one does it directly through the original factory Cryovac packaging. I added some Meyer's dark rum and Frangelico to the injection mix and did not use the specified butter pecan extract. The ham was too wet to begin with, and it was difficult to get the full 2+ cups of marinade in. A cup of liquid would come out of the ham each time I injected a cup. I used a Spitjack Magnum with the smallest spade tip for injecting.

I smoked over platersetter indirect, legs up, pecan wood, drip pan with 2 cups water and 2 cups orange juice per Dr. Chicken's recipe, preheated and smoke-cleared 250ºF dome, controlled by DigiQ with target 140ºF internal temperature. Target completion time was 25-30 minutes per pound, or about 4 hours.

Here we are going on the Egg:
IMG_6713.jpg

I was called away from home and unfortunately could not return and pull until about 4.5 hours. Temperature was already at 154ºF internal. Here is what it looked like:
IMG_6714.jpg

I glazed at this point with the recommended glazing sauce, which I had made from brown sugar, maple syrup (I used grade A), honey, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, instant coffee, dry mustard, and OJ concentrate. I cut Egg temperature and let several coats of the glaze harden, costing me a few more internal degrees, but at this point I figured the meat was already too dry so I might as well finish the recipe for the experience. Here's how it looked as served:

IMG_6715.jpg

IMG_6716.jpg

Meat was dry but not inedible, flavor was more subtle than I expected. All in all, not bad despite my errors. I think the key is to start with ham with minimal water, because water in the meat blocks injection. I would make this again if I had a drier ham to start. As is my experience with pecan, there was more color than smoke flavor.

What I learned:
(1) Inject right through the factory Cryovac. Don't remove the plastic until injection is complete. This approach works better than the usual "wrap in double Saran wrap before injecting" approach.
(2) Start with a ham with minimal water.
(3) Pull at 140ºF internal.

I'd do this one again, hopefully without the booboos. ;)
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Comments

  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    Dave,

    Thanks for sharing. I think it was 1.5 years ago when I first tried hams. Mine came out much the same other than I started with no additive/water ham.

    The meat tasted pretty good but texture wasn't what I liked so I made soups and cut the meat pretty small. Worked out well.

    Injecting while still in cryovac is what I learned to. I use a drip pan and decided I didn't need any liquid in the pan.

    I did cook with the meat exposed bone side down, as that is what I saw on one of Alton Brown's shows.

    I have always used pre-cooked and pre smoked hams no additivities/water.

    I ended up pulling the meat about 5° to 10° below normal ham cooking temperatures. I can't remember if that is 130° or 140°. (deep internal)

    The hams since then have come out fantastic. I love making soups out of the bones and leftovers.

    Kent
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  • EggtuckyEggtucky Posts: 2,746
    Great pix dave and we've all had similar experiences, that's a great example where the digiQII ramp mode comes in handy! ;) ..I love the leftovers too GG.. btw the ham leftovers are great for using in fried rice ;)
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  • Grandpas GrubGrandpas Grub Posts: 14,226
    Eggtucky,

    Have never thought of that but it will be a must on the next ham cook. Sounds great.

    GG
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