Add all the ingredients, except for the pork butt, to a very large stock pot and bring to the boil. Stir until the salt is completely dissolved, then kill the heat and let the brine come down to room temperature. If at all possible, place it in the fridge and let it cool overnight. To speed up the process, you could also add only half of the water to the stock pot and put the other half in the freezer, then add the cold water to the brine once it has boiled and the salt has been dissolved.
Once the brine has cooled down, place your pork butt into a large non-reactive container (a clean storage container with fitting lid works really well for this) and pour the brine over it until it’s completely covered. Now you need to make sure that your meat is completely submerged and that it will remain submerged for the entire duration of the curing process. If it wants to float to the top, weigh it down with a plate or any other similar clean and non-reactive object that fits snuggly inside your container.
Place your meat in the fridge and leave it to cure for 10-14 days. Check daily to make sure that your meat is still submerged.
SMOKING YOUR HAM
Soak 8 cups of wood chips in water for at least one hour prior to smoking your ham.
Take your pork butt out of the brine and rinse it really well. Tie it secure with butcher's twine, if necessary.
Bring enough water to a boil so that when you drop your piece of meat in it, it will be completely covered. Kill the heat and leave the meat in the hot water for 25-30 minutes, which will help raise its internal temperature and draw some of the salt out.
Meanwhile, preheat your outdoor grill to 225°F. Turning on a single burner to low should do the trick.
Make about 8-10 wood chip pouches. For each pouch, cut out a 12” x 24” piece of heavy duty aluminum foil (double that up if using lighter foil) and place about a cup of wet wood chips on one end of the foil. Add a handful of dry chips to that, then fold the foil over the wood chips. Fold all four edges toward the center at least twice, then poke holes on the top of the pouch with a fork.
Lift the grill that’s above the lit element and place a pouch directly on the heat source. Close the lid and wait until smoke starts to come out of the pouch.
Take your ham out of its hot water bath, pat it real dry and place it on the unlit side of the grill; close the lid.
Smoke the ham for a total of about 6 hours, replacing the pouch with a fresh one every 45 minutes or so. If necessary, crank up the heat under the new pouch until smoke starts to come out then bring the heat back down to low.
Try and keep the heat inside your grill as stable as possible, at around 225°F. Note that it’s not necessary to get huge amounts of smoke in order to get good flavor from it. However, if you feel you are not getting enough, feel free to add more dry chips to your foil pouches, or place an aluminum container with a handful of dry chips next to your smoldering foil pouch.
Your ham will be ready when its internal temperature registers 150°F
It will keep in the refrigerator for up to several days or in the freezer for several months.
DISCLAIMER: Many people commented and emailed me suggesting that my recipe calls for way too much curing salt and a few zealous members of the nitrite police even implied that using so much could represent a health hazard. I have made a lot of research prior to posting this recipe and found many articles and arguments to support that the amounts of Prague Powder#1 used here were in fact completely safe when added to a WET BRINE. But — truth be told — there seems to be much conflicting information with regards to curing salt out there and I'm no expert on the subject, so I strongly encourage you to do your own research and to use this recipe solely as a guideline.
Homemade Smoked Ham https://thehealthyfoodie.com/homemade-smoked-ham/