Are you looking to add some smoky flavor to your holiday ham? Look no further than a Kentucky Legend Ham.
Whether you’re a seasoned pitmaster or a beginner, smoking a pre-cooked ham is a great way to add some depth and complexity to your meal. With a few simple steps and some delicious glazes, you can transform an ordinary ham into a mouth-watering masterpiece.
In this article, we’ll explore different methods for smoking a Kentucky Legend Ham and provide tips for achieving the perfect texture and flavor. So grab your smoker and let’s get started!
How To Smoke A Kentucky Legend Ham?
Before you begin, make sure your Kentucky Legend Ham is fully thawed and at room temperature. Pat it dry with paper towels to remove any excess moisture.
There are several methods for smoking a ham, but we’ll focus on two popular techniques: low and slow, and high heat.
Choosing The Right Kentucky Legend Ham
When it comes to choosing the right Kentucky Legend Ham, there are a few different options to consider. If you’re hosting a small gathering or just want a smaller portion size, the Petite Half or Petite Whole hams are perfect. They still have that double-smoked hickory flavor that Kentucky Legend is known for, but in a more manageable size.
For everyday use, the Quarter Sliced Hams are a great option. They’re pre-sliced and come in a smaller 1.5-2 lb. size, making them ideal for sandwiches, snacks, appetizers or main courses. With five different flavor varieties to choose from, you’re sure to find one that suits your taste.
If you’re hosting a big occasion or family get-together, the Whole Ham is the way to go. It’s hand-selected and trimmed, cured in its own natural juices with no water added, and smoked twice over real hickory wood for maximum flavor. You can serve it as is or add your own glaze for an extra touch of sweetness.
No matter which Kentucky Legend Ham you choose, make sure to follow the proper smoking techniques to ensure it comes out perfectly cooked and flavorful.
Prepping The Ham For Smoking
To prepare your ham for smoking, you’ll need to remove any packaging or strings that may be attached. If you plan on using a brine, now is the time to do so. A brine is a mixture of water, salt, sugar, and other seasonings that helps to infuse flavor and moisture into the meat. To make a brine, combine half of the water with your desired seasonings in a large pot and bring it to a boil. Once the sugar and salt have dissolved, add the remaining water to cool it down. Place the ham in the brine, ensuring that it is fully submerged. Cover and refrigerate for at least 7 days.
After the curing period is over, remove the ham from the brine and rinse it thoroughly under running water. Pat it dry with paper towels and place it on a rack to continue drying in the fridge for a couple of hours or overnight. If you want to apply a rub, now is the time to do so.
If you’re not using a brine, simply pat dry your ham and sprinkle a spice rub all over the exterior of the ham.
Once your ham is prepped and ready to go, preheat your smoker to your desired temperature (either 225-250°F for low and slow or 325°F for high heat). Add wood chips or chunks to create smoke and place your ham in the smoker.
If you’re using low and slow method, smoke your ham for about 20 minutes per pound until it reaches an internal temperature of 140°F on a digital thermometer inserted at the thickest part of the ham (not touching the bone). Brushing pineapple juice over the surface every 30 minutes can help keep the meat moist.
If you’re using high heat method, smoke your ham until it reaches an internal temperature of 205°F, which should take about 3-4 hours.
Regardless of which method you choose, make sure to apply any glazes during the last 30 minutes of cooking time. Once your ham has reached its desired internal temperature and has been glazed, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.
Setting Up Your Smoker
To begin, fill the pan at the bottom of your smoker with water. This will help keep the ham moist during the smoking process. Next, add wood chips to the drawer or tray of your smoker. Hickory, apple, or cherry wood are popular choices for smoking ham.
Preheat your smoker to 250°F. While the smoker is heating up, prepare your ham by scoring it in a diamond pattern if desired. This will help the glaze to stick better and infuse into the ham.
Place the ham in the lower section of the smoker, allowing room for sides on the racks above. Make sure to place a digital thermometer in the thickest part of the ham to monitor its internal temperature.
Replenish the wood chips and water approximately every 45 minutes, if needed. Cook the ham until it reaches 130°F. This may take 90 to 150 minutes, depending on the size of your ham.
While the ham is smoking, prepare your glaze by whisking together ingredients in a saucepan until just slightly thickened. This will help it stick to a pastry brush and the ham.
Once your ham has reached an internal temperature of 130°F, remove it from the smoker and completely coat it with the glaze using a pastry brush. Return the ham to the hot smoker and cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 140°F and the glaze is dark but not burned. This should take an additional 60 to 90 minutes.
Remember that your Kentucky Legend Ham is already fully cooked, so you are just heating it through and adding additional smoke flavor. Once done, remove the ham to a cutting board and tent it with foil for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
By following these steps and using your preferred smoking method, you can achieve a deliciously smoked Kentucky Legend Ham that will impress any guest at your next gathering.
Smoking Techniques For A Perfectly Cooked Ham
1. Low and Slow Technique:
This technique involves smoking the ham at a low temperature for a longer period of time. Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit and use fruit wood, like apple or cherry, for the best flavor. Place the ham on the grate and smoke it for one hour if it’s fully cooked. If it’s uncooked, expect to smoke it for up to 7 hours, until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Every 30 minutes, brush the entire surface of the ham with pineapple juice to keep it moist during the smoking process.
2. High Heat Technique:
This technique involves smoking the ham at a higher temperature for a shorter period of time. Preheat your smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and use fruit wood for added flavor. Pat dry the ham and place a Bluetooth Thermometer probe into the center of the ham but not touching the bone. Place the ham on the smoker flat side down and smoke it for 2 hours, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Apply one round of glaze to the ham with a silicone brush, then continue smoking for an additional 30 minutes or until it reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Glaze the ham a second time and loosely tent it with foil for 30 minutes prior to slicing.
No matter which technique you choose, be sure to sprinkle a spice rub all over the exterior of the ham before smoking it. This will add extra flavor to your smoked Kentucky Legend Ham. With these techniques, you can achieve a perfectly cooked smoked ham that’s moist, tender, and full of delicious flavor.
Glazing Your Smoked Kentucky Legend Ham
One of the best ways to add flavor and texture to your smoked Kentucky Legend Ham is by glazing it. Here’s a simple recipe for a brown sugar glaze that will give your ham a sweet and savory taste:
– 1 cup brown sugar
– 1/4 cup honey
– 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
– 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
– Pinch of ground cloves
1. In a small saucepan, combine all the ingredients and whisk until smooth.
2. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.
3. Reduce the heat and let the glaze simmer for about 5 minutes, or until it thickens.
4. Remove the glaze from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
To glaze your ham:
1. Preheat your smoker to 250°F.
2. Place your ham on the smoker rack and brush it with some of the glaze.
3. Close the lid and let the ham smoke for about 2 hours.
4. Brush more glaze on the ham every 30 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 140°F.
5. Remove the ham from the smoker and let it rest for about 15 minutes before slicing.
The brown sugar glaze will create a caramelized crust on your smoked Kentucky Legend Ham that is sure to impress your guests. Experiment with different glazes and spices to find your own signature flavor!
Serving And Enjoying Your Delicious Creation
Once your Kentucky Legend Ham is smoked to perfection, it’s time to serve and enjoy your delicious creation. Here are some tips to make the most out of your smoked ham:
1. Let it rest: After smoking, let the ham rest for at least 15 minutes before carving. This will allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring that every slice is moist and flavorful.
2. Carve it right: When carving your ham, start by cutting a thin slice off the bottom so that it sits flat on the cutting board. Then, slice the ham against the grain into thin, even slices.
3. Add some flavor: While a smoked ham is already packed with flavor, you can enhance it even further by serving it with a glaze or sauce. Try a classic honey mustard glaze or a tangy pineapple salsa to complement the smoky flavor of the ham.
4. Store leftovers properly: If you have leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. You can also freeze leftover ham for up to two months.
Whether you’re serving it as the centerpiece of a holiday feast or using it as a versatile ingredient in your favorite recipes, a smoked Kentucky Legend Ham is sure to be a hit with your family and friends.