To make the brine mixture, take 3 tablespoons of table salt, 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme, 2 tablespoons of honey and 1 teaspoon of coarsely ground black pepper, and place them in 2 quarts of water to boil in a large saucepan. Remove the saucepan from the stove to cool for one hour. Take 10 to 12 ounces of ham hocks, and place them into strong, airtight containers. Pour the brine mixture into the containers according to the amount of hocks in each container. Let the hocks chill for eight to 24 hours.
Remove the ham hocks from the containers, and rinse them. Place the ham hocks on a wire rack over a baking sheet, and chill for two hours. Divide 4 cups of wood chips and 2 cups of beer into aluminum foil pans, and let the chips soak for 30 minutes. Place one foil pan on a grill above the flames, and, on the other side of the grill, place the ham hocks with no flame directly underneath them. Maintain the temperature at 200 degrees for two hours, while brushing with maple syrup every hour.
Finish the ham hocks by replacing the grilled pan of wood chips with the other pan of wood chips, and continue smoking the hocks for four to six hours.Learn more about Meat