Love a good “kiss of smoke” and want to try your hand at grilling a ham and freeing up your oven? Learn everything you need to know to recreate this double smoked ham recipe made on the Big Green Egg grill.
Whether it’s for a special occasion or you found a good deal on a ham at your local grocery store, smoking it up on your grill is a fun way to really add some serious flavor and impress your guests.
I am sharing how I made this on my large ceramic Big Green Egg, you can replicate this recipe at home on any standard smoker (or even a gas grill if that’s all you have).
While, I already have this delicious guide for making a Low Carb Holiday Ham, I wanted to do my readers justice and add a tutorial for the grill/smoker too.
Below I will walk you through all the steps to making the perfect ham recipe by detailing the different type of ham cuts, how to prepare your ham, setting up your smoker, glazing to perfection, and the best technique to cut and serve the final product.
Let’s dive in and get to smokin!
- Cutting Board
- Roasting Pan or Foil Pan
- Insertable Probe Thermometer
- Small Pot
- Measuring cups/ spoons
- Basting Brush
If you have been wanting to try your hand at making a double smoked ham, there are a few things you should know first! Here are helpful tips and techniques to guide you through the process:
What does “double smoked” ham mean?
If you’re new to this concept or maybe you’re just not even sure, that’s ok! Let’s talk briefly about what it means to actually make something “double smoked”.
The majority of hams you will ever find available in your local butcher or grocery store are already considered to be cooked.
They process the meat through smoking, baking, or more commonly curing the ham before it hits the grocery store shelves.
So when you bring home a ham and cook it, all you’re actually doing is reheating the ham (whether it’s in your oven or on a smoker).
In fact, it’s really hard to find a fresh and fully raw ham in a standard store setting. If you did, you would want to do a dry or wet cure before smoking anyways.
Therefore, double smoking is really just a fancy way of adding a delicious second layer of smoke flavor to the final product.
What ham should I buy if I plan on smoking it on the grill?
There are two main cuts of ham you can purchase in the grocery store. The most common ham is a spiral ham.
Spiral cut hams are pre-cut, making it a popular purchasing choice because it’s very convenient for heating and slicing.
The other type is a bone-in ham that has not been cut. This style cut of ham often has a fat cap and allows for more of the natural juices in the ham to be retained (those precut slices in spiral ham can dry it out a little faster).
Either one will work here (I have done this recipe with both, though the pictures are of a spiral ham).
Preparation methods for a smoked ham:
Here are some major tips and take-aways for prepping your ham for the smoker –
- Remove the ham from the fridge at least two hours before grilling and let it warm up slightly. This is still food safe and can actually help reduce your overall cooking time.
- If your ham has a fat cap (a layer of fat covering a portion of the meat), I would recommend scoring it. This typically works better on bone in hams that are not pre-sliced.
- Lightly cut into the fat cap on angle to pierce through the fat and create a checkerboard or diamond like pattern across the top. Cross hatching will help render the fat, hold more seasoning, and allow the flavors to penetrate through to the ham a little better.
- Season the ham before placing it on the grill, but avoid anything with sugar (it will burn and caramelize if on too long). Save anything sugar based for the end with your glaze!
- Use a binder like mustard, BBQ sauce, or olive oil to allow your dry rub to adhere to the outside.
- Cover the whole ham in a nice even light layer of the rub of choice. I like this all purpose BBQ rub recipe.
How to prepare your Big Green Egg (or other smoker):
Setting up your grill is simple. Make sure you are using enough coals for about 3 hours of total cooking time give or take. Light your fire and set your smoker for indirect heat around 250 F.
Be sure to plan ahead and get a disposable foil pan or use another type of roasting pan to cook the ham in when it’s on the grill.
A decent amount of fat and juices will render and you do not want that going down into your grill.
You can see in the photos that I have mine sitting on a secondary rack to also make it easier to move on and off the grill without disturbing the spiral layers of the ham.
What wood should you use to double smoke a ham?
When choosing a wood for adding smoke, go with a lighter fruit tree for this recipe. You do not want to over power it with a more intense smoke. I like apple, peach, or cherry woods best.
Smoking the ham:
When it comes time to smoke your ham, start by placing it cut side down onto your grill grates.
Place it in the center of your smoker (uncovered) and close the lid and let it do it’s thing for about an hours or so.
You can insert a thermometer probe into the thickest part before you hit the bone to track the temperature.
Spraying the ham-
I like to spray the outside of my ham with either orange juice or apple juice after the first hour of cooking.
This helps more of the smoke to adhere to the outside and a slight bark to build up on the edges of the ham slices.
You can do this every 45 minutes or so before you add a glaze or do this entirely in place of a glaze if you prefer.
Glazing your ham-
When you see your ham reaching a temperature of 125-130 F. you can begin to glaze it. I like to typically do two light coats of my apricot BBQ sauce recipe.
Brush the sauce mixture over the ham on all sides every 15 minutes or until the ham reaches a final temperature of 140-145 F. internally.
Cover the ham at this point with foil to help prevent the glaze from caramelizing too much and insert a thermometer into the center of the ham as well.
Remove from the heat and use any last remaining glaze to coat it for the final presentation.
How long will a ham take to smoke on the Big Green Egg?
Most standard store bough hams are around 8-10 lbs. If you’re smoking your ham between 225 F.- 250 F. you should plan on your ham taking around 20-25 minutes to cook per pound.
For example, the ham I have pictured was just over 9 lbs. It took around 3 hours total to cook. Always give yourself extra time for resting too!
Cutting and serving smoked ham:
There are some great tutorials on YouTube you can check out:
Cutting a Spiral Ham VIDEO
Cutting a Bone in Ham VIDEO
Place on a platter and serve up with some delicious sides! We love these crispy grilled lemon pepper parmesan brussels sprouts or these roasted balsamic glazed carrots with goat cheese or a healthier herb and garlic cauliflower mash!
How To Smoke A Ham On The Big Green Egg
- 1 Spiral Cut or Bone In Ham 8-10 lbs.
- 2 tbsp Mustard or Dijon
- 1/4 cup BBQ Dry Rub of choice
- 1/2 cup Apricot BBQ Sauce
- Remove your ham from the fridge about 2 hours before wanting to prep it before putting it on your big green egg smoker. This is food safe and will also help reduce the cooking time and keep your ham juicy!
- Preheat your smoker to 250 F. and set it for indirect heat. Add lighter woods for smoking (apple, peach, cherry).
- If using a bone in ham, crosshatch the fat cap. If using a spiral ham, skip this step.
- Coat your entire ham in the mustard binder then in an even layer of the BBQ dry rub. You can see the notes below to make a homemade version of a rub or use a store bought rub of your choice.
- Place your ham, uncovered onto the Big Green Egg smoker (insert a thermometer probe) and let it cook for about an hour. You can spray the outside of the ham with a apple juice or orange juice. Spray every 45-60 minutes to keep the outside moist and to help more of the smoke adhere to the ham.
- While the ham begins to double smoke, make and prep your apricot BBQ sauce. It can be room temperature when added to the ham.
- When the ham looks to reach an internal temperature between 125 F. -130 F. you can begin glazing the outside in a thin layer of the apricot BBQ sauce (or another BBQ sauce of your choice).
- Repeat the glazing process a second time after about 15 minutes and let it cook to a final internal temperature of 140 F.
- Remove the ham from the smoke and let it rest 10-15 minutes, tented lightly with foil. It should hit a final resting temperature of of 145 F. Slice the meat off the bone and serve it on a platter with your favorite sides!