Ham smoked and glazed with brown sugar

For special occasions like Christmas and Easter, or just to have on hand for sandwiches, nothing beats a smoked ham. Your smoked ham recipe is enhanced greatly by this brown sugar glaze.

Smoked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze on a platter The best kind of holiday roast is smoked ham that has been glazed with brown sugar.
  • For those who have never prepared a ham before, this recipe is foolproof and can be used with any type of ham (bone-in, spiral, or boneless).
  • Due to the pre-cooked nature of the ham, all that is required to bring out its full flavor is a quick reheat and the addition of a ham glaze.
  • Using smoke flavor requires cooking at lower temperatures. Our double-smoked ham recipe works just as well with smoked ham.

A simple honey glaze is a great way to add incredible flavor when smoking precooked ham. I think this is the best ham recipe I've ever had, and I wish the same for you and your guests.

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Ham, what is it

Ham is cut from the pork's hind leg, also called the pork shank, as opposed to the pork's shoulder or butt. Ham is usually pre-cured and is leaner than shoulder. The difference between a fresh ham (uncured raw ham) and the cured and cooked (or smoked) ham featured in this recipe is significant.

This ham may go by the following names at the supermarket:

  • Ham with a spiral cut around the bone is called "spiral cut" or "spiralized," and it is intended to make the meat more convenient to cut and serve.
  • The bone-in whole ham takes the longest to cook but is perfect for feeding a crowd of 10–20 people. The entire pig's shank, thigh, and possibly some of its pelvic region are included, making this a very sizable cut.
  • The "butt" or upper half of the ham is what we mean when we say "half ham bone-in." This is a common sight in retail establishments and works well for groups of 8-10 people.
  • Boneless hams are hams that have had the bone removed through mechanical or manual means. You might find them labeled as a half ham, mini, or petite. The only difference is that boneless meat is either butchered or mechanically processed after curing. If you're only feeding a small group of people (less than 8), these are perfect.

The whole bone-in ham from Snake River Farms is our go-to ham of choice. Learn more about the Kurobuta pork and ham style here. Tender, refined, and resembling pork or bacon in flavor, this dish needs no other seasonings besides a finishing glaze to shine.

Ham Smoking Instructions

Hams that have already been cooked only need to be reheated to an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit (F) before being smoked. Neither brine nor any other kind of fixin's is required.

  1. Ham should be patted dry before smoking.
  2. Heat to 225-250 degrees Fahrenheit and light a cigarette. The ham won't dry out if the heat is kept low.
  3. Glaze the ham with honey while it smokes.
  4. At an internal temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit, glaze the ham once; then, keep it in the oven for a while longer so the glaze can caramelize.
  5. At 140 degrees Fahrenheit, the ham is done cooking and should be removed.
  6. While the ham is resting, apply the final glaze. Cover with foil and let stand for up to 30 minutes before serving.

To keep the ham moist while smoking it, the temperature should be kept between 225 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to Use a Pellet Grill or Traeger for Smoking

Use the same procedure without the smoke setting on any pellet grill. Smoking at temperatures between 160 and 180 degrees Fahrenheit will greatly extend the smoking time with only a slight increase in flavor.

Think about including a water pan to keep the oven at a consistent humidity level as well.

Instructions for Grill-Smoked Ham

Indirect heat is the way to go when using a Kettle grill. Reduce the amount of air entering the grill by placing wood chips on top of the charcoal and keeping the vents closed.

The ham should be positioned over the indirect side, and the remaining steps should be repeated.

Smoking with a Kamado Grill or Big Green Egg

Just repeat what was said above. The Big Green Egg is so efficient that it doesn't require a water pan. After heating, maintain a steady 225-250 degrees Fahrenheit by keeping the daisy wheel and bottom vent nearly closed.

Yoder and Offset Smoker Use Instructions

Proceed as described in the preceding section. Begin smoking with lump charcoal for preheating, then switch to wood chunks or split logs for the actual cooking. Burning wood creates embers that sustain heat, and the wood itself contributes flavor.

We suggest using an offset smoker with a water pan and wide-open air vents.

Smoked Ham with brown sugar glaze slices on a serving dish

Timing the Ham Smoking Process

  • Half or whole smoked hams typically take 20 minutes per pound to cook to 140 degrees. Hams of smaller size, such as petite or quarter hams, cook more quickly. Carefully consider the ham's portion size.
  • Shorter cooking times are possible with spiral-cut ham because more of the meat is exposed to the heat, increasing the temperature near the bone. Spiral-cut ham should be cooked for about 15 minutes per pound.

Best Temperature-Tracking Device

Use a high-quality digital thermometer, such as the Thermoworks Smoke Unit, to keep tabs on the internal temperature of your ham smoker without opening the appliance. It has a wireless display that shows you two temperatures at once: the overall oven temperature and the internal temperature of your ham.

Taking temperature of a smoked ham with a Thermoworks digital thermometer

The Thermoworks Thermapen is another great instrument to use for exploring the ham's interior. This instant read thermometer, as opposed to the Smoke unit's single sensor, can ensure that the entire ham has reached the proper internal temperature.

Recipe for Brown Sugar Glaze

A ham glazed with brown sugar in one of its many forms makes a delicious addition to the holiday spread. For the same reason, we don't use a rub to flavor the ham. With this incredibly tasty glaze, there's no need.

Put the butter in the pan and allow it to melt over a moderate heat. Sauté the shallots for 6-8 minutes, until they are soft but not brown. To soften the garlic, sauté it for an additional minute after adding it to the pan.

At last, to the simmering pot should be added sugar, cider, honey, Dijon mustard, cayenne pepper, and salt. Keep an eye on the glaze and let it simmer for up to 10 minutes without letting it boil. As the sugar and liquids combine and reduce, the glaze will thicken.

a spoonful of brown sugar glaze for ham Consistency issues with brown sugar and honey glaze Thin with water if necessary.
Glazing a smoked ham on a smoker Glazed ham on a smoker

Need a new glaze but don't want to Indulge in some of our double-smoked ham glazed with cherry bourbon.

This recipe, along with our smoked Cuban sandwich, is perfect for using up any leftover ham. Try our Smoked Ham Hash instead for the best breakfast ever!

Carving a smoked ham

How to Pair Wine with Smoked Ham for the Holidays

This ham has a sweet caramelized glaze that complements its slightly smoky and savory flavor. This variety of profiles means you have plenty of options when planning your Thanksgiving meal.

Riesling is a safe bet whenever a white wine craving strikes. It sounds like it was made for a ham supper. Rosé and Pinot Gris (Grigio) also pair well because of their light fruitiness. The caramelized brown sugar honey notes from the glaze can pair wonderfully with a full-bodied California Chardonnay.

One of my favorite red wines is Pinot Noir, but I also enjoy Gamay (think Beaujolais) and Zinfandel for their respective boldness and fruitiness.

Slices of smoked ham with brown sugar glaze with a bottle of wine

What follows is a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Per person ham serving size

Estimate a quarter of a pound of uncooked ham per person. This serves about two slices per person with the accompaniments.

How can you prevent a smoked ham from becoming dry?

Be careful not to overcook the ham. The best way to achieve this is to use a leave-in meat thermometer when cooking the smoked ham.

Does a smoked ham require soaking?

No There is no need to soak a ham that has already been brined to remove the salt. It's already cooked, so all you have to do is reheat it.

The time required to smoke a 5-pound ham.

It takes about 90 minutes, or 20 minutes per pound, to cook a 5-pound ham.

Smoking a 10-pound ham: how long?

If you use the 20-minute-per-pound rule, you'll need about 3 hours and 20 minutes to cook a 10-pound ham.

Okay, but what if my smoked ham is ready before it was supposed to be?

Remove the ham from the smoker and wrap in aluminum foil if it reaches the desired temperature sooner than you'd like. To prevent the ham from sticking to the foil, prepare the glaze and apply it right before serving.

Even More Festive Dishes

Attempting this recipe. We'd appreciate it if you could rate us out of five. Use the hashtag #vindulge or tag @vindulge on all your social media posts. And don't forget to sign up for our weekly newsletter, where we share all of our most cherished ideas and inspirations.

This recipe was first published in December of 2019, and in October of 2022, an updated frequently asked questions section was added. Nothing has changed from the original recipe.

If you make a purchase after clicking on one of the affiliate links in this post, we may be compensated. Only companies whose products we genuinely enjoy working with do we accept advertising space on our blog.

  • Use apple or cherry wood to get your smoker up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • After drying, insert the probe of a Bluetooth thermometer—we recommend the Thermoworks Smoke Unit—into the thickest part of the ham's center, taking care to avoid the bone. Ham, flat side down, on the smoker.
  • Ham needs 2 hours in the smoker to reach an internal temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Use the silicone brush to spread the glaze over the ham. Keep smoking for another 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the ham reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and then serve.
  • Tent the ham with foil and glaze it again. Hold off on cutting for 30 minutes. Ham can be sliced and served after 30 minutes.
  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over low heat. Sauté the shallots for 6-8 minutes, until soft but not caramelized. To soften the garlic, sauté it for an extra minute after adding it to the pan.
  • Put the sugar, cider, honey, Dijon, cayenne, and salt into the pan and bring to a low simmer over moderate heat. Keep an eye on the glaze and let it simmer for up to 10 minutes without letting it boil. As the sugar and liquids combine and reduce, the glaze will thicken.
  • Possible to prepare as the ham nears completion
To thin the glaze, add 1 tablespoon of warm water at a time and stir until it reaches the desired consistency. F Smoked ham can be kept fresh for up to a week if it is wrapped in foil or parchment paper and placed in a cooler without ice. If you don't open it, the ham will stay warm for four hours. Apply the second coating of glaze right before serving. If you don't use parchment paper or foil, the glaze will stick to your baking sheets.
Vindulge Wine Shop has the perfect bottle to complement your meal.
Calories: 250 kcal | Carbohydrates: 50 g | Protein: 1 g | Fat: 6 g | Animal Fat: 4 g | Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 1 g | Omega-3 Fatty Acids: 2 g | Trans Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 15 mg | Sodium: 175 mg | Potassium: 95 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 49 g | Vitamin A: 181 IU | Vitamin C: 1 mg | Calcium: 44 mg | Iron: 1 mg
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