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Dr. Pepper Glazed Ham

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Thu Dec 21, 2017

Dr. Pepper Glazed Ham

Longtime readers already know this, but ham is my jam. I'm an equal opportunity ham lover, but when we get down to it, it's sweet city ham with a sugary glaze that really has my heart. For the past few years I've begun serving ham alongside turkey at my family Thanksgivings even though a bird alone is more than enough food for my clan. Thinking of the extra work and cost, I almost didn't make a ham this year, then, just a couple weeks away from the big day, I had a gnawing craving that forced me into an action that ended with a seven pound pig rump being sent to me via the mail. Glad that happened because this year I tried out a new glaze featuring Dr. Pepper as the base, and I can say I think I've finally found my full ham master recipe.

Dr. Pepper Glazed Ham

While my ham selection and cooking method has remained consistent, I have been changing up my glaze constantly, never being fully satisfied with the ones I had come up. This year I had a new thought—why not take a cue from the sweet Filipino pork skewers I make every now and again and use soda to start things off on the right foot with a dark and sweet base that already brings a lot of flavor.

Dr. Pepper Glazed Ham

I opted for Dr. Pepper, although Cherry Coke was also up there as a top choice, and combined it with fresh orange juice, honey, brown sugar, Dijon, cinnamon, and black pepper. I let this mixture slowly boil down until it was thick and syrupy, just like a good glaze should be.

Dr. Pepper Glazed Ham

The rest of this post is going to be a blanket repeat of past ham recipes I've done, because years ago I found a cooking method for city hams in Cook's Illustrated that has proven to be perfect and fool proof. I use the term “cooking” lightly because city hams are almost always precooked, so it's really a reheating method that keeps the ham as juicy as can be—and don't underestimate how tricky that is. Of course, starting with a quality product makes a big difference, and I've become very fond of the hams Burger's Smokehouse puts out.

The main idea behind the method is to slowly bring the ham up to temperature, and the less time it spends in a dry heat environment, the better. That's why this process doesn't actually start in the oven, but rather by soaking the ham, in its packaging, in hot water. This takes the refrigerator chill away and results in far less cooking time.

Dr. Pepper Glazed Ham

The next aid comes in the form of an oven bag. Prior to cooking hams, I had never heard of, or used, an oven bag before. Its use here is to create a humid cooking environment, lessening evaporation and speeding cooking. One hundred percent humidity wasn't what I after though, so some small slits were cut at the top to allow a little exhaust.

Dr. Pepper Glazed Ham

Then into the smoker the ham went. Since it was already cooked and in a bag, using the smoker as a way to impart smoke was not a goal, or even achievable, but what I did want was a slow and steady heat, and what's better for low and slow cooking than a smoker? I used my trusty CyberQ Cloud to keep the temperature a fairly constant 225°F and let the ham creep up to an internal temperature of 100°F.

Dr. Pepper Glazed Ham

Once that happened, I removed the oven bag from the ham and dumped the water out of the water pan in the smoker to up the heat. I applied my beautifully thick and glossy glaze, covered, and cooked until the glaze had baked down and the ham's temperature was no more than 120°F. You can also keep the heat low here, but the glaze thickens up a bit better and faster at a higher heat, which is why I like to try to get the smoker temp up around 325°F for this final step.

Dr. Pepper Glazed Ham

Then it was serving time, and while the ham was essentially the same one I've served for the past couple years, this one looked better in my eyes for some reason. I think the dark color of the glaze helped, plus that fact that it baked down into a thick, sugary crust. The meat was as juicy and sweet as I could hope for, and what I've come to expect using this reheating method many times now. It was that glaze though that really turned this ham up a notch—what gave it better looks also provided even better flavor. With only the very edges available to make an impact, the glaze needed to do a lot of work in minimal space, and this one delivered big on the ideal sweetness, but with a complexity, thanks to the Dr. Pepper and little portions of cinnamon and mustard, that has been unmatched in my experience to date. So now that I think I finally have my gold standard glaze recipe, you likely won't be seeing another holiday ham recipe from me for a while as I put this one on repeat, but hopefully you can use this to make your holiday centerpiece meat as great as it can be.

Dr. Pepper Glazed Ham

Dr. Pepper serves as the base of this sweet and complex glaze that imparts big flavor on a holiday ham.

  • Prep Time:
  • 20 Minutes
  • Inactive Time:
  • 1 Hour 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time:
  • 1 Hour 30 Minutes
  • Total Time:
  • 3 Hours 20 Minutes
  • Yield:
  • 12 to 16 servings

Ingredients

  • For the Glaze
  • 1 cup Dr. Pepper
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •  
  • 1 spiral sliced city ham, shank end, 6 to 8 pounds
  • 1 large oven bag

Procedure

  1. To make the glaze: Whisk together Dr Pepper, orange juice, honey, brown sugar, mustard, pepper, and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened to a syrupy consistency, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Place ham, in original plastic packaging, in a large container and cover with hot tap water. Let sit for 45 minutes. Drain water, recover with hot tap water, and let sit for an additional 45 minutes. Drain water and remove ham from packaging. Place ham in an oven bag and tie close with bag fitting snugly around ham. Trim excess plastic from top of bag and cut 4 slits in bag around the top of ham with a paring knife. Place ham on a baking sheet, cut side down.
  3. Fire up smoker or grill to 225°F. Place ham in smoker, cover, and cook until an instant read thermometer registers 100°F when inserted into thickest part of ham, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Unwrap ham and brush liberally with glaze. Cover and continue to cook for 15 minutes. Brush ham with glaze a second time, cover, and continue to cook until an instant read thermometer registers 120°F when inserted into thickest portion of ham, about 15 minutes more. Remove ham from smoker, let rest for 15 minutes, then serve.
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Grilling For A Great Cause

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Grilling For A Great Cause

What does it take to grill the perfect steak? According to a new cookbook, the answer is a few good Marines.

Weber's new grilling cookbook, “Command of the Grill-A Salute to Steak,™” features grilled steak recipes by active, reserve, and famous former U.S. Marines. One hundred percent of the sales from the $10 cookbook will go to four charities that directly benefit U.S. Marines wounded or killed in the line of duty and their families: Fisher House™, Wounded Warrior Project, Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, and the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation.

To purchase a copy of “Command of the Grill-A Salute to Steak” and directly help Marines, visit www.commandofthegrill.com.

“We hope to raise at least a half-million dollars from this effort,” said Mike Kempster Sr., executive vice president, Weber-Stephen Products Co. “We want to show our support for brave men and women who have been separated from their families, wounded in the line of duty, and need help coping with new challenges when they come home.”

The book features recipes from “honorable mentions” and winners at grilling competitions held at Marine installations across the country, including Capt. Eric Peter Dominijanni's Disco's Hot and Tangy New York Strip Steaks. In addition to the winners' background information and anecdotes, the “Command of the Grill” cookbook also features grilling advice and tips; profiles of the four charities; and recipes from 10 famous former Marines, including Ed McMahon and Lee Trevino.

Disco's Hot and Tangy New York Strip Steaks

from Captain Eric “Disco” Dominijanni, 2D Assault Amphibian Battalion, MCB Camp Lejeune

Marinade

1 can (12 ounces) cola

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/2 cup garlic teriyaki sauce

1 habanero chile pepper, finely chopped with seeds

1 tablespoon grated orange zest

1 tablespoon freshly ground ginger

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

4 New York strip steaks, about 8 ounces each and 3/4 inch thick

Extra virgin olive oil

1. In a medium bowl mix the marinade ingredients. Place the steaks in a large, resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade. Press out the air, seal the bag, and turn several times to coat the meat. Place the bag in a bowl and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, turning the bag occasionally.

2. Let the steaks stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before grilling. Remove the steaks from the bag and reserve the marinade. Pour the marinade into a small saucepan, bring to a boil, and boil for about 10 seconds. Set aside about half of the marinade for basting the steaks. For the remaining marinade in the saucepan, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until it has reduced to the consistency of a dipping sauce, 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

3. Pat the steaks dry with paper towels. Lightly coat the steaks with oil.

4. With the lid closed, grill the steaks over direct high heat (500ºF to 550ºF) until cooked to desired doneness, 5 to 7 minutes for medium-rare, turning once and basting with a little of the boiled marinade. (If flare-ups occur, move the steaks temporarily over indirect high heat.) Remove from the grill and let rest for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve warm with the dipping sauce on the side.

Makes 4 servings

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BBQ Tips

Make Grilling A Healthy Experience

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Make Grilling A Healthy Experience


Without a doubt there is something very relaxing and pleasurable about cooking and eating grilled food.
There are countless ways you can turn your grilling not only into a flavorful and enjoyable way to cook, but there are also many healthy and tasty alternatives. Like anything else in life, what you put on your grill is a choice. Grilling healthy first means that you have decided to eat healthy. Cooking on a grill can be a great way to reduce fats on while adding wonderful flavor however we must also be careful when grilling as there can be certain risks if precautions are not taken. Eating healthy always begins with choosing healthy foods that are low in fat and using marinates to reduce unhealthy caseinogens.

We know that charcoal grilling can produce carcinogenic smoke from the high temperature cooking of foods containing fat and protein. This can produce unhealthy chemical changes in the outer layers of flesh foods. To avoid these dangerous chemical formations we must avoid inhaling the smoke and avoid the black char on the outside of charcoal cooked food caused by high heat and/or overcooking. It is also advised that any lighter fluid or self-lighting packages be avoided as they can also add toxic chemicals directly into your food. Instead, use a starter chimney and newspaper to get your charcoal lit. While this method may initially take a few more minutes, in the long run it’s faster and healthier. The use of marinades can also help greatly lower caseinogens in food. By using a marinade your food will not only take on extra flavor but even a simple marinade consisting of olive oil and a citrus juice can reduce the harmful chemicals by as much as 99%. A marinade will also assist in tenderizing and enhancing your food’s natural flavors.

There has been a lot of talk about grilling and the risk of cancer. While the risk is real and this should be kept in mind, there are some simple things you can do to greatly reduce the risk of cancer caused by grilling. The harmful chemicals that can form are created by putting food, primarily meats, under intense heat and flame. These are cancer forming agents however by taking a few simple precautions you can greatly reduce and even eliminate the risks. Grilling isn’t the only cooking method that causes these agents so there is no reason to give up on your grill. If done right, grilling is one of the healthiest methods of cooking.

To reduce the risks follow these basic tips:
• Trim excess fats from all foods. The fats are the main contributors to harmful chemicals so avoid fatty foods as much as possible.
• Using marinades based on olive oils and citrus juices with greatly help reduce the risks.
• Maintain a clean grill. This will also help reduce harmful cancer forming chemicals.
• Avoid letting your grill flare-up. Extreme heat and flame will also increase risk.
• Do not overcook foods. If you do accidentally char your food simply scrape or cut that portion off.

The marinade recipe below is simple, versatile, and tasty and will significantly reduce harmful cancer forming agents. The marinade will work perfectly with poultry, pork, vegetables and seafood and should be combined with your food of choice at least 1 hour prior to grilling.

Simple Marinade
¼ C olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons Italian herb blend
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Grilling can be a great way to prepare low-fat meals and only takes a little imagination to create healthy foods. Try starting with foods you already enjoy and find ways to make them healthier choices. Trimming fat, substituting skinless chicken, using healthy marinades are a few things you can do to start forming healthy habits.

Grilled Fennel Salad with Nicoise Olives

Ingredients:
2 orange peppers
3 fennel bulbs with tops
2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
18 small nicoise olives
2 sprigs of savory
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions:
Roast the peppers using your gas grill flame or the method of your choice. Place them in a bowl and cover the bowl in plastic wrap. Remove the green fronds (top flowery pieces) and set aside for later. Slice the fennel lengthways into roughly five coarsely cut pieces. Place the fennel pieces flat in a dish and coast with 1 ½ tablespoon olive oil. Season the fennel to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper. Remove the char from the peppers and dice the peppers into small-diced pieces.

Place your grill on medium heat and place the fennel slices and turn frequently for 7-10 minutes. Grill until the fennel is showing grill marks. Be sure to cook them until they are the desired texture but do not char too much. Transfer to side dish.

Combine the vinegar and remaining olive oil and pour evenly over fennel. Lightly combine the pepper mixture with the fennel while adding the olives. Tear the savory and fennel fronds and sprinkle over the fennel.

Grilled Fennel Salad is fantastic as a side or main course. As a side consider serving it with a simply grilled chicken or seafood. Just remember that what you put in your stomach or on your grill is your choice.

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Cooking Tips

Grilled Albacore Tuna Steak Recipes

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Grilled Albacore Tuna Steak Recipes

Grilled Three-Potato Saladn Recipe
Source: Flickr

Grilled albacore tuna steak recipes add flair to your dinner table. Asians have a way of spicing up any fish dish with their own wasabi powder. This is a Japanese horseradish and many chefs today use this spice to bring a very unique flavor to tuna steak.
Here is just once example of grilled albacore tuna steak recipes that use the spice above. You will need to have the following ingredients to prepare this delectable meal; tuna steaks, ½ cup of teriyaki marinade, 4 ounces of butter or margarine, 1 tablespoon of wasabi powder, 2 chopped green onions, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, peanut oil, or vegetable oil, salt and pepper. First you will need to marinate your tuna steaks in the teriyaki marinade. You should place the tuna steaks in the marinade and turn to coat the entire steak in the marinade. Marinate for at least one hour in a covered dish in the refrigerator. You can marinate overnight if you prefer. When you ready to cook your meal, mix together the wasabi powder and green onions in a bowl and set aside. Get your grill ready; lightly brush your tuna with the oil and season with the salt and pepper. You can use the remaining marinade to baste your tuna steaks while they are grilling. Grill your tuna steaks to desired doneness and serve with the butter.
Instead of using the wasabi butter recipe for your grilled albacore tuna steak recipes you can make your own unique sauce to accompany your delicious meal. You may enjoy a spicier sauce, if so you should try this one. You will need 1/3 cup of your favorite steak sauce, ¼ cup of ketchup, 1 tablespoon of hot sauce or pepper sauce, ¼ cup butter of margarine melted, 1 tablespoon of vinegar, salt, and ½ teaspoon of curry powder. Mix all of these ingredients together and use as a marinade. Also baste your tuna steaks while grilling.

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