How to Cook a Pork Leg on the Grill

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Pork leg, also called fresh ham, is a cut of meat from the hind leg of the pig. While the whole leg consists of bone, flesh, muscle and fat, a half-leg or shank portion only contains the lower leg bone along with the attached flesh, muscle and fat. Roasting is the most common method of cooking pork leg, but grilling is also an option as long as the process is slow, with the meat above the flame.

Rinse the pork leg under cool water. Use a paper towel to pat the meat dry and set it on a plate.

Set the flame on your grill so that it reaches 3 to 5 inches below the grate -- medium heat for most grills. Lay the pork leg on the grill grate.

Close the grill and cook for approximately 30 minutes per pound of meat, turning the pork leg once at the halfway point using a sturdy meat fork. Check the pork leg for doneness after the 2-hour cooking period by inserting a food thermometer into the thickest part of the meat.

Continue grilling if the thermometer registers below 160 F. Check the pork leg with the food thermometer again in 10 to 15 minutes.

Turn off the grill when the pork leg is thoroughly cooked. Remove the pork leg from the grill using the meat fork. Place the pork leg on a serving tray and allow the meat to rest for approximately 10 minutes before serving with your favorite accompaniments.

Tips

Season your pork after cooking using your favorite seasonings, salt or pepper to taste.

Whole pork legs average 12 pounds, while half legs usually average around 4 pounds. Multiply the weight of the pork by 30 minutes to determine grilling time. For instance, if you choose a whole pork leg weighing the full 12 pounds, the cooking time required is approximately 6 hours, or 360 minutes.

Warnings

Do not set the flame higher than 3 inches from the grill grate. Doing so may cause the pork to burn during the extensive cooking period.

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