How to Cook Ham Hocks

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Ham hocks are low-cost, thick pieces of leg meat that may be prepared and utilized in a number of ways. Ham hocks may be smoked on a smoker for a juicy and tasty choice, roasted in the oven until crispy and caramelized, or cooked on the stove. Whatever method you choose to prepare ham hocks, you will have a low-cost, tasty, and substantial supper.

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Making Smoked Ham Hocks

1. To keep the ham hocks wet and tasty, use a brine. For every 5 pounds (2.3 kg) of ham hocks, combine 8 cups (1.9 L) of water, 34 cup (96 grams) of salt, and 34 cup (96 grams) of brown sugar in a large mixing basin. Using a spoon or whisk, combine all of the brine components until the salt and sugar are fully dissolved.
Add extra spices or seasonings to your brine to enhance the taste of your ham hocks, such as 2 bay leaves or 1 teaspoon (4.2 grams) black peppercorns.

2. Pour the brine over the ham hocks. Add the ham hocks to the brine-holding basin one at a time. Make sure that each item is fully covered when you set it in the bowl. Cover the bowl with a lid after everything has been covered with brine.
If the brine dish is too small to accommodate all of the ham hocks, divide the brine equally between two or more bowls or big resealable plastic baggies. Then, divide the ham hocks into the proper number of bowls or baggies of brine and cover or shut to avoid leakage.

3. Refrigerate the brined ham hocks for 3 to 7 days. Place the ham hocks in the refrigerator and allow them to soak up the liquid for 3 to 7 days. This will prevent the meat from drying out in the smoker.
If you are brining your ham hocks in resealable baggies, you should turn the bags over every day or two to ensure that the brine is uniformly spread throughout the ham hocks.

4. Refrigerate the ham docks on a rack to dry. Take the brining ham hocks out of the fridge. Remove the ham hocks from the brine and quickly rinse them under cold water. Then, set the ham hocks on a rack in the refrigerator for 1 to 24 hours. When you place the ham hocks in the smoker, this will help them absorb more smoke flavor.
To prevent the ham hocks from spilling any excess brine or juice, place a cloth or baking sheet underneath the rack in the refrigerator.

5. Preheat your smoker to 200°F (93°C). If you’re using an electric smoker, start it up and adjust the temperature to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93 degrees Celsius). If using a charcoal smoker, ignite it and let it to heat up until the temperature hits 200 °F (93 °C).
If you don’t have a smoker, you may make a makeshift smoker in your oven by adding water-moistened wood chips in a roasting pan on the lowest shelf. Preheat the oven to 200 °F (93 °C) and cover the pan loosely with aluminum foil to allow some smoke to escape.

6. Place the ham hocks in the smoker to cook. Remove the ham hocks from the refrigerator rack and lay them straight on the smoking grates. Make sure the ham hocks are separated sufficiently so that none of them contact. Close the cover to allow the ham hocks to start cooking.
Place the ham hocks directly on the oven rack immediately above the rack holding the roasting pan with wood chips if you’re using your oven as a makeshift smoker.

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7. Smoke until the interior temperature reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit (66 degrees Celsius). Allow the ham hocks to smoke for 2 to 6 hours. Check the internal temperature of the ham hocks using a meat thermometer every hour or so until the thermometer reaches 150 °F (66 °C). Remove the ham hocks from the smoker after they have reached 150 °F (66 °C).
The time required to properly cook the ham hocks varies substantially depending on the kind of smoker you have. As a consequence, it’s critical to use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the ham hocks often so that they don’t overcook and dry out.

8. Within 1 week, consume or freeze the smoked ham hocks. Once cooked, your ham hocks may be served immediately, refrigerated for up to 1 week, or frozen for future use within 1 week.
Smoked ham hocks are delicious in soups, with rice, black beans, or collard greens, or by themselves.

Making Roasted Ham Hocks

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius). Preheat the oven before making crispy, roasted ham hocks in the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (177 °C). While the oven is heating up, prepare the ham hocks.

2. Score the skin and fat off each ham hock. Create tiny slice marks in a crisscross pattern over the skin and fat layers of each ham hock using a sharp knife. Avoid cutting into the flesh below the skin and fat layers by not pushing down too hard with the knife.
Scoring the top layers will assist the ham hocks absorb the salt and spice, giving the dish additional flavor.

3. Season the ham hocks on the exterior with your favorite spices. Season the exterior of the ham hocks liberally with salt, pepper, pork seasoning, caraways seeds, or any other ingredients of your choice. Then, massage the spice into the skin and fat layers of the scored pieces.

  • Seasoning the ham hocks will assist to tenderize and taste the meat.
  • The quantity of seasoning required will be determined by how strong you want the seasoning taste to be as well as the size of the ham hocks. However, as a starting point, use around 2 teaspoons (28.3 grams) of your preferred spice, then add more as required.

4. Fill a large roasting pan halfway with water and add the ham hocks. After seasoning the ham hocks, place them in a big roasting pan with the meatiest portion of the hocks facing down. Make sure the ham hocks are not touching one other. Then, add enough water to fill the roasting pan’s bottom 1 inch (2.5 cm).
Pour the water around the ham hocks rather than on top of them. Keep the skin and fatty layers dry so they crisp up when roasting.

5. Add any other ingredients you wish to roast with the ham hocks. When roasting ham hocks in the oven, you may save dinner prep and cooking time by roasting any side dishes or other components in the same pan. Roasting onions, potatoes, and quartered apples, for example, may all go well with ham hocks.
Roasting vegetables or other side dishes with the ham hocks will further add flavor to the ham hocks while they cook.

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6. Cook the ham hocks for 3 to 4 hours in the oven. Place the roasting pan with the ham hocks, water, and any other ingredients in the oven, taking careful not to allow the water spill over the ham hocks’ tops. Allow the ham hocks to roast for 3 to 4 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C).
If the ham hocks are unusually tiny, start monitoring the internal temperature using a meat thermometer after 2 hours rather than 3 hours.

7. Once the ham hocks are cooked thoroughly, remove them from the pan. When the ham hocks have reached an internal temperature of at least 165 °F (74 °C), remove them from the oven. Remove the roasting pan from the oven using oven mitts. Allow the ham hocks to cool for a few minutes before serving.

  • When the ham hocks are cooked through, the tops should be crispy and browned, and the flesh should easily peel away from the bone.
  • Serve your roasted ham hocks with potatoes and sauerkraut for a typical German dinner.

Making Boiled Ham Hocks

1. Fill a big saucepan halfway with water. Choose a pot big enough to handle all of the ham hocks you’ll be cooking. Then, fill the pot approximately a quarter of the way with water, leaving enough room at the top so that the water doesn’t spill over when you add the ham hocks or when the water starts to boil.
To increase flavor, replace the water with vegetable or chicken broth, or mix equal parts broth and water.

2. Cold water should be used to wash the ham hocks. To ensure that the meat is clean before boiling, rinse each ham hock in your kitchen sink with cold water. This will help eliminate any impurities from the meat and reduce the amount of fatty residue that rises to the surface while the ham hocks cook.
There is no need to pat the rinsed meat dry after washing since it will be placed directly into a saucepan.

3. In the saucepan, add the washed ham hocks. Put them in the saucepan one at a time, being careful not to spill any water. Make sure each ham hock is completely immersed in water, with approximately 1 inch (2.5 cm) of space between the top of the ham hocks and the water line.
If the water line becomes too near to the top when adding the ham hocks, you may need to drain some of the water into the sink.

4. Seasoning and vegetables can be added to enhance the flavor. If you want to add some flavor to the ham hocks as they cook, add your favorite spices or veggies to the water before boiling. For example, 1 teaspoon (4.2 grams) black peppercorns, 1 to 2 sliced onions, 1 teaspoon (4.2 grams) garlic, 2 or 3 stalks of celery, or 1 teaspoon (4.2 grams) salt may all add a lot of flavor to your ham hocks while they simmer.
You may alternatively cook the ham hocks in the same pot as the rest of your dish’s components, such as beans or potatoes. Simply add the beans or potatoes to the saucepan before it begins to boil.

5. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Turn the cooktop to high once you’ve added the ham hocks and any other desired ingredients to the saucepan. Keep the heat on high until the water comes to a boil.

6. Simmer the ham hocks for 2 to 4 hours. Reduce the stovetop heat to low or medium after the water has reached a hard boil so that it may continue to simmer without spilling over. The cooking time may vary based on how many ham hocks you’re cooking, their size, and the temperature of the water. As a result, it’s a good idea to start checking on the meat after 2 hours to ensure it doesn’t overcook.
If you want the ham hocks to cook quicker, leave the pot uncovered or cover it with a lid. If you do cover the pot, check it every 30 minutes or so to ensure that the water remains at a simmer and does not boil over the edges.

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7. Check to see whether the flesh readily peels away from the bone. Remove one of the ham hocks from the simmering water to test whether they are done boiling. Using a fork, attempt to pry off a little portion. The ham hocks are done when the flesh readily peels away from the bone. If the meat is still rough, clinging to the bone, or not quite soft, return it to the saucepan and continue to boil as required.

8. Remove the boiled ham hocks from the water. Turn off the heat and gently remove the ham hocks from the water with a big spoon after the flesh has pulled readily away from the bone. Place the ham hocks on a cutting board or plate and let aside for a few minutes to cool before trimming, slicing, or eating directly off the bone.

  • Boil the ham hocks and use them in a soup, stew, or casserole, or serve them with potatoes and a salad.
  • If you want to crisp the skin on your boiled ham hocks, bake them in a skillet in the oven at 450 °F (232 °C) for approximately 20 minutes or on the broil setting for about 5 to 10 minutes.

How long does ham hock take to cook?

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Fry the ham hocks in the oil in an oven-safe covered skillet or braising pan until brown and crispy on the outside. Remove from the heat, put in the oven, and cover with a lid. Cook for 2-3 hours, or until the ham hock flesh is soft and comes apart when pierced with a fork.

How long it take to boil a ham hock?

Turn the cooktop to high once you’ve added the ham hocks and any other desired ingredients to the saucepan. Keep the heat on high until the water comes to a boil. Simmer the ham hocks for 2 to 4 hours.

Should ham hock be soaked before cooking?

Ham hocks are available in both smoked and unsmoked varieties, but regardless of the directions on the package, I usually soak them overnight to eliminate any extra salinity, since you don’t want to go through the cooking procedure just to find that the flesh is much too salty.

How do you cook already smoked ham hocks?

Instructions. Pour the water over the two ham hocks in the slow cooker. Cook the ham hocks in the slow cooker for 4 hours on HIGH. Transfer the ham hocks and liquid from the slow cooker to a big saucepan after they’re done.

Are ham hocks fully cooked?

The Fundamentals. Depending on how they’re made, ham hocks might be completely cooked or uncooked. Cooked hocks are frequently labeled “completely cooked” or “double-smoked” on the packaging.

Do you leave skin on ham hock?

A hock is not fatty, but the collagen that breaks down while cooking may make it tender. The best part is that it’s completely covered with skin, and as I always say, the more skin, the better.

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