How Long Does it Take to Smoke a Ham?

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Before You Start Smoked ham has long been a staple at Easter brunch--and it's also an alternative to turkey at Thanksgiving, particularly in the South. You can buy ham already smoked or you can smoke your own--starting with either a fresh ham or a fully cured and cooked ham. In either case, smoking a ham will take you a good eight hours. Starting from Scratch Smoked ham purists insist the only way to go is to start with a fresh ham, generally in the 12- to 15-pound range. It will taste different from traditional smoked ham because it hasn't been cured. Put water, with a splash of red wine or vinegar, in the pan at the bottom of your smoker to make sure the ham doesn't dry out. Heat the smoker to about 170 degrees Fahrenheit and when it reaches that temperature, stick in the ham (either au naturel or treated with a rub) and cook it until the inside temperature reaches 165 degrees. The longer you cook the ham, the hotter the inside gets and the more tender it becomes--but don't go much ... more
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