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Smoking an uncured ham on the pellet grill is no longer work. Your guests will love and rave about your expertise for days. Not only was your ham flavorful but had many thinking of days gone by.
As a master at the grill, I’ve spent hours mastering the art of smoking meats, especially with the nuanced flavors that wood pellet grills offer. You, the home chef, are looking for simple yet profound ways to elevate your grilling game. Let’s get that grill fired up and ready to deliver a smoky, mouth-watering experience that’ll keep your guests coming back for more.
Harnessing the power of a wood pellet grill can transform your uncured ham into a smoky delight. It’s not just about filling bellies; it’s about creating an unforgettable feast that taps into the heart of your culinary passions. Together, we’ll ensure your guests are not just satisfied, but genuinely thrilled by your grilling prowess.
Experimentation is often the key to unlocking new and exciting flavors. Once you learn which flavors produce the desired results, you will begin an exciting journey of discovery.
Traditionally cured hams are ready to eat, whereas uncured or raw hams may need additional steps to be taken before you eat them. This guide will help you select and smoke the right uncured ham to smoke on a wood pellet grill.
Cured VS Uncured Ham
Uncured ham is often a ham that is raw. Most often an uncured ham has no added preservatives that you are trying to avoid.
As you smoke your uncured ham, you have the option of adding flavors you prefer. You may or may not choose to brine or add a glaze, that will be your preference.
A cured ham has gone through a process of preservation. Brining is the process of adding salt water for preservation. There are numerous methods of preserving food today such as refrigeration. Brining meats is still popular today because of the cost.
While preserving your food is necessary to prevent spoilage, you have other options available to you. In fact, you can still smoke a cured ham but you will not be in control of some seasonings.
Selecting The Right Ham
When choosing the right uncured ham, find one that is fresh, uncooked, or seasoned. You can find it at your local butcher shop or grocery store. Choose a high-quality ham for the best results.
Preparing Your Uncured Ham
After selecting your ham, rinse it thoroughly before you begin trimming it for smoking. This helps remove any brine or moisture from the outside of the ham.
As you smoke your ham low and slow, you will find the smells coming from your grill increase your anticipation of the feast to come from your efforts.
Seasoning Your Uncured Ham
This is where your imagination can turn into expertise. Your imagination will inspire you to try new flavors for that exceptional dish you have been dreaming of.
You weigh your options for the proper seasonings for creating that mouth-watering ham. Remember, you are creating a masterful meal for your family, whether it is for the holidays, or just a memorable meal.
Some of the options available for your seasonings are a dry rub that may consist of salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, black pepper, sugar, brown sugar, rosemary, thyme, spices, and herbs.
Some people like a citrus flavor added to their ham such as orange in a glaze. You also have at your fingertips the seasonings to have a spicy ham that few could imagine.
You may also decide to use a commercial rub. If you do use a commercial rub on your ham, check the sodium percentage before you buy it. It may have more sodium than your diet allows. Some all-natural rubs have tremendous flavor and will be in your dietary range.
A common practice for cooking large pieces of meat is to use a marinade. Marinades are easy to prepare and may offer you the flavor you most desire. Many marinades have a citrus base which not only adds flavor but will also help tenderize your ham.
Some marinades require as little as 2 hours or as much as 24 hours. You will need to decide which is best for you. Remember you are going for that flavor no one else can duplicate. This is your signature profile and flavor.
Preparing Your Wood Pellet Grill
For the best results smoking an uncured ham on a wood pellet grill, it is best to do a thorough cleaning of your grill. This includes the grates as well.
After cleaning your grill, fill the hopper with the flavor of wood pellets you prefer. Some of the more popular choices are cherry or apple. These flavors will give your ham a sweeter flavor.
Other flavors are available for the smoke flavor such as pecan, mesquite, or hickory. The pecan wood pellet has a lighter smoke flavor which many people prefer on their ham.
For the best results smoking an uncured ham, set the temperature on your wood pellet grill to 225F. Maintain this temperature throughout the smoking process. Allow 18-20 minutes per pound to smoke your ham.
Smoking Your Uncured Ham On A Wood Pellet Grill
You now need to place your ham on your grill grates, some people use the upper grate. Most people use the grates just over the drip pan. Place your ham on the grates where you get the most consistent heat for long, slow cooks.
Every couple of hours check the internal temperature. At this time, if you so desire, you can baste or mop your ham to help it maintain its moisture content. This also adds additional flavor to your ham.
When you use a mop to spread your glaze on your ham this can help add even more flavor to it for all to enjoy.
If you select a ham that weighs 10 pounds, it will take between 5-7 hours to smoke. Check the internal temperature to verify that it has reached a temperature of 145F. Once it reaches this internal temperature, your ham is fully cooked.
The meat probe that is a part of your wood pellet grill allows you to keep a close eye on how well your meat is smoking. You need to be sure your ham is fully cooked before serving. This is to ensure that your family and friends have a meal that is not only delicious but safe to eat.
Time To Rest
Now that you have removed your smoked ham from the grill, you need to let it rest. The normal resting time is between 15-20 minutes. This allows the ham to reabsorb the juices and flavors that have been brought to the edge of the ham. Some of them may have cooked out, this is normal.
If you don’t let your ham rest and you try to carve it, you will have the moisture(juices) run out leaving you with a dry ham.
Smoking uncured ham can bring more flavor to your ham without any additional additives.
This will be something you will want to do regularly. Some people feel that smoking ham should only be done during the holiday season. You don’t have to limit yourself to holidays only.
Finding the right ham may take some time if you don’t have a butcher’s shop available in your area. You can always check at your local grocery store.
Take a few extra minutes to trim your ham of excess skin or fat for your smoking process. This will help your ham absorb the flavors and smoke you are wanting to use.
Be sure to cook your ham low and slow to infuse maximum flavor into your ham. Meanwhile, your goal is to take it off the grill when the internal temperature reaches 145F.
After you take your ham off your wood pellet grill, let it rest. This allows the ham time to reabsorb the juices it has released. After 15-20 minutes of resting, it is time to slice your ham into serving sizes.
Taking risks and experimenting with new flavors only add to your knowledge and experience. You took the risk of smoking your own uncured ham not only for the experience but for flavor.
This helps you find new ways of grilling and reaching the mark of grill master or pitmaster from your hard work. Finally, you have successfully overcome your fear of trying new approaches to smoking and grilling.
Your expertise in smoking has tremendously improved. Now assuming you have not smoked ham in the past, this gives you a favorite food to smoke for your family.
Video on Smoking An Uncured Ham
Smoking and Brining An Uncured Ham
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