According To Smoky
Welcome to According to Smoky. Here you will find the latest and greatest from C. Clark "Smoky" Hale notable 'baster', author, publisher, television star in both the barbecue and 'the real' world. And yes, he is a real person and not the webmaster.
Smoky will be offering his talents, techniques and secrets discovered over the last 150 years, or so. He will be to the point, pull no punches and if you suffer through the process, you will become a much better outdoor cook, turning out masterpiece meals for friends and family alike.
In this column, Smoky discussing some of the questions you must ask when addressing the ham . . . . . take notes!
So, with no further adieu, we turn the mike to Smoky. You're on Smoky . . . . .
OUTDOOR COOKING WITH SMOKY HALE
By: Smoky Hale
HAMMING IT UP!
Last week was a quiet one on the grill. I smoked two turkeys, ten pounds
of sausage and a ham and roasted a venison hind quarter. Everything except
the ham has been consumed.
The ham was cut into "seasoning" size chunks of meat and bone and frozen
in see-thru bags. Some of it, of course, never makes it to the freezer. It
serves as the center piece of meals like "fried ham and red-eye gravy with
grits and hot biscuits".
But most of it gets put away for a later date. It helps preserve it if you
think of those soups, stews and gumbos that will be so much the better for
your restraint. There are those who will tell you that ordinary bacon is
just as good for seasoning. Don't you believe it.
There is no substitute for smoked ham and ham hock for seasoning beans and
greens. And a little smoked ham sauteed with the vegetables elevates the
taste of gumbo to the pinnacles of the human palate.
So, at least once a year, I smoke a ham and freeze most of it for its
flavoring capacity. Typically, it is easy on the grill. The hardest part is
probably choosing the ham. If you enjoy baked ham and similar dishes, you
may want to do two hams. Or you may not be able to get by with doing only
one ham a year.
Most hams these days are sold "fully cooked" after some sort of "cure". Of
what some have been cured is hard to tell - but you can tell that it was
It is always shocking to read on the ham package "Water Added". You can
get some idea of how much weight loss you will have from fat and bone just
by looking. You can't tell how much added water you are paying for. While
the packaging may say ‘cured and fully cooked,' just consider that just a
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Smoky's 5th basic position for really great barbecue'n.
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