Smoked ham is a delicious and versatile dish that is perfect for any holiday dinner or fancy dinner. The Smoked ham recipe is salted overnight, rubbed dry and smoked for 2 hours.
Smoked Ham = Best Holiday Food
Homemade smoked ham is delicious, flavorful and juicy. It really is the best dish for special occasions or holidays like Easter.
In this post we will discuss everything about smoked ham such as: For example, which cut of pork to buy, how to cure a ham, how to flavor a ham, and how to smoke a ham to perfection.
We promise you will feel fulfilled and proud with every bite as you learn to smoke your own ham.
why you will love this ham
- It’s juicy and so flavorful.
- This ham is great for dinner and leftovers.
- You get delicious ham without preservatives.
- It’s a crowd puller.
What is smoked ham?
Smoked ham is pork (ham) that has been cooked in a smoke oven. The smoker gives the ham a smoky aroma. Smoking the ham enhances the flavor of the delicious dry rubs we use.
Check out all of our favorite smoker products, including the smoker we use in the Fit Foodie kitchen for recipe testing!
Which cut of meat do I use for homemade smoked ham?
This seems like a simple question, but it’s hard to find raw ham these days. The cut of pork you use for a traditional ham is “the ham.” The ham is a piece of meat that comes from the butt of a pig.
Boneless vs Bone-In Ham
Both bone-in and boneless ham work well in this smoked ham recipe. A boneless ham takes less time to cook. This recipe was tested with boneless ham.
A boneless ham typically weighs between 7 and 9 pounds, while a bone-in ham can weigh between 12 and 14 pounds.
Where can I buy raw ham?
Raw ham can be hard to find outside of the holiday season. It’s best to ask your local butcher if they have ham or can cut the ham aside on the day the pig is butchered.
How to smoke a ham (at a glance)
Learn quickly how to smoke a ham with this tutorial. Make sure you scroll all the way down to the recipe card for the full ingredient list and written recipe.
- Cure the ham. Find a large bucket that fits in the fridge or in a cooler. We used a 20 gallon bucket. Just make sure the brine covers the entire ham. Refrigerate the ham overnight or for 24 hours for an extra juicy ham.
- Rub the ham dry. Remove the ham from the brine and pat dry. Rub the ham with the dry rub. Dry rubbing creates a delicious crust of flavor on the ham.
- Prepare the baking liquid. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium/high heat. Add the onion and salt to the butter and sauté over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and honey and sauté for another minute. Set the frying liquid aside.
- Smoke the ham. Smoke the ham at 300ºF for 2-3 hours, basting every 30 minutes to keep the ham moist.
- Leave the ham to rest. When the ham has reached about 140ºF, remove it from the smoker and let it sit for 30 minutes
- Slice and enjoy. Slice the ham and enjoy immediately or eat throughout the week.
How long to smoke a ham?
A 7-8 pounds. Ham takes about 2-3 hours on the smoker at 300ºF. The length of the smoking time depends on whether you are using a bone-in or boneless ham and the size of the ham you are using. Regardless of the size of the ham, the internal temperature should be between 140º and 145ºF.
Thermoworks thermal pen
We swear by using a meat thermometer when preparing cuts of meat. The Thermapen is our popular meat thermometer that always works.
What is the difference between curing and curing a ham?
Brining and pickling are similar methods used to keep the meat juicy and delicious.
- curing usually takes longer and is intended to preserve the meat while enhancing the flavor. Curing is generally a dry salt rub rather than a wet rub.
- Salt is usually wet. The idea is to add salt to the meat’s proteins by soaking the meat in a very salty water bath. You can cure a ham for up to 3 days.
For this smoked ham recipe, we soak the ham in brine overnight to keep the ham from drying out while smoking.
Frequently asked questions about smoking ham
Yes, you can smoke store-bought ham if this is the case cured and not yet smoked. We recommend smoking a store-bought cured ham for 45 minutes to 1 hour to give the ham that smoky flavor.
Ham will keep in the fridge for up to 7 days when stored in an airtight container.
This recipe was tested with pork shoulder and picnic ham. Both were delicious. The smoking time depends on the size of the cut of meat. Just be sure to check the internal temperature of the meat regularly.
We use the Traeger Signature pellets, but you can use any pellet your heart desires.
Complete your holiday meal with one of these side dishes:
What to do with leftover ham?
Leftover ham is a great addition to so many other recipes. Check out the recipes below if you have any spare ham!
Allow the ham to cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 7 days.
If you have too much ham, store it in the freezer for up to 3 months to add to soups, burritos, or scrambled eggs for breakfast.
Photography: The photos captured in this post are by Erin from The Wooden Skillet.