First Ham attempt on MAK


New member
So after seeing some threads on brining and smoking hams, (TentHunter and Deb) I decided to give it a shot.

First I needed a fresh leg of pork. I called a local heritage breed farmer and found out they had a smaller hog at the packer that would give me a perfect sized leg for this. They usually sell by the half so they were doing me a favor and kudos to them. If you're in the Willamette Valley in Oregon and looking for a heritage breed pig you can pm me for their info. I'm not sure what the board rules are for posting the website here.

Here's the leg trimmed of the beautiful looking fat cap that will either go into sausage or rendered to lard.

I used the brine recipe out of "Charcuterie" and here's the leg in it's bath for a week.

After about 4 hours on the MAK.

The finished product.

Altogether it turned out very good. The flavor was outstanding but probably most surprising was how juicy it was. This was no store bought reheated dry ham, this was tender and juicy! I smoked it for around 10 hours. Next time I think I'll only smoke around 6 hours then bump up to 225 or so to finish quicker.

Here's a picture I forgot I took. These are leftover slices getting the food saver treatment for freezing. You can see the good penetration of the brine from the color. The original juiciness is gone though, words don't do the juicy goodness justice.

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New member
Wow that looks fantastic! Nice job. You will get plenty of smoke at 225. I never go at smoke setting for more than about 2 hours.
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Beautiful color and sheen! Congrats on your first ham coming out so well!

Forum rules about posting URLs: General rule of thumb is if it's a URL to another site where you can buy something that Big Poppa Smokers sells in their store, regardless of brand, Please don't post the URL.
If the URL is for something that Big Poppa Smokers doesn't carry in their store, it's OK.
BPS sells ultra premium American Wagyu from Strube Ranch but no pork yet so you're safe posting a link to a heritage pork site.

Example 1:
Q: Can someone post a URL to buy an Oregon Scientific remote thermometer?
A: Although BPS doesn't specifically carry Oregon Scientific remote thermometers, they do carry Maverick remote thermometers
Don't post the URL to anywhere selling remote thermometers

Example 2:
Q: Can someone post a URL to buy a Thermoworks Thermapen thermometer?
A: BPS doesn't carry instant read thermometers yet.
Until BPS begins carrying instant read thermometers it's OK to post URLs to sites you find good deals at for instant read thermometers.

BP will correct me if I'm wrong. :)


Nice job on that ham, Tailback!

A couple of questions:

Did you inject it before immersing it in the brine?

Got any sliced pics yet?

Another great example of how curing & smoking your own ham is really not difficult, and requires a minimum amount of equipment.


New member
If I ever find myself in the Willamette valley, I'm pretty sure I'm going to looking for Pinot, not pigs. ;)


New member
Thanks Scooter for the clarification. The farm that provided the leg is Heritage Farms NW. The url to their red wattle hog info page is here. Red Wattle Hogs Heritage Farms NW

TentHunter, I didn't inject it prior because the injector didn't arrive in time. I did inject it on the 3rd day of brining. I didn't take pictures of the sliced meat because I was hungry and forgot! Doh! The brine penetrated completely and the color was perfect all the way through. Per our private conversations I believe I'll cut back the pink salt next time a bit. The flavor was excellent and not too salty, but like many folks the pink salt makes me nervous.

JeffCO I don't blame you for looking for the Pinot, this farm is smack dab in the middle of some of the best Pinot area in the valley. Do some wine tasting, pick up a scenario. LOL.
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