Smoked Honey Baked Ham

How To Smoke A Honeybaked Ham

Smoke A Honeybaked Ham

Everyone knows the turkey is the star of the show on Thanksgiving, but you can’t have a Holiday Feast without a Smoked Ham to go right along with the bird. (you can get my recipe for smoking a turkey here >>) Instead of spending nearly $80 on an overpriced ham, fire up your smoker and Smoke A Honeybaked Ham. I came up with my version of a Smoke A Honeybaked Ham and it’s even better than the original. I call it the Smoked Honeybaked Ham. The ham I use for this recipe is a Spiral Sliced Smoked Ham. You can find these everywhere during the Holidays, and they cost around $1.50 per lb. I buy the shank portion because the bone is great for making a big pot of beans after the holidays; but the butt portion is just as good for serving. These hams are precooked; if you notice the directions it simply says to reheat the ham in an oven for several hours until it reaches an internal temp of 140 degrees. It is perfectly fine to reheat it this way, but if you want to turn the ham into something special, use your smoker and this recipe.
Honey Baked Hams are spiral sliced hams that have a sugar coating caramelized on the outside. Once the ham is smoked, they cover it with sugar and use a blow torch to melt it. I wanted to create this style of Ham by using the smoker instead of a torch. To create the “Honey Baked” effect on the outside of the ham I use two things: a Honey glaze and a seasoned sugar blend. Here’s the recipe for the Smoke A Honeybaked Ham Glaze:
  • ½ cup Orange Juice
  • ½ cup Apple Juice
  • ¼ cup Brown Sugar
  • ¼ cup Honey
Whisk these ingredients together over Med. High heat until it reaches a low boil. Reduce the mixture for 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally. The first step in the process is to baste the outside of the ham with the glaze. I use a squirt bottle but you can simply brush it on the outside with a pastry brush. This step can get a little messy, so it’s best to have the ham in a shallow dish or aluminum pan. I also use one of my pork racks to keep the ham off the bottom on the pan. (plus it makes moving the ham to and from the smoker much easier). Now it’s ready for the Sugar Blend. Here’s the recipe: Sugar Blend to Smoke A Honeybaked Ham
  • ½ cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ cup Natural Sugar in the Raw (Turbinado Sugar)
  • ½ tsp Ground Ginger
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Fresh Ground Nutmeg
  • ½ tsp Spanish Paprika
Combine these ingredients in a ziplock bag and pour into an airtight shaker bottle for storage. Apply the sugar blend to the outside of the ham. If you’re using a shaker bottle, make sure that the holes in the lid are large enough for the sugar particles to pass through. A parmesan cheese shaker lid works great for this (they’ll usually fit on a standard size pint jar). Parmesan & Romano Cheese Bottle Once the outside of the ham is covered with the sugar mixture, it’s ready for the smoker. Seasoned Honey baked Ham To cook the ham the smoker needs to be between 275-300 degrees. I use a mild fruit wood like cherry or apple for the smoke. Since we’re essentially “double-smoking” the ham you want to stay away from stronger woods like Hickory or Oak. These will easily overpower the flavor. Place the ham on the smoker and check it every hour. If the outside starts to look a little dry, use some of the glaze for basting. The entire cook is only going to take about 2 ½ – 3 hours.
The ham needs to reach an internal temp of 140 degrees before serving, but you don’t want it to get much hotter than that or it will dry out. You can use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temp if needed. I strongly suggest a Thermapen… To make your life a lot easier – every BBQ’er and griller needs a Thermapen – an instant-read thermometer. Smoke A Honeybaked Ham You can tell when the ham is ready because the slices will start to separate slightly and the outside will have that caramelized look. When it reaches this point, remove the ham from the smoker and loosely tent with aluminum foil. It’s ready to serve after a short rest, but you can keep it warm for a couple hours by placing it in a dry cooler with a few old towels. How to Smoke a Honey Baked Ham Carving a spiral sliced ham is easy. They’ve done all the work for you, just make a cut along the bone and free all the slices. Be sure not to throw that bone away because it will flavor a pot of beans or can even be used for making pork stock. Instead of spending money on an expensive ham this Thanksgiving, give this recipe a try. Malcom Reed Connect on Facebook Follow me on Twitter Subscribe to my YouTube Channel Find me on Google+ Follow me on Instagram Buy Killer Hogs Products Here

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54 responses to “How To Smoke A Honeybaked Ham”

  1. Mike says:

    Hey Malcom thanks so much for this info. I’m doing this for my family and friends for our Christmas dinner. Can you give my more details on how to cut the ham. Do I make one long cut down the bone with the point of the knife and then cut around the bone? Or stand it up and slice down the side of the bone. Any info will be greatly appreciated. Thanks again, Mike

  2. Vince says:

    Hi Malcom,
    I smoked a ham for Easter on my newly built UDS (thanks for the build info) and it turned out great. Flavours are fantastic and oh so moist. The UDS adds a whole new flavour over my electric smoker. Can’t wait to do a pork butt next weekend!! thanks again for the great info.

  3. Joey says:

    Malcolm, I have a question. You have 2 recipes for holiday hams. Is one of them “newer” or just 2 options? I’ve tried your other recipe and of course it was awesome. Just trying to decide which to cook this year. Love the sites, and visit often. Thanks for the help!

    • Mandi says:

      I am trying to find that other recipe now!!!! I’m sure this one is fantastic, but I wanted to stick with tried and true…

  4. Jack Haynes says:


    Than you for putting together a great website/blog.

    I am with the Knights of Columbus and we are smoking turkey’s and ham’s for the parish. I am using your recipes, but one have one small variation. We are using shank bone-in hams that are not spiral cut. Can you advise if your recipe and cooking instruction varies vs. the shank spiral cut hams?

    Much obliged…

  5. Michelle says:

    Thanks for posting your recipes! I smoked a honeybaked ham-the rub and basting sauce were delicious. My question is related to the flavor of the smoked ham. It was unevenly smoked. The outside had the smokey flavor, the inside tasted like regular ham heated in an oven. It also didn’t stay warm after letting it rest ( I did not wrap it in foil after taking it out of the smoker. I used a Taylor Meat Thermometer at 2:45 minutes it read 145F, a little higher than you suggested. I immediately took it out, but was unhappy with the smoked flavor. Could it be my smoker? I have a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker and fed it apple wood chips every half hour and basted the meat hourly. I appreciate any information you can provide. I am supposed to smoke a ham for my husband’s office party and would like to have better results.

    • Malcom Reed says:

      Yeah, electric smokers aren’t great smokers. They cook very unevenly and don’t give much authentic smoke flavor. Try using an Amaze-N-Smoke tube inside and rotate your ham half way through the cook.

  6. Jim Gottschalk says:

    Hi Malcom,

    What size was the ham that you smoked?

  7. Tommy says:

    Hey Malcolm,
    If I’m going to honey smoke a ham on my BGE for a Christmas present in the place of a high-dollar store-bought one, would it hurt it or dry it out too much if they reheated it to 140 degrees or is reheating it necessary at all?


  8. Dameion says:

    Malcolm I have used quite a few of your videos and recipes. So far they have all been AWESOME!!! Thank you for taking the time to do all this. I’m smoking a ham as I’m typing this, “Killer Hog Style.” Thanks.

  9. Jason says:

    Hey Malcom thanks so much for your videos and how to. They have been a hit with my family.
    Just one question have you ever smoked back strap and have any suggestion how to do it

  10. Joe says:

    Hi Malcom,
    How long would you smoke a 20 lb sprainl ham.

  11. valeria red says:

    Hey Malcom, I would like to try your recipe for smoked spiral sliced ham but I got my hams at Sam’s and they are spiral sliced but they are whole. So I don’t have that flat side you have. What do I need to do as I will be doing about 4 of them for a wedding in June.

  12. Jamie says:

    Hey Malcom,

    Did this link use to be for a smoke ham with a mustard brown sugar?? I have this booked marked but remember it being with Mustard and brown sugar.

  13. The ham tasted wonderful and I loved the sweet-sticky glaze on top. I’m sure this is not the how the real honey baked hams are made, but I can tell you

  14. Jon says:

    I’ve been cooking this ham for a little over a year now. Will not cook a ham any other way. I’m smoking 5 hams right now. One for me and four for friends for Thanksgiving. Best ham ever. Love the recipe and love your videos on YouTube. You pretty much taught me how to use a smoker.

  15. Andy Mac says:

    I’m smoking my first ham and after reading all the reviews I’m choosing this one. The only difference is I’ve got a cured half leg and its not spiralled. I’m going to attack the smoker on Boxing Day if you have any tips before then, I would be great full to sponge up your knowledge.

  16. Andrew Mackinnon says:

    I smoked a 4.5 kilogram half ham on Boxing Day using this great recipe. It turned out the greatest ham that my family has ever eaten. I smoked it for 4 1/2 hours at 225F making sure there was a constant stream of pecan wood to penetrate the ham. I let it rest in foil for 2 hours before serving it for dinner and the amount of juice that came out of this ham was unbelievable. My family now want to bring legs of ham around for me to smoke, a big thanks for putting this up on your site.
    One happy smoker Andy Mac

  17. Ed Matthews says:

    I may try this cook this year. I love good ham. Actually my whole family loves a good tasting ham. I will try your recipe but I need to ask this. What does the Cinnamon do for this recipe ? Mind you I like cinnamon but I have a daughter that is allergic to it. If I leave the cinnamon out, will it harm the great taste of your recipe? Ed/ Galveston County, Tx.

  18. Susan Ferguson says:

    How many pounds is this ham?

  19. Raymond Gillespie says:

    Have done the ham before the family love it. Going to do it for Easter wife want’s me to do a loin also just like the ham . What do you think?????

    • Malcom Reed says:

      For a ham, you are really just reheating it in a smoked environment. For smoked pork loin, you need to cook it. You can smoke both at the same time though. I smoke pork loin at 250 until it’s 140 (and let it carry over to 145).

  20. Paul says:

    Came out beyond expectations. Swapped out fresh squeezed blood orand juice for the normal stuff and added similar seasoning profile to the glaze as is in dry ingredients. Let it get fairly dark before tenting. The recipe is a game changer.

  21. USMC 1966- says:

    Will the Ham absorb the smokey flavor to where you can actually tell the difference between the Smoked Ham and the Regular Honey Baked Ham?

  22. Nick Foster says:

    Malcom – this sounds amazing and lots of great comments. Maybe you can give me some reassurance. I tried this once before a couple years ago (saved the link so I could come back to it) for Christmas and when I took the ham off the smoker and cut into it, it was complete mush on the inside (to the point where I could poke my finger straight through). I’m sure it was either user error or a bad ham, but the experience scarred my family to the point that nobody wants smoker ham anymore – so I haven’t used it much. Have you ever experienced this/have any ideas on what might have caused it to turn to mush?

    I’d like to give it another go, but want to avoid the mush if there is something I need to adjust.

  23. MaryG says:

    I have had wonderful success using your recipe in my Big Green Egg and an indoor oven. This beats any other ham whether store bought or homemade. Thank you!

  24. Travis says:

    This will be our third year using your recipe for our Thanksgiving ham.
    My 6 year old son says “Good job, Malcolm!” ??

  25. Wayne says:

    Used this recipe this weekend on my GMG smoker, it was amazing! Thanks Malcom for the great videos and knowledge sharing. My wife thought this was the best ham she has had (ever)… and as you say, the process is extremely easy.

  26. Marty McGinty says:

    Do you use dark brown sugar or light brown sugar? Thanks

  27. Stephen says:

    This is a wonderful recipe. Thank you. One question thought: Can you explain why you recommend smoking the ham at 275 – 300 as opposed to lower smoking temps, which are more typical for smoking other meats? Does a hotter, faster smoke result in less drying out of the meat which might occur during a longer smoke? Thanks.

  28. Ken Walls says:

    Is the glaze and sugar blend a good glaze for other whole smoked hams or is it just preferred on the spiral glazed hams?

  29. Valerie says:

    Malcom, thank you for sharing this recipe! I’ve used it for the last three years to smoke hams for my husband’s family Christmas — a little helping hand for my mother-in-law so the cooking doesn’t fall entirely on her shoulders. The only deviation I make is to add 6 oz. of Vernor’s Ginger Ale (Michigan girl, here!) and reduce the glaze by roughly half, so it’s nice and syrupy. We love it! I also enjoy your videos and the weekly podcast — I have learned a lot from you!

  30. Lauren Hughes says:

    My ham is fresh from the farm, not pre-smoked and not sliced. How do I do this recipe for a fresh ham?!

  31. Harold Moore says:

    What if you don’t have turbinator sugar ? What can I sun ?

  32. Matthew Beyers says:

    After I would say 6 years or so years making this for holidays and just a good summer smoke. It is money! I tweak it hear and again with different variations. some blue agave vs honey. Add some Dr Pepper. Couple Tbl of butter. Apple cider vinegar. Different BBQ seasoning highlighted by The BBQ Rub most of the time. When ham begins to separate I like to turn on its side with a few toothpicks in bottom few slices to keep them from flopping open too much. Get some of the mixture you cook up into the slices. Cheers and Happy Holidays!

  33. Bobby Hamilton says:

    Excellent recipe. I have used it for the last three or four years. My entire family and frieds love it.

  34. Ron HIll says:

    I am smoking my second ham tomorrow using this recipe. The first one was great. I really appreciate the instruction and tips to smoking meat.

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