Double Smoked Ham and the Night Sky
I decided to bring a Smithfield ham up to the in-laws for Thanksgiving. For the last 3 years or so, a ham has been a part of the holiday meal for my family, though last year was the first time that I smoked my own. It could become an addiction. I bought a nice sized Smithfield ham this year and while I used some Oak and Hickory for the fuel in my Char-Griller, I used mainly Pecan and Apple for flavoring. I smoked it about 10 hours, maybe a bit more, just to get a good smoke on it, and I started glazing towards the end when it had gotten dark out and the temperature had started dropping.
It was a clear night, fortunately, the weekend before Thanksgiving. It struck me that it always seems like thousands more stars are visible in the fall. I love making barbecue in the fall, feeling the warmth of the smoker and just letting everything else fade into the background. It's the best time for smoking, as far as I can tell. There was no one out and about in the neighborhood but for the Deer I could hear trotting down the street. There's an occasional railroad in the distance, a fire station alarm across the water, the breeze in the trees and the sounds from the smoker of the wood crackling and hissing in the firebox and sizzling drops in the barrel.
I like using pastry brushes for glazing but spray bottles for basting/mopping. The glaze was a jar of apricot preserves, a little ketchup, and some spices-- ancho, mainly, and a few other ingredients. Still haven't totally mastered keeping a good log of ingredients-- I lose focus in the moment. It finished with a lovely deep glossy red color and a slight kick. Very slight. The smoke penetration was alot better than expected and I tend to think it's because I took so much time scoring the outside that there were more spaces where it could get inside.