The Hampton Smoker

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Monday, November 29, 2004

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.


3 Comments:

Blogger t. primo said...

Hey there! Unbelievable! Just the day before Thanksgiving, Ms. K and I were chatting about one of our all time favorite meals we had the Christmas before Miss H. was born...which consisted of a good ol' country ham with a nice fruity mustard glaze! We were remembering that weekend we spent at the coast (in OR in December, the weather is generally horizontal rain at the beach, and this was especially true that year)in a dingy cheap 60's era motel, with the storm a brewin' hard outside the sliding glass door. The best thing about the whole trip (aside from each others company, and the solitude of the beach town whilst we contemplated the unknowns of parenthood just around the proverbial corner) was that giant ass ham in the fridge! Anytime one of us would grow bored of the book we were reading, or the Sunday paper, or the endless games of cards we would simply get up, stretch, walk to the fridge and carve off another hunk of that salty deliciousness. Man, my mouth is watering right now, and I am so upset that we were not in NY for Thanksgiving to see y'all and to partake in your (certainly much more yummy version) of a truly wonderful southern taste treat. Oh why, oh why me?

By the way, I love all you links in this story...Esp. INDIAN LADDER FARMS!!! What memories. But I have to confess, I don't get the railroad link to Paul Simon. Am I just not hip to the fact or what?

Hope to read more soon...maybe this will push me to write more in my own venue...I HAVE been slacking as of late.

3:51 PM  
Blogger WhiteTrashBBQ said...

Man,
You're making me hungry. Sounds like a great meal. At what temp did you smoke the ham? What did you use for mop?
Robert

5:14 PM  
Blogger Backyard Chef said...

Robert--

I think it was around 240-260 most of the day. I used to take such good notes of every little move and adjustment...I've been pretty much spritzing everything I cook w/ apple juice, canola oil and maybe some rub, but often not-- it clogs the sprayer. Wish I had a picture of that ham....

7:59 PM  

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