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The Smokehouse Shoulder Ham Recipe

This recipe makes 1 large ham shoulder. This is enough to serve 6 to 8 hungry humans for a main course or a family of 4 with plenty of leftovers! This recipe does take time, planning and a little bit of self-control. I normally get this started on a Saturday and eat the following Sunday.
Resting Time10 mins
Total Time9 d
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Barbecue
Servings: 8
Calories: 70kcal
Author: Charlie


  • 1 tablespoon pink curing salt
  • 1 8-10 pound (4-5 kg) bone-in fully cooked ham

  • 1 pound of coarse salt kosher or sea
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spice
  • 2 quarts ice water
  • 3 quarts hot water
  • 8 ounces packed dark brown sugar


  • 1 Meat injector
  • 1 Jumbo heavy-duty resalable plastic bag
  • 1 Wire rack
  • 1 Large stockpot or plastic bucket
  • 1 Instant-read or remote digital thermometer
  • Hickory or apple wood, Ideally you want a mix of both (enough for 24 hours of smoking)
  • 1 Roll If hanging a roll of sturdy butcher’s string Optional


  • In your large stockpot or plastic bucket mix together the coarse salt, curing salt, pickling spice, sugar and 3 quarts of hot water. At this point stir in any additional flavouring. Over a high heat bring to a boil and continue to boil until the sugar and salts have dissolved. Stirring several times. This should take around 3 minutes. Once dissolved remove from the heat and add in the ice water. Let cool then place in refrigerator until cold.
  • Once the brine has cooled strain two cups into a measuring cup. Inject the full 2 cups of brine deep into the ham using a meat injector. You want to inject a 1 – 1 ½ inch intervals along the bone. Inject all 2 cups of the brine.
  • Place the ham in a large resealable heavy-duty bag, and then place safely inside a large stockpot or large food-safe bucket. Once the ham is resting safely in the bag and bucket, add the brine to the bag. You are looking to submerge the whole ham. Once submerged, squeeze out any excess air and seal tightly. Place in the refrigerator for 7 days. Once a day turn the ham over to ensure an even cure. Midway through the 7-day process, repeat the injecting process with another 2 cups of brine.
  • Once the 7 days is up (finally) drain the ham and give it a very thorough rinse with cold water. Once thoroughly rinsed pat dry with paper towel. At this stage, if you plan to hang your ham during the process, securely tie your butcher’s string around the narrow end of the ham. To be safe give it a test hang to make sure the string is going to hold. If you plan to use your smoking rack there is no need to tie.
  • Prepare your smoker for cold smoking by following your specific brands instructions. You should set your temperature no higher than 100°F. Add your preferred woods. I like a mix of hickory & apple for this recipe. Hang or place your ham in the smoker and cold smoke at 100°F for no longer than 12 hours.
  • After 12 hours, set up your smoker for hot smoking. Preheat your smoker to between 225 & 250°F and add your preferred woods. I like a mix of hickory & apple for this recipe.
  • Once your smoker is up to temperature, place or hang your meat and let cook for 10 – 12 hours or until cooked. You are looking for an internal meat temperature of 160°F. When checking the internal temperature you want to get the probe in the middle of the meat, but not touching the bone.
  • Eating time! I like to serve the heat hot out of the smoker with some fresh green beans and a big helping of creamy mash sweet potato! Delicious!