How to Cure Ham by Injecting and Cooking in a Smoker


If you enjoy ham, then consider curing and smoking your own ham on a gas smoker. You can cure a ham by injecting brine directly into the ham, and allowing it to soak in the brine mixture for several days. It is necessary to brine ham to ensure that it stays moist and tender while it smokes on the grill. Although people prefer to roast their ham in the oven, cooking a ham in a smoker yields a taste some prefer. Curing and smoking a ham requires a lot of preparation, so make sure that you plan accordingly and ahead of time.

Things You'll Need

  • 2 gallons water
  • Large cooking pot
  • 3 tablespoons pickling spice
  • 3 cups salt
  • 3 cups brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. ground pepper
  • 2 tbsp. garlic
  • 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • 8 tablespoons modern cure
  • Cooking thermometer
  • 15 pound whole ham (pre-cooked)
  • Injection needle
  • Plastic container
  • Paper towels
  • Gas smoker
  • 4 cups soaked wood chips
  • 1 bottle barbecue sauce
  • Aluminum foil
  • Add 2 gallons of water to a large cooking pot. Add the pickling spice, salt, brown sugar, ground pepper, garlic, cayenne pepper and modern cure to the water. Bring the water to a boil until the salt and sugar dissolves. This will take 10 to 15 minutes under high heat.

  • Remove the brine mixture from the stove-top. Cool the brine to 38 to 40 degrees.

  • Inject 1 cup of brine mixture for every 4 to 5 pounds of ham. Strain 3 cups of brine, and set it off to the side. Inject the 3 cups of brine into the ham, ensuring that you place the brine around the ham bone.

  • Place the whole ham in a large plastic container. Ideally you will want to use a cooler to keep the brine around 38 degrees. Pour the leftover brine over the ham, and allow it to cure for 48 to 72 hours. The amount of time it cures will depend on the weight of your ham. Place the cooler in the refrigerator to keep the ham and brine cool.

  • Rinse the ham off with cold water to remove the excess salt. Set the ham in a container of cold water to remove any additional salt. Pat the ham dry with paper towels.

  • Preheat the gas smoker to 250 degrees. Place 4 cups of soaked wood chips in a smoker box.

  • Place the whole ham on the smoker once the wood chips begin to smoke. Close the lid to the smoker.

  • Continue to check the internal temperature of the ham. The ham needs to have an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees.

  • Apply the glaze to your ham when the internal temperature reaches 140 to 150 degrees. Use your favorite glaze, or apply barbecue sauce to add a tangy seasoning to the ham.

  • Smoke the ham for 3 to 5 hours until it reaches the desired temperature and color. Remove the ham, and allow it to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. Make a tent with aluminum foil to help retain the moisture inside the ham as it cools.

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