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Let's talk about ham.

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    Let's talk about ham.

    So I did my first ham last week for Easter, not realizing that last week was not Easter until yesterday, which I documented elsewhere. I followed Meathead's recipe here and used Chris Lilly's glaze from here. I had some rough times due the it not fitting, but overall it was good. Good is not what I am shooting for though.

    I know next to nothing about ham, I have gotten good at ribs and shoulder through dozens of cooks and tests, which is what I have planned for this. I will smoke these suckers until I get them right, friends and family and others I find will reap the rewards.

    What I know..ish:
    • 2 parts, locally they are called the shank portion and the butt portion.
      • My only cook was the shank portion, the reason it was chosen was because it looks like a ham I would have seen in some movie
    • All of the shanks I have seen are spiral cut, this is very convenient but a bit of a hassle compared to just a big hunk of meat.
    • The only butt portions I have seen say that they have been smoked, but they don't appear to have any of the glaze look of the shanks.
    • Anything that is not thick and sticky will quickly slide down and of the shank portion, about 80% of my glaze just fell right off.
    • Many mentions out on the net of Honey baked hams that make them sound like the holy grail of hams, I have not had one though we do have the Honey baked franchise here.
    So what are your thoughts on the 2 different portions, assuming there are only the 2 I mentioned? Do you prefer one or the other? What about process, anything unique to yours or lessons you can share? Is Honey baked the ultimate?

    While researching I came across this video from Malcom Reed, whose site and Youtube channel are awesome by the way, and looks like a good method for the HBH.

    I can also do some testing if I can get things to fit, 2 at a time recipe vs recipe or shank vs. butt, whatever will get this to a successful conclusion.


    I've done 2 hams using MH's recipes. I always get a Semi-Boneless Shank between 6-8lbs. Won't buy a Smithfield as the last 1 turned out to be 75% fat. Have had great success with the Publix brand, especially when on sale.

    I have a Weber 22.5 Silver. I build a 2 x 2 fuse at least half-way around the kettle, and use a product called The Vortex in the center. The ham is placed directly over the V, and I try to keep the cooker between 225 - 240's.

    I smoke/cook the ham exactly as MH instructs, using the foil wrap with water and roasting at the end. You can't go wrong if you plan for 6-7 hrs start to finish for an 8 lb ham. Put it in a Faux Cambro if it gets done early. I've held the temp for almost 1 1/2 hrs in a Cambro.

    I am familiar with Malcom Reed, but I have not done a ham with his recipe. I thought it pretty cool that he did a spiral, but I believe you need to be careful not to dry it out. I don't buy spirals, as they cost more than a plain shank.

    I won't waste money on a Honey Baked when mine is better and costs alot less.


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    • _John_
      _John_ commented
      Editing a comment
      Looks terrific, did you use any smoke?

    • Guy
      Guy commented
      Editing a comment
      Ed, those grilled cheese look wonderful. Did you make the bread too?

    • Medusa
      Medusa commented
      Editing a comment
      _John_, used 2oz Hickory Chips

      Guy, Thanks and Yes!

    I've found that the cheap store brand cured and non-spiral sliced semi boneless hams turn out GREAT using MH's recipe and the Chris Lilly Apricot sauce. I'd go for one of those.


      They won't take 7 to 8 hours to cook though, more like three or four... And don't let the meat exceed the chef temp (I think 140f) for maximum juiciness.


        David's advice is spot-on! You really can't go wrong with this recipe and technique.

        Yes, let me clarify on my time comments.

        Start to finish was 5 hr 50 minutes. This includes the time it took to light 8 coals in the chimney, bring the cooker up beyond 225, 1 hr smoke, and 2 hr 42 min cooking the ham, + 18 minutes to carmelize it.

        TG for MH's cooking log and Mavericks!



          Well, the Easter Ham was a success!

          Hit 145+ during the Carmelization, so off the grill and into the Faux. 2 1/2 hrs later the IT was @ 138.9 - WOW! Mixed those drippings in with the sauce, so no doubt the ham was tender and juicy.

          I tried MH's slicing method for the 1st time. Really liked it, and it was very easy to serve up nice slices without fighting around the bone.

          Had to cater to those who can't handle spice, so I really missed the Cayenne in Chris Lily's sauce.

          #1 Son's Mother-in-law informed us that Honey-Faked Ham has nothing on this one...

          Happy Easter to All, and thanks to all that you do!




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