How to Cook Smoked Pork Hocks in the Oven or on the Stove

Smoked ham hocks are a flavorful and tender when cooked slowly.
Image Credit: Nikolay_Donetsk/iStock/GettyImages

Smoked ham hocks have a distinct flavor that makes them popular in Southern and German dishes. If you want to know how to cook smoked pork hocks in the oven or on the stove, we've got the scoop on how to best to do it.

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What Is a Ham Hock?

Ham hocks usually come from the front of a pig's leg, often around the ankle. They're also called pork hocks and can be purchased either raw or smoked and cured. Ham hock is popular in Southern and German cuisines, although Southern dishes often refer to it as pork knuckle.

This type of meat is fairly inexpensive and packaged with several hocks together.

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Ham hocks are not typically used as a main dish because they don't have much meat. Their smoky flavor makes them ideal to season and serve with beans or vegetables.

How to Cook Smoked Pork Hocks in the Oven

Cooking ham hocks in the oven is one of the best ways to prepare them. Here's how to do it and end up with a tender, flavorful smoked pork hock.

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Things You'll Need

  • 1 smoked pork hock

  • Paper towel

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • Frying pan

  • Cooking oil

  • Large roasting pan

  • Enough beef or chicken broth to fill the roasting pan halfway

  • Oven

  • Baster

  • Additional vegetables of choice (optional)

  • Meat thermometer

Prepare the Pork Hock

Wash and dry your pork hock with a paper towel.

Season It

Season with a mixture of salt and pepper all over.

Brown Your Ham Hock on the Stove

Cooking ham hocks on the stove first will help to seal in the moisture and flavor. Place your ham hock a pan with oil on medium heat and brown the ham hock on each side.

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Prepare it For the Oven

Place the pork hock in a roasting pan and add in beef or chicken broth for flavor and moisture, filling the pan about halfway.

Roast the Ham Hock

Bake the ham hock in the oven for 1 hour and 40 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Baste and Let it Cook

To keep your ham hock moist, baste it every 15 minutes with your broth using your baster. After it has been cooking for about an hour, you can add in vegetables if you wish.

For the last 30 minutes of cooking time, increase the heat to 425 F for a perfectly baked ham hock.

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Remove and Serve

Regardless of the recipe and cooking method you use, the USDA recommends cooking pork meat to a minimum internal temperature of 145 F, per the USDA. Measure this with a food thermometer to check for doneness.

Serve your ham hock immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

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How to Boil Ham Hocks on the Stove

You can also cook ham hocks on the stove by boiling them and then shredding the meat to add to meals. Here's one way to do it:

Things You'll Need

  • 6 smoked ham hocks

  • 4 quarts water

  • Large stockpot

  • 2 forks, for shredding

  • Cutting board

  • Vegetables of choice (optional)

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Boil Some Water

In a stockpot, bring the water to a boil on the stove over medium-high heat.

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Add Your Hocks

Add your smoked pork hocks to the pot.

Let Them Cook

Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook until the meat starts to fall off the bone. This could take up to 3 hours (or even more), depending on the size of the pork hocks.

Remove the Hocks and Shred the Meat

Remove the hocks from the pot. Using two forks, shred the meat from the bones on a cutting board and return the meat to the pot. Add in your choice of vegetables, if using.

Boil Again and Serve (or Store)

Boil the pork and vegetables until tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Tip

Consider serving ham hocks with sides like:

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