Grilled Ham with a Bourbon Brown Sugar Glaze

Grilled Ham with burbon sugar glaze
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Here’s my biggest nightmare scenario for Mother’s Day: Eating out. Mother’s Day is among the busiest days of the year in restaurants. I don’t like lines. I can’t abide waiting an hour to eat. And, quite frankly, I can make better food on my grill at home for a lot less money.

Since I do not let King Daddy near the grill, I actually make my own Mother’s Day meal. This year, it’s a beautiful spiral cut ham. First, you don’t have to slice it. But more importantly, all those slices give you the opportunity to add some lubricant to each slice to keep the ham moist while it’s grilling. You can simply use water or add a liquid that also acts as a flavoring.

Some spiral-sliced hams come with a pre-packaged glaze. You just need to throw that away. It’s loaded with stuff you don’t want or need like high fructose corn syrup, food stabilizers and artificially produced “natural flavor.”  You want to make your own glaze using booze! There are many homes in the South where the consumption of alcohol is not part of the Mother’s Day tradition, but I have raised a child and I am here to tell you sometimes you need a drink.

Grilling the ham couldn’t be easier. Just slap it in two aluminum half pans, stacked one on the other for stability of the ham, lined with heavy duty aluminum foil. There is no clean-up for this recipe. Now I know I have your attention. Add a Char-Broil® cherry wood chip smoker box to give the ham and little something-something.

Add the ham, lubricate it with a little orange juice or other liquid and slap it on the grill. After an hour, take that foil and make a giant Hershey’s Kiss by folding it over the ham. Then another 30 minutes or so and you’re done.  Glaze it with a delicious mixture of bourbon, brown sugar and butter.

grilled ham

Grilled Ham with a Bourbon Brown Sugar Glaze

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 8-10 servings

Serving Size: --

Calories per serving: --

Fat per serving: --


  • 1 spiral-sliced ham, approximately 7 pounds
  • ½ cup, plus 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • 1 Char-Broil® cherry wood chip smoker box


  1. Preheat the grill for indirect cooking (one side off) to 225°F as measured by an oven thermometer hung from the warming rack. Set the Char-Broil® cherry wood chip smoker box on the lit side of the grill.
  2. Remove the ham from its wrapping, and discard the pre-packaged glaze.
  3. Put a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil in two aluminum half pans stacked one inside the other. Set the ham on the foil, tucking any extra foil under the rims.
  4. Brush the ham, including inside each slice, with ½ cup orange juice to help the ham retain its moisture.
  5. Put the ham pan on the unlit side of the grill and shut the lid. Grill for one hour.
  6. Meanwhile, make the glaze by combining the remaining 2 tablespoons of orange juice with the brown sugar, bourbon, butter and mustard in a small saucepan. Heat the glaze over medium-high heat until it boils, and then simmer it to reduce by a third. Reserve.
  7. After an hour, fold the foil over the ham and seal it completely. Continue grilling until the internal temperature of the ham is 130°F as measured by a digital probe thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat.
  8. Uncover the ham and liberally apply the glaze. Let the glaze set, with the grill lid closed, for about 10 minutes.
  9. Remove, slice and serve.

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