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Christmas Dinner Disaster

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    Christmas Dinner Disaster

    I used the Ultimate Smoked Ham recipe for Christmas dinner, which turned out to be my biggest dinner embarrassment ever. Had a 7.41lb bone in, not pre-cut, ham from a pig I bought earlier in the year. thawed it in a 42 degree fridge for 6 days prior, followed the method exactly, except I was running a bit hot by the time I wrapped it in foil (250-275). I was using a Maverick 732 for both the grill and meat temp, and cooking on my Weber 22.5. I should note that I had the rotisserie attachment for my Weber on the grill (with foil plugging the holes) since I just got it for Christmas and wanted to season it with a cook (plus it makes the grill look cool).

    I put the Ham on the grill about 2:45 since we wanted to sit down at 4:30p for dinner. I didn't take time/temp notes, but I was at 51 degrees after the hour of smoke. The temp was climbing slowly and steadily the entire time. but at 4:30 I was only about 90 degrees. At 6pm we gave up waiting for the Ham and ate without it. The bloody thing didn't finish until 9:00pm, at which time my guests had already left. However it was some insane ham, and most of it is all vacumed sealed in the freezer right now awaiting future sandwiches.

    When I saw the trainwreck happening I was able to throw some chicken drums on the gasser to serve a protein with dinner. Of course I ran out of propane halfway through the cook on those, so they finished on the weber coals with the Ham (dropped my weber temp down to the 225 range). I was not planning on using the gasser so I didn't fill my backup tank yet.

    All of this on a day when I was given a PBC, Weber Rotisserie, and Smokenator as gifts... I should have shined after receiving those. ;-)

    Any Ideas what happened here?

    My first thought was that it wasn't fully thawed, but that should not have added 4.5 hours. Perhaps the foil wasn't as tightly wrapped as the recipe asks for but I used double the amount.

    Mr W

    I'm sorry to hear of the trouble. I cant shed any light on it for you. I do know that timing is the bane on low and slow cooking.

    Did you do any test cooking using this method? If so how did that go?
    Last edited by Jon Solberg; January 6, 2015, 07:59 PM.


      Be thankful that you had guests. I smoked an awesome turkey, and nobody turned up :-(
      Wonderful thing is the vacuum sealer. Will have turkey & cranberry panini on the special menu for a while.


        Dude, I've had this happen to me many times in my chef's career. I've had prime rib go from 80 degrees to over cooked in 25 minutes. I had a broiler fire which completely incinerated 30+ VERY expensive USDA prime steaks for an exclusive private party. I would go on with examples, but then I would have to shoot myself in the 'effin head! If you don't have "disasters," then you aren't really cooking. Dust yourself off, and go on to the next cook. We're cooking food, not saving the world! Good tidings from Houston, Alaska.


          I had the exact same thing happen with the ham I made for Christmas dinner. Darned thing took forever to cook in spite of very consistent temperature in the Weber. The only thing that saved me was that my sister wound up having to work late Christmas Day and we waited for her to arrive before eating. So the turkey went into the cooler and the ham finished right after she showed up - four hours late.

          The only thing I can figure is that the estimated time per pound on the recipe page is very much in error, or maybe is geared towards a different cut of ham than the bone-in shank that I cooked.

          But oh good lord was it ever delicious!! Everyone said that it was worth the wait.


            Just to brag: Sliced the leftovers and froze them. Thawed them last night to make ham and cheesy scalloped potatoes (which I guess makes them potatoes au gratin. Whatever). Family loved the extra smokey flavor.
            And now, I'm about to eat the final leftovers of the ham in sandwich form. Best ham sandwich ever!


              Thank you all for the comments, and reassurance that I'm not alone with this phenomenon. Fortunately most of our guests have been given a "goodie bag" with a few slices of frozen vacuumed ham since then to enjoy. I'm pulling out my first back of it on Sunday for a picnic lunch with the fam.



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