Two Men, Two Pits and a Blog

Belly Up: Double Smoked Maple Glazed Ham

What a delightful thing it is to awaken to the savory aroma of smoked ham, and the warm banter of a house full of contented family. It was Easter, and as the day would have belly upit, we had some family over to the pit to celebrate our Savior’s victory all those many years ago. And after the festivities were done, and our bellies were filled, we sort of bandied off to various sectors of the house, some to play games, others to watch a movie perhaps, and still others, like me, who sought a comfy locale in which to go “belly-up” for a bit. And that’s what I done did. The long-honored and highly esteemed privilege of the pit master. I took a nap.

Wake Up and Smell the Ham

Not all that exciting, I suppose, but for me, you understand, it was an event to rival a home run in the World Series. Okay, I have low standards, but even so,  I love to nap. It’s my hobby these days. One of which , I find, I seem to get better and better at with advancing years. There is just something about a well-placed nap that sets a bloke off right. It syncs a soul into the proper speed, perhaps. A worthy speed for disciplines of patience, such as the BBQ Arts, but also an over all suitable gait for general life enjoyment as well. You see, taking a nap slows you down, and that right there is the most important thing it does. It says to yourself and the world around you, that for a while at least, you’re in no hurry. That you’re content in this present moment, and you’re doing precisely that which is well with your soul. Oh, I adore a good nap.

Thus,  I melted into the couch with an abundance of soft pillows and drapey blankets. The soothing banter of family took up the acoustic back ground. Some movie also, played quietly on the TV. There is something intriguingly intoxicating about background murmur. The sounds you hear, but don’t really listen too. They ensconce around you like an acoustic gramma blanket almost. Anyways, I wiggled in, pillows situated just right.  My eyes drooping like a pair of wet underwear. And my deeds as a pit keeper met yet again, for another Easter. Indeed, a belly full of ham and a long string of “Z’s”. I was content, but before I doze off, let me tell you a little more about this Easter ham. And how it went and came to be.

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Hams are easy smokes, by and by. Unless you buy them green, or uncured, all the work is already done for you. Shucks, you don’t even have to cook it if you don’t want to, as most ham is cooked and ready to eat cold, right out of the package. In point of fact, most hams come smoked already too. So what’s a pit master need really to do then with a ham? Well, the obvious answer is to smoke it again! And that’s just what we did. The double smoke!

Match The Smoke

If you ever want to amp up the flavor of your run of the mill ham by ten fold, this is how to do it. Look on the package and see what kind of wood was used to smoke the ham, and then sort through your wood larders and see if you’ve got the same. Match the smoke if you can, just so you can maintain a certain tidiness about things. If not, apple wood is an excellent choice. Hickory too, and pecan wood is always wonderful as well.

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Whilst the smoker was coming up to speed, we rubbed the ham down in a cheap yellow mustard. Rubbed it all over like a bronzed Ecuadorian smearing on his sun tan lotion. The mustard rub is not for flavor of course, which many newbies think it is. Nay, it is your adhesive agent, varnished there to help hold your rub longer to the ham. And our rub today was about as simple as it gets – brown sugar. Feel free to add a little cinnamon and nutmeg to the ensemble, as I forgot to do that in my enthusiasm. We also lanced a few pineapple rings to the old ham for to serve as a self-basting sort of mechanism, but in truth, we did it mostly because it looks cool.

From there it was a slow ride in the Weber Smokey Mountain, at 225 degrees, bathed in a cloak of hickory smoke. A span of clock reaching about 3 hours, I should say, until the internal temperature of the ham reached 135 degrees. That is more than enough time to practice your pit master posture, in your favorite BBQ chair. Lovely beverage in hand, the world twirling slowly about you. Stately plumes of wood smoke curling from your old pit damper. Song birds rejoicing from yonder tree tops. This is our time, people,  our privilege patron to the Smokey Arts!

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Near the end of the cook, we glazed the meat lightly with some home made maple syrup, fresh from my brother’s tree. Don’t get too much better than that, folks!

And so it was, after the festivities were done, and our bellies were filled, we sort of bandied off to various sectors of the house. To do our bidding as it were. And it wasn’t too long before I was buried in a warm blanket, belly-up, head listing partial to the left, with a faint trail of drool accumulating in my down stream lip pit. The soft banter of family, a full belly, and the warm confide of a nap. Man!  And for a while at least, and maybe even longer than that, all was right on Easter Day. Amen.

For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him     –  Romans 6:9

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18 responses

  1. Indeed, naps are what balances every busy little thing in our lives. It’s nice to know that you were able to string some!

    Your recipe for the ham is very helpful. I didn’t know that you can actually use mustard as an adhesive agent. Thank you! And may you have a great, nap-filled week ahead of you! 🙂

    April 11, 2016 at 10:47 am

    • Oh yes, I pulled off another nap yesterday. A pleasant diversion in a Sunday afternoon, and one that if given the opportunity, I think I could become accustomed to.

      Yup, mustard slathers are a common method used all through the BBQ arts, be it on hams, or pork butts or ribs, or anything you want your rub to stick to a little better. Ironically, you cannot taste the mustard after all is cooked. Never sure why this is, but it is so. That’s why it makes a good bonding agent for your spice rubs. Promotes a thicker bark too, which I rather like.

      Take care, and thanks for chiming in!

      PotP

      April 11, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      • I’ll keep that in mind the next time that I will prepare something that needs a sauce to stick in it. Thanks again for your helpful advice! 🙂

        April 11, 2016 at 1:15 pm

  2. Oh, that looks good! And we concur completely with the nap!!

    April 11, 2016 at 6:30 pm

  3. By the way, we used mustard in exactly the same way recently on a pork tenderloin. We used the adhesive to stick our OMGarlic rub to it. Good eats, indeed.

    April 11, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    • A worthy idea! Mmm, man that sounds good right now. I might need to do that soon. Thx Miners Mix!

      April 11, 2016 at 6:39 pm

  4. As you know we favor smoked ham on holdays down here too, but we have to do ours from scratch – half a leg of pork, soaked in brine for a week and then smoked and glazed to perfection. As always, it is worth the extra work.

    God bless you and your family there in the budding springtime of Minnesota. We will be thinking of you while we are busy, “smearing on sun tan lotion” here where life is good in Ecuador!

    April 11, 2016 at 7:51 pm

    • Ah another reference caught by John in Ecuador.

      Yes indeed, that home brined ham you do is one of the best things you do down there in paradise. I always get excited for your annual post on the event. That’s a high level of meat mastery, John in Ecuador. I don’t think I could find a green ham in the stores around here if I wanted to. And I kinda do.

      Hope your Easter was blessed too, my friend.

      Take care,
      Potp

      April 11, 2016 at 8:17 pm

  5. I’ve never mastered the art of a good nap. It’s something I aspire to. Cheers!

    April 11, 2016 at 7:56 pm

    • Well your choice of high octane music wouldn’t seem to lend well to napping. Or does it. Perhaps to a metal head , such is as relaxing as Beethoven. Yeah I couldn’t nap proper for 30 years. Like good BBQ, these things take time. It’s worth aspiring for. In moderation that is. You can do it man!

      April 11, 2016 at 8:11 pm

  6. Yeah!

    April 13, 2016 at 5:03 am

  7. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? Corinthians 15:55
    One of my favorite things to do when the kids were young and still at home was to dose off listening to them play while my wife was clanking pots and pans in the kitchen. Man that thought just took me back 20 years.

    April 13, 2016 at 6:29 am

  8. Wake up and smell the ham… I love it!

    April 14, 2016 at 7:42 am

    • If only we lived by that motto every day…

      April 14, 2016 at 9:21 am

      • But if we did, we probably wouldn’t live that long with all that sodium….lol! 🙂

        April 14, 2016 at 10:41 am

  9. The ham looks amazing! Baked ham is one of my absolute favourite things to eat. I too am a seasoned, semi-professional napper and have developed a rather sought after skill of being able to nap any time, any place. It’s gone further than a hobby now, it’s a second job.
    Tania @ http://www.thegammonkitchen.wordpress.com

    April 15, 2016 at 4:21 pm

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