Various Types of Smoked Ham

I know a lot of you like a good smoked ham for Christmas or Easter, so I'm going to tell you how to smoke hams on your BBQ smoker. smoked hamThe thing with smoked hams is, they are already cured and/or smoked before you buy them. A ham is the entire back leg of the hog. There is also something called a picnic ham which is the upper portion of the front leg which is just below the Boston butt. If you are cooking a butt or fresh picnic ham or even a fresh ham, just slow smoke it according to the directions in the book "Competition BBQ Secrets" .

Since hams are already cooked and/or cured by definition, all you really need to do is reheat them.

There are basically 5 different types of hams:

  • fresh uncured (just smoke it like a picnic ham or butt)
  • cured brined
  • canned but not pasteurized
  • canned and pasteurized
  • dry cured or Virginia smoked ham

To prepare a Virginia smoked ham or dry cured ham, do the following...

1) Wash the smoked ham with a brush to remove as much of the salt as possible.

2) In a large container, cover the ham with cold water and let it stand for 12 hours. Preferably do this in the refrigerator.

Reheating on your BBQ smoker directions:

  • These directions are good for any kind of pre-cooked or cured ham that just needs to be reheated.
  • Preheat your smoker to 325 deg F.
  • After rinsing, score your ham in a criss cross pattern. A clean box cutter or sheet rock knife set to the proper depth is a good tool for this job. About a 1/4 inch will do.
  • Apply your favorite glaze liberally all over the ham. I personally like a simple yellow mustard honey glaze made with equal parts honey and yellow mustard. Feel free to use your favorite ingredients like brown sugar, pineapple, etc.
  • Smoke your ham for 20-25 minutes per pound until the internal meat temperature is 155 deg F.
  • Remember... the ham is alreday smoked, so go easy on the smoke. Just a little extra to infuse your glaze with a touch of your favorite smoke flavor will do.


Bill Anderson