Why smoke a fully cooked ham? Because it allows you to deepen the smokiness and enhance pork’s inherent sweetness with glaze (enter, Bourbon and mustard) that caramelizes over the heat and transforms into a tangy, sticky, deeply flavored crust. We think the following recipe is worthy of a holiday table (or any ham-tastic occasion), and it’s a snap to prepare. Just whisk Major Mustard BBQ Sauce with three other ingredients (did we mention Bourbon?), simmer briefly, and refrigerate until cool (or up to three weeks in advance).
Once you’ve prepared the grill and given the ham its initial coat of glaze, the smoking process doesn’t require much attention. Crack open a cold beverage and give the ham a fresh round of glaze every 30 minutes or so, and enjoy the porky breezes. Remember, you’re lightly smoking, not cooking, so the process shouldn’t take more than 2 to 2 ½ hours to reach an internal temperature of 135℉.
Pro Tip: Have plenty of biscuits on hand.
Smoked Ham with Major Mustard Glaze
Serves 12 to 16, with delicious leftovers
- One 7- to 8-pound pound fully cooked, bone-in ham
- 1¼ cups Major Mustard sauce
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup Bourbon, such as Buffalo Trace
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
Combine the Major Mustard, brown sugar, bourbon and rosemary in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture just comes to a simmer, about 5 to 6 minutes. Remove the pan from heat, set aside and let the glaze cool. (If not using immediately, refrigerate for up to three weeks in a tightly sealed container.)
Using a sharp knife, score the ham in a crosshatch pattern, about 1 inch apart and ½ inch deep on all sides except the cut side. Place the ham, cut-side down, in a roasting pan or large disposable aluminum pan. Brush the glaze over the top (don’t use all of it; you’ll be repeating this process on the grill) and set aside while you prepare the grill.
Prepare a charcoal grill for two-zone cooking and build a medium fire. When the coals are glowing red and covered with a fine gray ash, use tongs to remove the cooking grate and place a drip pan with 1-inch of warm water on the side with no coals, and add a couple hardwood chunks or a log along the periphery of the fire). Clean and oil the grill grates.
When the fire begins to produce a steady stream of smoke, place the container of ham over indirect heat, close the grill, vent the grill for smoking, and smoke for 2 to 2 ½ hours, brushing the ham with additional glaze every 30 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the ham (but not touching the bone) registers 135℉. Add additional coals or wood chunks as needed to maintain a steady temperature between 325℉ and 350℉.
Transfer the ham to a cutting board, tent it with foil, and let it rest for about 20 minutes before carving. Pour the juices from the roasting pan (using a spatula to include any browned bits) and any remaining glaze into a saucepan and heat the mixture (on grill or stovetop) over medium-low heat, gently whisking, until everything that is baked onto the pan dissolves into a glaze. Simmer until syrupy, 4 to 5 minutes (spoon off excess fat as you see fit). Carve the ham as desired and arrange on a platter; serve with the pan juices.
Note: If you’re using a spiral-cut ham, score it in one direction, across the slices, and you’ll want to place it in the roasting pan cut-side down so the ham slices are parallel to the grates. (The weight of the ham compresses the slices, and reduces moisture loss.) If the ham begins to get overly browned during the smoke process, loosely tent it with foil until the last 30 minutes of cooking. If you’re not serving the ham immediately, refrigerate the pan juices and glaze, and then skim off the fat before reheating.
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