posted April 10, 2020
Twice Smoked Ham with Brown Sugar Honey Glaze
My Twice Smoked Ham with Brown Sugar Honey Glaze is a backyard twist on that holiday classic. An extra kiss of hardwood smoke adds so much flavor to a spiral cut ham and the glaze is almost like a sweet and savory shiny candy coating to tie everything together!
What is a Smoked Ham?
All pork products that you purchase that are labeled “ham” have been cured with a nitrate curing solution to give them their characteristic pink color and awesomely tender texture. They are all also pre-smoked, and you’ll often see them labeled as apple or hickory wood smoked. This wood smoke will be indicative of the smoke flavor your ham will have. Hickory typically has a stronger smoke flavor than apple.
Why is this called Twice Smoked Ham?
Since ham is pre-cured and smoked, what we are making is called a twice smoked or double smoked ham. I have had some readers concerned that twice smoking a ham will cause it to taste overly smoky, but I’ve never found that to be the case. The process for this recipe is designed to add just the right amount of smoke flavor, and then pump up the moisture content in the ham itself and create a delicious crust on the outside edges of the ham.
Ingredients and Equipment Needed for Twice Smoked Ham:
Sometimes it is super nice to have a list of ingredients at a glance, so you can make sure you have everything you need before you get started. Most of the ingredients for this recipe are pantry staples and might already be in your cupboard and ready to go!
- 1, 8 pound spiral sliced ham
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Brown sugar
- Dijon mustard
- Worcestershire sauce
- Ground cinnamon
- Ground ginger
- My Signature Sweet Rub (homemade recipe here, or purchase it pre-made from my store)
As far as equipment needed for this recipe, I tried to keep things pretty simple. I’ll include links to any items I have that you may want to add to your kitchen cabinets, but you should be able to make this ham without needing any super specialty equiment.
- A smoker! If you’re in the market for a smoker, check out my backyard BBQ grill guide.
- 12 inch Cast Iron Skillet. Perfect for this recipe because you will be going from low temperature smoking, to higher temperature grilling, and then transitioning into the oven to broil. Cast iron is incredible versatile and durable.
- Meat thermometer. A handheld, instant read thermometer is my most used kitchen tool, especially when working with meat.
How to Cook Twice Smoked Ham
Now that you know what you’re cooking and the ingredients and equipment you’ll need to have on hand, let’s walk through the steps.
- Smoke the ham. The first step is to apply low heat with the ham exposed to allow that smoke flavor to work on the meat.
- Braise with liquid. The second step is to braise with chicken stock and cover tightly to keep in as much moisture as possible.
- Glaze the ham. Third, we add our homemade brown sugar and honey glaze.
- Broil the glaze. Finally, the whole ham gets a high heat broil to crisp and caramelize the glaze on the ham before serving.
FAQ’s About Twice Smoked Ham
Most people make this twice smoked ham for holidays and other special family gatherings. I know how important it is to get those family meals just right. They are so special and create so many great memories. I’m here to help you get this ham right the first time by answering some FAQ’s that I see in the comments section. If your questions isn’t answered in here, feel free to leave a comment below and I’m happy to help you out!
What type of ham should I buy?
This recipe was developed for a spiral, sliced, pre-smoked ham that weighs about 8 pounds. This is the most common type and size of ham available in grocery stores.
The cook times in the recipe were created around an 8 pound ham. If your ham weighs more or less, the total time will likely change during step number 4 in the recipe below. Smaller hams will reach 140 degrees F in less time and larger hams will take longer. A 10-12 pound ham will need 2.5-3 hours in the braising step. This is why a meat thermometer is a useful piece of equipment for this recipe, as you can check your progress often.
Can I use a non-spiral sliced ham?
You can absolutely use a non-spiral sliced ham for this recipe. The time and temperature guidelines in the recipe should follow pretty similarly for a non-sliced ham, but it may take a little bit longer to come up to temperature without the slices in the ham.
Can I cook a twice smoked ham in my oven?
The process for this ham is the same, whether you cook this ham in the oven or outside on your smoker. However, it won’t be a twice smoked ham and you’ll be missing out on some of the extra smoky flavor you get during the first phase of the recipe.
If using your oven, just follow the time and temperature guidelines written in the printable recipe below.
What can I use instead of chicken stock in the braise?
There are a lot of options instead of chicken stock in the braise, it just depends on your flavor preferences. I’ve heard of people using apple juice, beer, hard cider, white wine, bourbon, and soda. Lots of creative options to add specific and unique flavors to their hams.
What if I don’t have a cast iron pan?
A cast iron pan is awesome in this recipe for the ease of transitioning the ham from the smoker to the oven. If you don’t have a cast iron pan, you can use a disposable aluminum baking pan, just be cautious when moving it off of the smoker to the oven. The ham is heavy and there will be a lot of liquid in the pan. Transfer the pan to a rimmed baking sheet if possible to avoid the aluminum pan from folding up on you and spilling hot ham liquid everywhere.
Can I use a different glaze (or the glaze packet that came with the ham?)
Absolutely!! The glaze recipe that comes with this ham is a delicious brown sugar and honey glaze, but if you have a favorite glaze… feel free to use it! I have a couple of other glazed ham recipes also that you may want to check out if you like to experiment with your ham glaze flavors:
Can I make a gravy using the braising liquid?
Most definitely! If you like gravy with your ham, you’ve got plenty of braising liquid to use. Drain the fat and liquid from the ham and strain it. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet and whisk in 2 tablespoons of flour to form a roux. Slowly whisk in the strained braising liquid and bring to a boil until thickened. Voila! Ham gravy!
Side Dishes to Serve with Twice Smoked Ham
Twice Smoked Ham Recipe
Twice Smoked Ham with Brown Sugar Honey Glaze
- 1 8 pound spiral sliced ham
- 1 cup chicken stock
Brown Sugar Honey Glaze
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 Tablespoon Signature Sweet Rub
- Preheat your smoker to 225 degrees f.
- Place the ham, cut side down, directly on the grill grates.
- Close the lid and smoke the ham for 1.5 hours.
- Place the ham in a large 12 inch cast iron skillet. Pour 1 cup of chicken stock over the ham and then cover the ham and the top of the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Close the lid, increase the temperature on your smoker to 300 degrees F and continue cooking for an additional 2 hours, or until the internal temperature reads 140 degrees F.
- When the ham is almost done cooking, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan, combine all of the glaze ingredients. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently with a whisk, just until the glaze comes to a boil. Remove from the heat immediately.
- Remove the ham from the smoker and open up the foil. Drain off any excess cooking liquid and set aside for serving. Turn the ham over onto it's side and brush liberally with the brown sugar honey glaze.
- Place the glazed ham into your oven on High broil. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the glaze is bubbling and caramelized.
- Serve immediately with the drippings from the cast iron skillet on the side, if desired.
**This recipe was originally published in March, 2018. It has since been updated with an FAQ section and other helpful notes, but the recipe remains the same**
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