Smoked Ham

I’m probably getting excited, not only because it is Spring time, or at least getting close, but probably because Easter Sunday is near. Unfortunately this year much of the family will not be around and no one will be able to get together to enjoy an Easter Sunday feast, hence why I had glanced in my freezer only to find a small ham I had found on sale some time ago. I love ham, don’t you? It’s probably my son’s favorite, maybe both of my kids, and to me, there is nothing better than a ham that is plated on a table. The big question is, is why do we typically only make ham once or twice a year?

When I saw that ham, I knew I could go the standard route and bake it, but I wanted to do something different, plus I wanted to bust out the smoker, and hence why I now had that smoked ham.

Smoked Ham Recipe
Smoked Ham Recipe

This is so easy to make, and the smoke adds a great additional character to the ham. Did my family love it? Yes! We actually ended up eating it for three days straight.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ham (I use the butt end)
  • 1/2 cup of yellow mustard
  • 1 cup of light brown sugar
  • cherry wood for the smoker
  • water pan for the smoker

Start by rubbing the ham with the mustard. The yellow mustard will act as the glue for the brown sugar.

Next, add the brown sugar, and massage it onto the ham. Let the mixture sit on your plate as you prepare your smoker.

When I smoke, I use charcoal as my ignition, and chunks of cherry wood as my smoking agent. I also have been using the Smokenator for well over a year now, and love it. But whatever smoker you use, have at it.

Smoked Ham Recipe
Smoked Ham Recipe

Once the charcoal is lit and nice and grey, add the wood chunks and water pan, and set your ham over the indirect heat on the grill. Cover, and cook for about three hours at 250 degrees.

After three hours, remove the ham from the smoker, wrap it in a couple of sheets of aluminum foil, and place into a 300 degree oven until the internal temperature of the ham is about 140 degrees. I do this in a two step process as to not only get the great smoke flavor from the grill, but to also have it finish and be nice in tender in the oven.

Once the temperature has reached 140 degrees, remove it from the oven, and using a sharp knife, cut it into thin slices, or your desired thickness.

Now you are ready to serve. The subtle smokiness of the cherry wood really had my kids, all of them, coming back for more. Again, we ate the ham for dinner three nights straight, and even my kids loved it so much they were making ham sandwiches for their lunches, plus I had plenty of leftover ham to freeze. I’m sure I’ll be serving it again during the Easter holiday.

If you are looking for a nice smoked ham, give this one a shot. That mustard and sugar combination, along with the cherry smoke, really made this smoked ham shine. Enjoy!

Creole Spice Blend

It’s that time of year again where I concoct a spice blend to give away as gift to my coworkers. As I put some thought into what type of blend I was going to make, I decided on making a Creole spice blend. I wanted something that could be diverse enough to add to most any grilled item, while at the same time provide a subtle kick. Now I know what you might be thinking, why not just user Emeril’s spice blend and be done with it, right? Well, no. I actually put time and effort into making these spice blends as I have done so probably for last six years or so, and I think that my coworker appreciate the handcrafted seasoning, plus I love making them!

I make a big batch of seasoning every year, so this probably made about 5 cups total.

Creole Spice Blend Recipe
Creole Spice Blend Recipe

Let’s get started, and if you have a spice shop nearby, source from them. The quality is so much better. These spices came from The Spice House in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz mild paprika
  • 1 oz garlic powder
  • 1 oz salt
  • 1 oz onion powder
  • 1/2 oz dried oregano
  • 1/2 oz dried thyme
  • 1/2 oz cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 oz fine black pepper

I took the advice years ago from one of the employees of the Spice House when making any spice blend, and that is to mix, and mix until you think you can no longer mix. That’s where my KitchenAid mixer comes into play. If you do not have a mixer, then simply get a whisk out and whisk for about 5 minutes.

So the process is simple. Add everything to a mixing bowl, and mix for 5 minutes. Once done, pour into sealable bottles, and give away as gifts. Again, this roughly made about 5 cups, so I had some reserved for myself as well.

Creole Spice Blend Recipe
Creole Spice Blend Recipe

The result is pretty darn delicious. It was so addicting that I kept poking my finger in my personal batch and found myself going back to it. I’ve only used it on some eggs thus far, but I cannot wait to use it on things like shrimp and crayfish! Hope you enjoy.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Creole Spice Blend
Author: 
Recipe type: Spice
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5cups
 
Ingredients
  • 2 oz mild paprika
  • 1 oz garlic powder
  • 1 oz salt
  • 1 oz onion powder
  • 1 oz dried oregano
  • 1 oz dried thyme
  • 1 oz cayenne pepper
  • 1 oz fine black pepper
Instructions
  1. I took the advice years ago from one of the employees of the Spice House when making any spice blend, and that is to mix, and mix until you think you can no longer mix. That’s where my KitchenAid mixer comes into play. If you do not have a mixer, then simply get a whisk out and whisk for about 5 minutes.
  2. So the process is simple. Add everything to a mixing bowl, and mix for 5 minutes. Once done, pour into sealable bottles, and give away as gifts. Again, this roughly made about 5 cups, so I had some reserved for myself as well.

 

Mustard and Dill Smoked Salmon

This past Thanksgiving was pretty darn good. As you recall I made a couple of different turkeys, including a smoked turkey breast that was out of this world. My mother-n-law laid out a few appetizers before the big feast, and one of them was this great smoked salmon she picked up from Empire Fish in our area. Everyone surrounded that smoked salmon like they have never eaten in days, it was that good. So the following week, I remembered I had purchased a salmon that was on sale not too long ago, and I brought it up, only to be placed onto the smoker.

Mustard and Dill Smoked Salmon Recipe
Mustard and Dill Smoked Salmon Recipe

Any time I can mask mustard into a recipe, as my wife does not like mustard, I do, and this was one of those occasions. This recipe uses a dill and mustard spread over the top, that almost builds this awesome smokey crust on the salmon, and impart packs a bunch of additional flavor.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole salmon filet, bones removed, skin on
  • 1/2 cup of yellow mustard
  • 1 tbsp dill
  • Cherry wood chips, soaked in water
  • Smoker
  • 1 tbsp canola oil

Start by getting your smoker started. Again, I use my Weber grill with the Smokenator 1000 accessory, which works really well, but use what you have.

In the meantime, rub the meat side of the salmon with the yellow mustard, then sprinkle on the dill. That’s it.

Mustard and Dill Smoked Salmon Ingredients
Mustard and Dill Smoked Salmon Ingredients

Before placing the salmon onto the smoker, I liked to brush a bit of oil on the grates where you are going to place the salmon to prevent the skin from sticking. Place the fish, skin side down onto the oiled grates, cover, and let smoke until your internal temperature of the salmon reads 150 degrees on your food thermometer.

Carefully lift up, and place on a plate.

Let cool for about 15 minutes or so, and then dig in. The end result is a perfectly smoked salmon that just flakes apart. When I served this up, it reminded me a lot like that Thanksgiving day. Everyone was picking at it and placing on top of crackers. Regardless, it was super delicious, and was way too easy to make. Hope you enjoy, and happy holidays to everyone!

Franklin’s Smoked Turkey Breast

I don’t know about you, but I am pretty exhausted from the Thanksgiving holiday. As normal, I spent hours in the kitchen cooking up the feast which included a green bean casserole, creamed corn, gravy, a dry brined turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing/stuffing, and this thing of beauty; Franklin’s smoked turkey breast. My colleague turned me onto this recipe and he swore by it. Whenever someone who cooks gets that excited about something, I figured it was worth a shot, and boy was this one ever delicious. As a matter of fact, many said it was probably their favorite, along with my Thanksgiving sausage stuffing.

This turned out awesome, and as I cannot compare as I’ve never had the honor to get to Austin, Texas to try Franklin’s BBQ, I can tell you that this was fall apart tender with just the right amount of smoke.

Franklin's Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe
Franklin’s Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3.5 lb turkey breast
  • 2 whole sticks of butter, unsalted
  • 3 tbsp course cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • heavy duty aluminum foil
  • your favorite wood chips for smoking (I used cherry)

Start by mixing the salt and pepper in a bowl. remove the skin from the turkey breast and discard it.

Rub the turkey breast with the black pepper and salt, all over all of the sides. Now get your smoker ready. I’ve been using the Smokenator 1000 for some time now, but you could use your grill if you desire. Once the smoker comes to temperature (I shoot for about 250 degrees), add the turkey breast, cover, and let it slowly smoke for about 2.5 hours. Once the turkey is slightly browned, carefully remove it and place it on a plate.

Pull 2 big sheets of aluminum foil off, enough to easily wrap the turkey breast, and top the breast with the two sticks of butter. Cover with the foil, and return back to the smoker, butter side down. Make sure the breast is completely covered and to not have butter dripping down into your smoker! 

How to make Franklin's BBQ smoked turkey breast
How to make Franklin’s BBQ smoked turkey breast

Continue cooking for another 1-2 hours, or until the center of the breast registers around 160 degrees.

When you are ready to serve, carefully remove the foil from the turkey breast, and pull apart with a couple of forks.

This smoked turkey breast was so tender and juicy from cooking in that butter, and it was perfectly seasoned. I served mine on a couple of toasted buns, along with some barbecue sauce and pickles. I will definitely be making this again and again, plus it is perfect to serve during any holiday season. Hope you enjoy!

Franklin's Smoked Turkey Breast
Author: 
Recipe type: Turkey
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 3.5 lb turkey breast
  • 2 whole sticks of butter, unsalted
  • 3 tbsp course cracked black pepper
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • heavy duty aluminum foil
  • your favorite wood chips for smoking (I used cherry)
Instructions
  1. Start by mixing the salt and pepper in a bowl. remove the skin from the turkey breast and discard it.
  2. Rub the turkey breast with the black pepper and salt, all over all of the sides. Now get your smoker ready. I’ve been using the Smokenator 1000 for some time now, but you could use your grill if you desire. Once the smoker comes to temperature (I shoot for about 250 degrees), add the turkey breast, cover, and let it slowly smoke for about 2.5 hours. Once the turkey is slightly browned, carefully remove it and place it on a plate.
  3. Pull 2 big sheets of aluminum foil off, enough to easily wrap the turkey breast, and top the breast with the two sticks of butter. Cover with the foil, and return back to the smoker, butter side down. Make sure the breast is completely covered and to not have butter dripping down into your smoker!
  4. Continue cooking for another 1-2 hours, or until the center of the breast registers around 160 degrees.
  5. When you are ready to serve, carefully remove the foil from the turkey breast, and pull apart with a couple of forks.