Let’s begin by describing what a shouldered pork actually is, it is a cut from the front leg of the hog.
Smoke pork shouldered hams can be of medium sizes to serve at least two to three persons while weighing about 3 pounds. Usually weighing somewhere between 5-8 pounds, these hams usually give my family of 5, two full meals and then I love having the bone to make a pot of soup in my Instant Pot or slow cooker!!
Lay the picnic ham in a roasting dish. I use my large lasagna pottery baking dish. It is the perfect size for the ham. Make sure that you lay it down, fat side up. If there is cheesecloth or anything else that was in the packaging, remove that so only the ham is in the baking dish.
Pour 3/4 cup of water into the baking dish.
How to Cook the Pork Shouldered Ham
- Cover the roasting pan with foil. Bake the ham in a 350F oven for about an hour at the least. This loosens it up, the fat and allows the rind to be pulled off easily.
- After baking for 1 hour, take the ham out of the oven and remove the foil. Peel up the rind from the ham and discard. The rind will be hot, so I used tongs. If desired, you can trim some of the fat off the fat cap, but I usually leave most of it on the ham.
- Using a sharp knife, cut slits in a cross check pattern. Make sure to go deep enough that you not only cut the fat, but also slice into the meat as well.
- Pour the glaze in the blender so that it is smooth. Then I brush it all over the ham, using a BBQ brush to make sure the glaze gets right into the slits of the ham.
- Brush about 1/3 of the glaze before baking the ham, instead of pouring all on it. Then twice, during the baking, I will brush some more of the glaze all over the top of the ham. This gives that ham a wonderful caramelized glaze all over the top and sides of the ham. The flavour is amazing!
- Bake ham for another 2 hours.
- After 1 hour, brush the ham with more glaze. About 30 minutes later, brush the ham with glaze one more time. Bake the ham for the remaining 30 minutes.
- Let the ham rest for about 5-10 minutes after I take it out of the oven. Then, carve it using a nice long carving knife, making slices of the ham that are about 1/4 inch thick. I like to serve my ham with some dijon or creole mustard. Amazing! As you can see it is very easy for how to cook a picnic ham.
Ham is best served with sides that compliment the smoky and sweet taste of the ham.
Pork picnic is a part of the pig’s front shoulder, the rear shoulders made into ham.
A pig’s front shoulder is actually two different cuts. The top half is the Pork Butt, or pork shoulder. While the lower portion is a pork shoulder picnic roast.
Pork picnic is usually smaller in size, but they are more flavourful meat, even though the picnic roast can have less fat and marbling.
This recipe would work as both a pork butt and a pork picnic recipe.
It is really hard to estimate smoking times, as each piece of meat is different. Although the rule of thumb is to cook it or 90 minutes per pound of meat, we strive to have that bad boy done at least 3 hours before we want to eat. This gives us a huge margin and fudge factor, as our experience is that it usually takes longer than you expect.
Why a Water Pan?
Adding a water pan to the smoker will help to increase the humidity. This serves a couple purposes.
Most importantly, water helps aid in bark formation. If you will looking for a kick ass bark, this is the way!
Foods with moisture on them tend to attract smoke better than dry foods, the evaporative nature of the water pan will moisten the surface of your meat, allowing better smoke adherence.
This step is optional.
But the trick is to use the cooler to keep the meat warm, the same way a cooler keeps things cold, it can keep things hot!
When your smoked pork roast reaches the proper internal temperature, remove it from the smoker, wrap it tightly in a fluffy towel, then slide the fluffy towel into the cooler. Leave the pork in the cooler until it’s been resting for at least 1 hour, or you’re ready to slice and serve.
Don’t fret if your smoked picnic roast is done well before dinner, simply keep in in the cooler until you are ready to slice or shred for serving.
Making Your Pork Rub
With this 5 ingredients you can make your pork rub;
- brown sugar
- garlic powder
- fresh ground pepper
- smoked paprika
Smoking pork most usually will leave you with leftovers, and can be used in a number of dishes, like pulled pork tacos, nachos, poutine, and pulled pork omlettes. The options are endless!
If you are wanting to reheat just plain pulled pork, you can reheat it:
Microwave: In a covered dish with a splash of water, in one minute intervals, stirring in between until heated through.
Oven: In a covered dish with a splash of water at 300f for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice during the cooking time.
Sous vide: Toss the pulled pork in a silicone sous vide bag, or zip-top freezer bag and heat in a water bath at 165f for 30-45 minutes until heated through.