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Ham skin - what do you do with it??

vern1vern1 Posts: 29
edited 8:55AM in EggHead Forum
I have this 15 lb bone in from the butcher. Am going to try the maple bourbon recipe. The ham has a thick skin and fat layer on it. Do i score the skin, take it off or what?? How would the maple bourbon paste ever get through that skin

This is an imposing piece of meat and dont want to mess it up with 20 family members coming.

Many thanks


  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    The paste won't get through the skin.

    If this is a Cured Ham remove the skin. IF it is a Fresh ham you need to reconsider your cook.

    Fresh Hams are plain old pork and best cooked low and slow.
  • vern1vern1 Posts: 29
    It is a smoked cooked ham. Do I then remove all the skin? have seen other hams where they score it in a diamond shaped patern

  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    The paste will not penetrate the skin or the fat under it. Even if the score is deep enough to reach the meat it will not penetrate the way you want.
  • vern1vern1 Posts: 29
    ok skin off then. Why do people score the skin? Is it if they are not using any glaze etc?

    Thanks for the help :woohoo:
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    It helps render out the fat. Honestly some people don't understand putting rubs on skin and fat is a waste of a good rub.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    you must have a fresh ham. does it look just like a giant picnic shoulder (only "rounder")?

    if it's fresh, you'll basically be cooking a pork roast which just happens to be the ham.

    it probably isn't cured or cooked because they'd have taken the skin off.

    too late to cure it. might be too late to brine it even, if it's for easter. i don't see why you can't cook it like a roast... but you won't have a "ham" per se, and you won't have quite the same thing as a nice pork roast.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i guess i coulda read this far down before answering. if it's cured and smoked, that's probably not skin. it's probably just the pellicle of the fat. it will get hard and smooth
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    Here we go again.. :)

    It is common to have cured hams in the south with the skin on.

    Not totally disagreeing with you.
  • vern1vern1 Posts: 29
    I was told it was cooked/smoked but now i am getting confused. It is "round-ish" and the skin or whatever it might be is a dark brown, almost a deep red. Underneath it is a distinctive fat layer of about an eighth of an inch. They look like 2 distinct layers.

    If i want to put on a glaze, in this case a maple bourbon paste, should i try and scrape off all of whatever it is?

  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    What color is the meat? Does it have the reddish cooked color of Ham or does it have a raw look?

    Also cured doesn't necessarily mean cooked.
  • vern1vern1 Posts: 29
    It is wrapped in plastic but it looks more of a reddish brown colour ie cooked rather than a raw piece of pork that's for sure. I specifically asked the butcher for a cooked ham in that i wanted to smoke it for additional flavour rather than cook it from scratch
  • HossHoss Posts: 14,600
    If it truly is a smoked cured ham they are meant to be boiled.Any other ones can be cooked lo n slo.I do an EZ CUT ham every few months wrapped in a brown paper bag at 225 to 250 for 16 to 20 hours.The best ham I have ever had BAR NONE.Get a request for 4 to six every time I cook em.Won't tell the secret, but it is AWESOME.e-mail for the trick. ;)
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    Cut the skin off, set it aside. Paste up you ham and lay the skin and fat back on.

    The fat rendering will add to the flavor.
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    You're are assuming he bought a country ham.

    "City" hams are not meant to be boiled
  • HossHoss Posts: 14,600
    You are correct,A smoked cured,country ham is meant to be boiled.If it is indeed a city ham it should be cooked lo n slo.MY bad! :blush:
  • vern1vern1 Posts: 29
    I guess i should know the difference between country and city ham ( but dont) so i will do as you suggested and cut off the skin and fat and put back on top

    i guess i was confused as i read the ham recipe on the big green egg website and no one really mentioned the skin and fat layer> are most hams sold with this taken off?
  • Spring ChickenSpring Chicken Posts: 10,247
    Not to confuse the issue but if you Google "Smoking a ham on the Big Green Egg" you will get 31,300 hits.

    Spring "Google Adds Fuel To The Fire" Chicken
    Spring Texas USA
  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    Hi Vern....Welcome to the forum! As you can see, there are often many correct, yet different ways for handling the same piece of meat.
    Here is my opinion. It sounds like you have a nicely, cured, cooked ham, with a thin layer of fat between the meat and the pellicle (the surface which has been exposed directly to the cures and smoke of the curing process). This is perfect for what you want to do.
    First, score the surface deep enough to penetrate to the meat...make it look pretty! :whistle: When you score it, if you find the fat layer thicker that 1/8 inch, trim that area up a bit. Then slather it with your glaze! (apply a few times during the smokeing, but remember, every time you open the lid, you are losing your heat!)
    Smoke 225-250, to an internal temp of 140 degrees. (Buy a probe at Wal Mart if you dont have one! They're $15 and work just fine for this!)
    Remember, a bit of fat on the edge is going to help give it flavor! Fat=flavor.... :evil: . As long as it's not too thick to be offensive, my two cents, leave it on.
    Hope it works out for you! Let us know!
  • HossHoss Posts: 14,600
    Down here when you say cured you mean "country" like if I ask you if you want a "coke' and you say yes then I ask you what kind!!! :woohoo: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: "city is what them other folks eat!!! :evil:
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    you mean a dried, cured country ham?

    up here, folks grab a honey baked ham out of the grocery store case, and that's just a re-heat and eat kind of deal. we rarely see a country ham, that needs to be soaked to get the salt out of it.

    i had to ask for a frsh ham. if i wanted a country ham, i'd have to search online. no one up here has them.

    i think most americans buy the off-the-shelf heat and eat glazed variety.
    you guys have better hams down there than up here.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    if it's cured and cooked, they wouldn't have done it with the true "skin" of the pig still on it. that would be hard as a rock and too thick to cut.

    i'm betting there's no real skin on it, just the toughened outer surface, which would be hard feeling, but not at all deep.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • BoneDaddy'sBoneDaddy's Posts: 256
    my grandmother used to take the fat off and deep fry it. the polish called it "squatky" or something like that. Kind of a pork rind..
    Bone Daddy's Competition BBQ & Catering
  • HossHoss Posts: 14,600
    That's what I'm talkin about!Send me an e-mail and I'll send you a :evil: REAL HAM!!! :evil: But only if you know how to make "Red-Eye" gravy and "Buttermilk" biscuts!!! ;) :whistle:
  • vern1vern1 Posts: 29
    Up here , down there ?? Sorry but I am in Toronto so I am probably the most "up here" than anyone!! Couldnt tell where everyone was from other than one person from Mississippi.

    All good advice. The outer layer is about 1/8" thick so it sounds like that is the fat layer and not really the outer skin of the pig.

    Appreciate all the help and my XL BGE will get a big workout this summer now that the snow is (mostly) gone

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    wish me luck. looks like saturday i will be hotsmoking the fresh ham that (hope) i cured this week. we'll find out!

    i want to do a country ham (starting now for NEXT year), but i had NO luck finding a good source for organic pork. something raised and fed well.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    Cracker Barrel has country hams.

    I know they are up there, just not sure they are in your neck of the woods yet.
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    Then I am sure you don't have a Country Ham. It's a Southern Thang..

    You can do what LC said or what I said. Either way it will be good.
  • vern1vern1 Posts: 29
    thanks guys for the advice
  • HossHoss Posts: 14,600
    I just did a cut of buckboard bacon out of a locally grown hog.OMG!It was wondserful.I'm a little Scared of the supermarket stuff!!!We like to call it KOLBE pork!!! ;)
  • MaineggMainegg Posts: 7,787
    In the 70's we were living in Richmond VA. It was Christmas time and a shipment of gifts for the office came in from a southern supplier. It was about 24 southern country hams. hardly anyone wanted to take theirs and Dad ended up bringing home about 6 of them. LOL they were so good but man was mom sick of them after about a month. With no place to store them, Hang them out of scents way LOL we smelled like a smoke house for a year! :evil: I think he rigged up something in the down stair guest bath room LOL what I wouldn't give for one of those now :)
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