Spiral sliced hams are one of the easiest things to smoke because all of the hard work has already been done for you. The smokehouse has already trimmed, cured, and smoked the ham. It’s fully cooked, all you are doing is reheating it and adding a special touch or two. This recipe works with a bone in or boneless spiral sliced ham.
When I BBQ, I am looking to create a profile of 4 things: salt, sweet, heat (spice), and smoke.
Cured hams are going to be slightly salty from the curing process. You don’t really need to add any salt.
Using a sweet glaze will help tame the saltiness and bring out the natural sweet flavor of the ham. The glaze for this recipe has layers of sweetness with maple syrup, local honey, and brown sugar.
In addition to red pepper jelly, I have a secret ingredient up my sleeve for adding a little kick to my glaze – hot honey. A local beekeeper was selling his “mojo lightning honey” from a small booth at a BBQ contest and I had to buy some after tasting it’s sweet fury. It’s local honey infused with ground dried chiles. One of the biggest retail grocery chains in the US carries a private label “Cayenne and Garlic Infused Honey” which is similar but I’d recommend buying all of your honey locally if you can. If you can’t get your hands on hot honey, you can add ½ tsp cayenne to the glaze and adjust to taste.
I use a trick from competition BBQ here – “scruffy smoke”. Your ham isn’t going to accept much more smoke flavor, it’s already cooked. But the last thing you put on food is the first thing your guests will taste, so we hit it with smoke at the end. Usually, you want your BBQ smoke to be clean, thin, and light white or even invisible but this is an exception. For a very brief period, we’re going to dirty up that smoke a little to get it heavier and then put the glazed ham back into the cooker. It sounded crazy and it goes against all I knew about BBQ the first time I learned this trick….but it works. It gives the food a good kiss of smoke.
This sweet and spicy ham ups the ante on the boring old Sunday dinner ham. It has a sweet and smoky glaze with a kick of heat. Speaking of kicks, it has another one – the glaze is spiked with apple pie moonshine! You may substitute apple juice but we like the tang that the moonshine adds.
- 7-9 pound spiral sliced boneless ham
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 1/3 cup spicy honey
- ¼ cup dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup red pepper jelly
- ¼ cup apple pie flavored moonshine (or apple juice)
- ¼ teaspoon roasted ginger
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- ¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
- Small casserole pan or a foil half steam pan
- Aluminum foil
- Smoking wood chips – maple, apple, pecan, or hickory
- Preheat your smoker or grill to 275°F.
- In a small pot over medium heat, add the Sweet and Spicy Glaze ingredients and bring the glaze to a simmer. Cook at a low simmer, whisking frequently, until all of the glaze ingredients are combined and the sugar has dissolved – about 5 minutes.
- Place the ham, cut side down, in a foil half steam pan or small casserole dish. Drizzle ½ cup of the glaze over the ham and brush to coat it. Cover tightly with foil.
- Place the wrapped ham in the smoker and cook until heated through, about 3 ½ hours.
- Remove the ham from the smoker. Remove the foil and drain off the juices. Apply the remaining glaze to the ham.
- Dirty up your smoke. For the line of Digital Electric Smokers, this means to take the wood chip box out, add some fresh wood chips, stir it up and put the box back in the smoker. If you are using indirect heat on a grill, add fresh wood chips to where coal is actively burning.
- Wait a few minutes until the smoke begins to get heavy again. Put the uncovered, glazed ham back into your smoker and let it go for 8-10 minutes.
- Remove, slice and serve.
Of course, the best thing about a ham is having leftovers. Pot pies, croque madame, and omelets are always great ideas for leftover ham. Here are another two of our favorites.