Mesquite is strong, handle with care!
Reason for this food story is a bag of mesquite wood chips I got as a gift. Mesquite I had not tried before, and quick research revealed it to be very strong flavored smoking wood. I was hesitating on trying that for pork, but then decided to give it a go. Carefully, was the plan.
I had 7,7lb (3,5kg) ham waiting in the fridge and outside temperature was 53°F (-12°C). Perfect day for smoking some meat. Ham was already brined at the butchers’ shop and packed in a net. Plug-and-play!
I was using my Monolith Kamado grill with lump charcoal again. I heated the grill up to 230°F (110°C) and prepared for indirect, low-and-slow cooking.
Ham temperature was 32°F (0°C) when I started cooking. As the plan was to smoke with care, I added only one handful of mesquite chips on top of burning charcoals.
First batch of chips burned within one hour, so I added another handful. After two hours, wood was burned, and I decided to leave the ham cook without further smoking.
Total cooking time was 8 ½ hrs. Internal temperature for the ham was 172°F (78°C) when I took it out and put in foil for 2hr rest.
I know some pitmasters prefer their ham cooked to 158°F (70°C) and I have done that also. Nevertheless, this run was excellent and ham was everything but dry. Mesquite smoke gave it a nice flavor. Smoky, but not bitter smoky like it sometimes can get.
Strong recommendations, as long as you handle with care!