Double-smoked spiral ham might be the easiest, most mouth-watering food you can crank out on your smoker. The 2-hour process (for an 8-pound ham) is simple, but your guests will think you slaved at the grill all day – smoke at 225°F for 30 minutes, hit it with my bourbon and maple syrup glaze, let the ham reach 140°F internal temperature, carve, and serve.
The first time I smoked spiral ham, I was so excited you think I’d just discovered fire. The extra kiss of smoke and finger-licking glaze make twice-smoked spiral ham incredibly tasty. It tastes so good, I make one for Easter dinner, Christmas, and any time spiral-cut ham goes on sale!
I’ll cover everything you need to know, including my go-to recipe. Toss your old holiday ham recipe in the recycling bin. I’ll show you how to crank out smoked ham packed with flavor in just a couple of hours. Sound good? Let’s get smoking!
First things first – you’ll need a wet-cured ham. Look for a bone-in ham that’s around 8 pounds.
Wet-cured hams are by far the most common type sold in the United States. These hams have been injected with a cure containing salt, sugar, spices, and preservatives. They come from the leg of the pig.
They are also pre-cooked, almost always by smoking. That means your ham is going to be double-smoked – I can hear the cheers of joy from pitmasters everywhere.
Wet-cured hams are a pinkish-purple color (thanks to the preservatives) and may have already been hit with a sweet glaze. They’re also almost always spiral-cut, which means carving them is a breeze.
Remove any skin, and trim the fat layer. Spiral ham usually comes with a glaze packet – ditch it and make my glaze recipe instead.
My maple glaze is next level once you add bourbon to the glaze ingredients. Use real maple syrup if you can find it. Otherwise, substitute brown sugar or honey – don’t buy the artificial stuff.
The awesome sweet maple glaze works its way into every nook and cranny of the meat, making every bite salty, sweet, smokey perfection.
The first step is to throw out the glaze that comes with the ham. It’s crammed with high fructose corn syrup. You want real flavor.
Here’s the deal: smoked ham can be served immediately – no need to rest for hours like other large cuts of meat.
Get your best serving dish out. People tend to eat with their eyes, so you’ll want the ham to look as attractive as possible. Put it on your best-serving ware before putting it on the table.
Invest in a nice platter if you don’t have one – spiral hams are a cheap cut of meat per pound. Use those savings on a handsome serving dish.
Once you’ve got your ham in hand and you’ve trimmed it up, you’re ready to cook that delicious cut of meat. This recipe is screaming to be used for a classic Easter dinner that the entire family loves, but it’s also great on sandwiches, eggs, salads, or in split pea soup.
Grab a couple of spiral-cut hams if you’d like leftovers. I promise your friends, family, and the whole crew will love my smoked spiral ham recipe, and there won’t be much leftover. Figure at least one pound of ham per person if you want some leftovers.
Makes: 8 servings
Cook time: 15-20 minutes per pound. Around 2 hours for 8-pound ham. Cooking time will vary depending on weather, wind, and other factors.
Cooker temperature: 225°F
Recommended wood chips, chunks, or pellets: Apple, pecan, hickory, cherry wood
Mashed potatoes are a spectacular side to start with. Baked beans, a fresh garden salad, and fresh corn on the cob are some other sides I regularly prepare with my smoked spiral ham.
I also love making an apple-based dessert – usually apple crisp and ice cream – to wash it all down. Apples and pork are the perfect pairing.
Spiral smoked ham is an eye-popping, visual feast (and actual feast). You’ll want to nail the sides you’ll be serving with the sliced ham.
Smoked ham should last for 3-4 days in the fridge – discard if it smells funny or if it starts to look slimy.
Freeze anything you won’t eat in 3-4 days. Frozen smoked ham should keep for at least six months, but it’ll taste best within three months.
People are always asking me, “How long does it take to smoke a spiral ham?” Not long, I promise! Figure around 15-20 minutes per pound, or around 2 hours for an 8-pound ham.
Trust me. The smoking process will transform the ham into the tastiest pig you’ve ever eaten. My recipe works on whatever smoker you’ve got so that delicious smoke flavor will work its way into every bite.
The leftovers also make for some easy meals like sandwiches that you’ll love to eat. (Slather mine with mustard, please.)
Yes, smoked spiral ham is typically cooked fully cooked. You could eat pre-cooked ham cold right out of the bag, but it’s better to warm, and it’s unbelievably tender, porky goodness when it’s been double-smoked.
I use my smoker – double-smoked ham may be the best ham you’ve ever tasted. There’s so much flavor from the smoke and the salty pork. Once it’s glazed with my bourbon and maple syrup mix, it is next level.
You may see instructions on the spiral hams’ packaging that say to heat at 325°F. Disregard this. 325°F will leave your ham dry and pitiful. Cook it at 225°F on your smoker for best results.
No smoker? No problem. You can smoke ham on a grill or even in your oven. Baste the ham with my glaze and cook the ham at 225°F. The ham is already cooked, so you’re just reheating it.
In the (unlikely) event that you’ve got some leftovers, you can use your oven (set it to 225°F) to heat up the ham. Your microwave is another option, as is on the stove in a cast iron skillet.
Want to triple-smoke that ham? Stick it on your smoker and reheat it with a third blast of smoke. Now we’re cooking.
There you have it, everything you need to know to make a flavorful dish that will leave your guests howling for more. Make one serve alongside your Thanksgiving turkey, and I promise you’ll be hosting for the holidays every year. If you’ve got to feed a crowd, grab two spiral hams and double the glaze.
Remember – smoke the ham at 225° for around 2 hours if it’s 8 pounds, and hit it with my glaze for that extra blast of sweetness. It’s my favorite way to make double-smoked ham, and I hope you get as much joy from the dish as I do. Mastering the art of smoking spiral ham is fun and easy – give it a try. You’ll be glad you did.
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