This impressive smoked ham features a tasty dry rub, basting sauce, and finishing glaze, instantly making it an eye-catching holiday centerpiece. It’s surprisingly easy to make and even easier to eat!
Learn how to take your holiday ham over the top using a smoker! Smoking meats, like chicken wings, chicken breast, and pork loin, is one of my favorite ways to take them to the next level and this smoked ham recipe is no exception. Dressed in a dry rub, basting sauce, and tangy glaze, the results are nothing short of spectacular.
Table of Contents
Why this recipe works
My family and I look forward to the smoked ham every holiday season because its flavors and presentation are out of this world!
- Failproof. Cooking ham in a smoker may sound challenging, but even beginner home cooks will have an easy time mastering this recipe.
- Stress-free holiday meal. While the ham does its thing in the smoker, my oven is free to cook the spatchcock turkey and sweet potato casserole for my holiday spread.
- Mouthwatering flavors. That smoked hardwood flavor is deep and complex, more so than you’d get from oven roasting.
- Versatile. Make this ham the star of your holiday meal or slice it up and use it for sandwiches, salads, or appetizers!
With a simple dry rub, basting sauce, and finishing glaze, this smoked ham recipe takes a hunk of ham to a whole new level. Here’s everything you’ll need to put it together:
- Ham. I used a cooked boneless ham, but you can also use a fully-cooked bone-in ham for extra flavor. Either way, look for one with minimal added sugar and flavorings.
- Dry rub. The simple ham dry rub is made with equal parts paprika, sugar, salt, and black pepper.
- Basting sauce. I used chicken stock as the base of the ham basting sauce. From there, pineapple juice, vegetable oil, and mustard give it a robust and tangy flavor and caramelized crust.
- Finishing glaze. I love to glaze smoked ham with a mix of honey, pineapple juice, and mustard. Feel free to swap the honey for maple syrup if you want.
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
How to smoke a ham
Step 1 – Marinate with the dry rub. Stir the dry rub ingredients together in a small bowl, then rub the seasonings over the ham. Wrap the ham in aluminum foil and place it in the fridge to marinate overnight.
Step 2 – Make the basting sauce. Whisk the chicken stock, pineapple juice, vegetable oil, and mustard in a small saucepan and warm over medium heat.
Step 3 – Score and smoke the ham. Use a sharp knife to score a diamond pattern into the room temperature ham. Transfer it to a preheated smoker and cook, basting with sauce every hour.
Step 4 – Brush on the glaze. Stir the glaze ingredients together and brush it on the ham a few times during the last hour of cooking.
Step 5 – Rest, slice, and serve. Let the ham rest before slicing and serving with your favorite holiday side dishes. Enjoy!
Recipe tips and variations
- Pat the ham dry. As I was testing this recipe, I found that the dry rub adhered better to the ham when it was patted dry with paper towels.
- Choose your wood pellets. For traeger smoked ham, I like to use hickory, apple, cherry, and maple wood pellets. Each one gave me phenomenal results!
- Temperature control. I highly recommend keeping a consistent and controlled temperature in your smoker. Aim for around 210°F for a slow and even smoke.
- Checking for doneness. You’ll know the ham is done cooking when a meat thermometer measures the internal temperature between 140ºF to 145°F.
- Let it rest. In all my meat recipes, I recommend letting the meat rest for 10 to 20 minutes after cooking. This gives the ham juices time to soak back into the meat, giving you tastier results.
- Slice thin for serving. I found that slicing the smoked ham thinly maximizes its tenderness and flavor. Not to mention, the leftover slices are perfect for ham sandwiches!
- Switch up the glaze. You aren’t limited to the smoked ham glaze I used in this recipe. Try my 3-ingredient ham glaze, teriyaki sauce, or hot honey sauce instead.
To store: Store the leftover ham and/or slices in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
To freeze: Wrap the leftovers tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Place them in a freezer-safe resealable plastic bag, and freeze for 2 to 3 months.
To reheat: To keep the slices juicy, place them on a baking sheet with a splash of water, cover with aluminum foil, then heat it in a 275ºF oven until warmed through.
If you’re lucky enough to have extra slices of smoked ham, consider layering them in an epic grilled cheese sandwich, dice them up and toss them into omelets, frittatas, or quiches, or use them as a salad topping. The leftovers also add a nice smoky flavor to a pot of beans, like these great northern beans.
Frequently asked questions
The pre-cooked ham I used in this recipe needed to cook for about 4 to 5 hours total (20 to 25 minutes per pound) until it reached a safe internal temperature of 140ºF to 145°F.
Smoked ham is cured, seasoned, and slowly smoked over hardwood. Cooked ham is sold already fully cooked and typically lacks the depth of flavor. Smoking an already-cooked ham gives it that hardwood-smoked flavor without taking all day to cook.
More impressive holiday main dishes
- Roasted Boneless Turkey Breast – Easy to make and oven-roasted to perfection.
- Turkey Tenderloin – Just the right amount of tender and juicy turkey for small crowds.
- Beef Wellington – No one can resist seared beef filets with caramelized mushrooms wrapped in buttery pastry.
- Boneless Leg Of Lamb – Features a caramelized crust and juicy meat.
Smoked Ham Recipe
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons chicken broth
- 1/4 cup pineapple juice
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons pineapple juice
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard
- Make the dry rub by mixing together the paprika, sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowl.
- Rub the spice mixture over the ham. Wrap the ham in aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight.
- When ready to smoke, remove the ham from the fridge 1 hour before smoking.
- Make the basting sauce by combining the chicken broth, pineapple juice, vegetable oil, and mustard in a small saucepan. Warm the basting sauce over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes.
- Make the glaze by whisking together the honey, pineapple juice, and mustard.
- Score the ham with a sharp knife, cutting a diamond pattern, about ¼-inch deep.
- Prepare your smoker and heat up to 210F. Use desired hardwood.
- Place the ham in the smoker and tent it with aluminum foil, to prevent drying oil. Smoke the ham for 2 1/2-3 hours, basting it every half hour with basting sauce.
- Brush the ham generously with the glaze a couple of times during the last hour of smoking. Cover the ham with foil to prevent drying out.
- Slice and serve.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I may earn a small commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from this website.