Pineapple Glazed Whole Smoked Ham
For this recipe I use a Whole Smoked Ham (fully cooked). Don’t confuse it with a fresh or green ham which is one that hasn’t been cured or cooked, also don’t confuse it with a country ham. That’s something totally different. (we fry it and eat with biscuits in the south!).
The whole ham is the butt and shank portion still connected as one piece. You’re probably use to seeing these separate cuts in grocery stores, but most of them carry whole hams during the holidays as well. Just ask someone in the meat department to help you locate it.
Since the ham comes fully cooked, the directions say to reheat in the oven for several hours. That’s how most people are used to preparing ham, but let me tell you….
A few hours on the smoker and you’ll have the absolute best Smoked Ham you’ve ever tasted.
Once you’ve bought the ham the hard part is over. As long as you can maintain a constant temperature of 275 on your smoker or grill, you can create the perfect holiday ham.
Go ahead and fire up your cooker and bring the temperature up to 275 degrees. A large ham like this (18-20lbs) will take about 6 hours on the pit to reach an internal of 145-150 degrees which is the recommended serving temperature.
Remember we’re not actually cooking the ham just reheating it in a smoked environment. The ham takes on the flavors of the grill and wood, and that’s what makes it superior to the oven version.
After removing the ham from the cryovac, use a paper towel and blot off any liquid or juice left from the packaging. You’ll want to place it on a large platter for the next step because it can get messy.
On the outside of the ham apply a thin coating of glaze mixture. I usually make a double batch of glaze just to make sure I have plenty.
Smoked Ham Glaze Recipe
- 1 cup Brown Sugar
- 3 Tbsp Pineapple Juice
- 3 Tbsp Maraschino Cherry Juice
- 2 Tbsp Honey or Dijon Mustard
The glaze slowly caramelizes on the outside and creates a sort of sweet-bark. It’s delicious simple as that!
Now the ham is ready for the smoker. Before placing it on the grate, add 1 or 2 chunks of cherry wood to the fire. You want a real light smoke here because the ham was smoked during the first cooking. If you use a strong wood it will overpower the ham and give it a foul taste. Fruit woods work great because it’s light and the flavors go with the sweetness of the glaze.
You’ll want to monitor the internal temperature of the ham because it doesn’t need to get any hotter than 150 degrees internal. Remember we’re just reheating, so taking it to higher temps will only dry it out.
I use a DOT probe thermometer ($39) from Thermoworks – you can check these out here – just for monitoring internal temperature. It’s a brand new item from thermoworks, and for the price you can’t beat it.
Once the ham hits 135 internal it’s time for another glaze. It should take about 4 hours to get the Smoked Ham this point.
Bring the ham back inside when the alarm sounds at 135 internal. Brush the outside again with glaze. You could simply place the ham back on the pit at this point and it would turn out great. But this is going to be the star of your Christmas feast, so we want it to look like it. This is where the pineapples and cherries come in.
Place pineapple rings on the glaze all around the outside of the ham. You’ll need toothpicks to hold the rings on the side but the glaze should “glue” them on once it gets hot.
Inside of each pineapple ring place a cherry. This is a classic looking ham that reminds me of being a kid at Granny’s house. Chelle calls it a retro ham but I call it delicious!
Return the ham to the smoker and remember to insert the thermometer probe set for 150. It’ll take about 2 more hours to hit final temperature.
Once the alarm sounds remove your Smoked Ham from the cooker and let it rest for 20 minutes before carving.
Once you sit this Smoked Ham on the table everyone will think you slaved all day on this masterpiece. It’s sure to be the hit of the holidays and the great thing is there’s plenty of left overs for ham sandwiches.