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How To Smoke A Ham
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4.25 from 8 votes

How To Smoke A Ham

Smoking is a delicious yet often underutilized way to imbue your foods with additional flavor. Sure, you could cut corners and use something like liquid smoke or some magic combination of spices that your buddy swears is "just like real smoke flavor", but we all know it's not the same.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Ham
Servings: 15
Calories: 99kcal


  • Meat Smoker
  • 1 large metal baking sheet
  • Assorted wood chips of choice
  • Natural chunk charcoal
  • plastic wrap
  • Digital Read Thermometer


  • 10


    Bone-in spiral ham, cooked

  • Spice rub

  • Honey, barbecue sauce, and/or apple juice (optional).


  • What you put in your spice rub will depend on personal tastes.

  • Salt, sugar, onion powder, and paprika are all popular options. Any kind of barbecue spice mix could work, as well.

  • Once the rub is assembled and mixed together, take a sharp knife and cut perpendicular lines through just the skin on your ham (it should look like a checker board by the time you're done).

  • Coat your ham in the rub and pat it firmly against all sides, making sure the rub gets into the cuts you made.

  • Place your ham on a metal baking sheet and cover it with plastic wrap, placing it in the refrigerator for at least four hours and up to fourteen to allow the meat to absorb the flavor.

  • Simply light a few chunks of charcoal and your wood chips (or log if you prefer) and allow the smoker to come to temperature, somewhere between 230 and 250 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • Take the ham out of the fridge and remove the plastic wrap or aluminum foil, letting it warm up slightly for half an hour (to save time, you could do this part right before you start up your smoker).

  • After the ham has come up to temperature, place ham directly onto the smoker grate, flat side down.

  • You should not place ham too close to the firebox, as this could cause the sugars on the outside of the ham to burn rather than caramelize.

  • You'll want to smoke your ham for at least three hours, though you should only go longer at your own peril.

  • Keep the heat at a consistent temperature for the entire time.Medium heat is fine.

  • If the heat starts to drop down, adjust the temperature as needed and check to see if you need to add more charcoal or wood to keep the firing burning hot and the smoke cloud dense.

  • While these steps are optional, they make your meat that much more succulent and delicious and are more than worth the effort. 

  • Every half hour, thoroughly spritz your ham with apple juice in a spray bottle.

  • After around two and half hours of smoking, you can apply barbecue sauce to the outside of the ham, coating liberally.

  • You could mix around 1/4 of a cup of honey into your sauce for extra sweetness and to add a marvelous shine to the outside of your ham once it's finished.

  • Once you've reached your desired level of smokiness, remove ham from the smoker and serve it however you like.

  • As the ham was already cooked before you started the smoking process, you won't need to let it rest before digging in. 


Serving: 100g | Calories: 99kcal