Project Smoke – Ham In A Hurry

Traditional ham takes weeks, if not months, to cure. For this recipe, Steven Raichlen cures it in just days, by starting with a pork loin and smoking it on a Memphis Wood Fire Grill! Drizzle with a delicious orange glaze, serve with grilled pineapple, and savor the flavor... amazing!


  • 1 Pork Loin (about 2.5 pounds)
  • 2 Bay Leaves & 2 Cloves
  • 1 quart warm water
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup salt
  • 3 tablespoons Insta-Cure (Morton Tender Quick)
  • 1 tablespoons Fennel Seed
  • 1 tablespoon Black Peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 1 teaspoon Cloves
  • 2 Star Anise Pods
  • 1 quart ice water
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 cups fresh orange juice
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 Star Anise Pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ cup Bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon cloves


  1. Wash the pork loin and blot dry. Place in a large heavy duty resealable plastic bag or baking dish just large enough to hold it.
  2. Make the brine: Place the warm water, brown sugar, salt, tender quick/insta-cure, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, star anise, peppercorns, fennel seeds, and red pepper flakes in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer until the salt and sugar dissolve. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool to room temperature, then whisk in ice water.
  3. Pour the brine into the bag with the pork loin. Cure for 4 days in the refrigerator, turning the loin several times so it brines evenly.
  4. Drain the pork loin, discarding the brine. Rinse well and blot dry. Place the loin on a wire rack over a baking dish and dry in the refrigerator for 1 hour. Pin the 2 Bay Leaves on top of the pork loin with 2 cloves.
  5. Meanwhile, make the glaze: Place the orange juice, bourbon, sugar, star anise, cinnamon, 1 tsp of cloves, and pepper flakes in a nonreactive saucepan. Boil over high heat until thick, syrupy, and reduced by half. Strain the glaze into a bowl.
  6. Add Memphis pellets to your grill and preheat to 225 degrees. (We suggest Hickory pellets for pork).
  7. Place the pork loin in the Memphis Grill. Smoke the pork loin until bronzed with smoke and the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F. This will take about 2 hours. (You can use your meat probe to monitor via the app for convenience).
  8. Increase the smoker temperature to 350 degrees. Brush the pork loin with the Orange Glaze and cook until lightly caramelized, about 15 minutes. Brush again halfway through cooking. The internal temperature of the pork should be at least 150 degrees. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until serving.
  9. Goes great with cinnamon grilled pineapple slices & drizzle more of the orange glaze on the served ham

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