How to Smoke Ham
Take ham to the next level by cooking over Kingsford® Charcoal.
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When choosing a ham, any cooked and cured ham will do. Shank portion, butt portion, loaf-style hams—they all work equally well. Please note, it’s important not to use an uncured or fresh ham — preparing those properly is a more complicated, time-consuming process. Just select a fully cooked ham from the grocery store and let the charcoal do the rest.
Set up your coals in a parallel configuration. In this configuration, coals burn slowly in two rows on either side of the grill, with a water pan in the center to provide a moist environment and help stabilize temperatures. This configuration provides long, steady heat for grill-roasting your ham.
Prepare your ham with the seasoning of your choice. Start by scoring the ham about ¼-inch deep in a crosshatch pattern to allow seasonings to penetrate the meat. Then apply the seasonings: whole cloves, dry mustard, herbs, brown sugar, even pineapple rings are traditional favorites.
Place the seasoned ham in the center of the grate, right over the water pan with the coals on either side. Put the lid on your grill and adjust your vents to maintain a temperature of about 325°F. Add more coals as necessary. Since hams are already smoked, additional smoke wood is not essential, but you can add some if you like. Let your ham grill-roast for roughly 15 minutes per pound. Because the ham is already fully cooked, you just need to bring it up to temperature.
When the ham reaches about 120°F, it’s time for you to apply a sweet glaze, if you like. Glazes typically contain a dominant sweet element like honey or maple syrup, cut with mustard and often bourbon or whiskey. Brush the glaze on periodically until the ham reaches a final temperature of 135°F.
For safe meat preparation, reference the USDA website.
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