Photos (and recipe): Smoking a Holiday Ham

Smoking a Holiday Ham turned out not to be nearly as hard as I thought it might be going in. In terms of effort, it is nowhere near as intensive as smoking a Boston butt or pork shoulder. We’re talking 3 hours versus 9-12.

To begin, you are starting with an already cooked spiral cut ham, which you can pick up at literally every grocery store. Then, all you are essentially doing is giving it a smoke bath after covering it in rub containing brown sugar while also caramelizing that brown sugar to get a nice glaze.

It’s ridiculously easy, while also satisfying the itch to use my smoker for the first time in 4 months. Not to mention the ham came out so well that the compliments flowed throughout Christmas dinner and into the next day.

After doing some research, I landed on using this guide from (of all places) and it served me well. Here’s my modified version of that recipe:


  • Spiral-sliced ham (mine was about 8 pounds)
  • 1.5 pounds of light brown sugar
  • Yellow mustard
  • Dry rub (I’ve had one prepared that I’ve used multiple times in the past but any homemade or prepared pork rub you have will do)
  • Orange juice


  1. Place ham on foil-covered cookie sheet and cover with yellow mustard
  2. Combine brown sugar and rub and apply to the ham (particularly in the crevices) while leaving about 1/3 for later
    img_7377 img_7380 img_7381
  3. Fire up the smoker with the charcoal or lump briquettes of your choosing, aiming  to keep the temp at approximately 225 degrees. Once that temperature is stable, place the ham flat side down onto the smoker
  4. Leave for approximately 1.5 hours, keeping the smoker temperature consistent along the way.
  5. Once the ham has received a sufficient amount of smoke, remove it, spray the ham with orange juice and rub with the remaining brown sugar/rub mix, and then double wrap it with foil. Place back on the smoker for 1 hour or so until it reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees.
    img_7461 img_7463 img_7464
  6. Remove the ham and allow it to rest for about a half an hour. Baste with the juices from the foil before serving. Garnish as your heart desires.
    img_7493 img_7500
  7. Brace yourself for all of the compliments of your guests

Have you ever smoked a holiday ham? How did it turn out? Leave your notes in the comments.

Leave a Reply