Saturday, November 28, 2015

How I Cook Smoked Ham On The Kamado Grill

Whether it is a special holiday meal or just a craving, it is hard to beat a good ol' glazed ham fresh off of the grill.

BGE ham, big green egg ham, kamado ham, grill dome ham,

I don't think there is an easier cook on the ceramic kamado grill, like my Grill Dome, because these hams are really just "heat and eat".  Someone else has already done the hard work of smoking and curing the ham.  You're just taking the opportunity to add a little more flavor by skipping the "cooking box" in your kitchen and using your grill.  It's kind of hard to mess it up.  

What to Buy
What we are talking here is your fully cooked, spiral sliced bone-in ham.  Anywhere from 8-12 lbs is a great fit for most kamado grills.  According to Honey Baked Ham Company, a 13 lb ham will yield 22-24 dinner servings. What you don't want are:
  • raw ham- these require you curing the ham yourself by smoke or salt,
  • a "picnic ham" - that is actually the front shank of the pig, not the ham,
  • boneless ham- a deboned ham would be one thing but most "boneless hams" that I see are more like a "ham loaf" than ham,
  • canned ham - every time someone buys a canned ham, a spider named Charlotte dies. That's all I have to say about that.
Kamado Set Up
  • Clean out your kamado grill and fuel it up with lump coal.  
  • Wood or not?  I buy hams that were smoked in the curing process so it doesn't need more smoke but a lot of Eggheads like to double smoke their hams.  Lump coal is going to add a mild layer of smoke anyway.  If I do add wood, it's typically going to be just a few small hickory or apple chunks (not soaked).  
Grill Dome set up with lump and three small chunks of hickory in a Kick Ash Basket.

  • I then fire up the coal and preheat the Grill Dome to 325°f.  Once it has held steady at this temp for about 15 minutes and the smoke is thin blue or clear, I'll put the indirect pieces into the grill and allow it to re-stabilize for another 10-15 minutes.  There are several ways you can do the indirect set up.  Here are a few.

kamado grill indirect set up
Grill Dome set up with with the indirect grate, a stone, and the standard hinged grate.

cast iron plate setter,
Typical Big Green Egg indirect set up using a plate setter, in this case, a cast iron plate setter.

Indirect set up using a spider rig and stone.  I have one of the Craycort grate sections removed so you can see the "spider" which is the wire frame holding up the stone.

The Cook
As I said, cooking this type ham is as easy as can be and it requires basically no meat prep, especially when compared to spatchcocking a turkey, trimming a brisket, or injecting a pork shoulder.  That said, you should take the chance to add flavor through your smoke, rubs, and glazes.  Here's a twist on an old Southern favorite, I add two Meat Church rubs to the party.  Meat Church is a personal favorite of ours and it is wildly popular among the kamado grill crowd.

Cola Glazed Twice Smoked Ham

  • 10-12 pound fully cooked, bone in, spiral sliced ham
  • Meat Church Deez Nuts bbq rub (honey pecan)
For the Glaze
  • 1 355ml bottle Mexican Coke (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Meat Church Honey Hog Hot bbq rub 
  1. Preheat Grill Dome or other grill to 325°f and set up for indirect heat.
  2. Mix together glaze ingredients in a small pot and simmer lightly until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.   
  3. Place ham, cut face side down, in a half sized steam pan or other grill safe pan.  Drizzle liberally with the cola glaze.  Season with a moderate coat of Deez Nuts.  
  4. Place pan with ham on the grill over indirect heat for 10 minutes per pound.  Baste with the collected glaze every 20 minutes or so.  
  5. Remove from grill, slice from the bone, and serve with leftover glaze.

Holiday Ham, how to cook ham Big Green Egg, kamado ham, primo grill ham, Grill Dome ham
The secret for the Coke glaze is using REAL Coke.  Not Classic Coke.  Real Coke with real sugar, look for Mexican Coke.  Food City carries it here in Knoxville.

Deez Nuts ham, Grill Dome ham, big green egg ham, kamado ham, vision grills ham
The honey pecan of the Deez Nuts gives a salty sweet note to balance the sweet heat of the glaze.  I just added Deez Nuts to our competition rib process, I like the flavor a good bit.

kamado ham, grill dome ham, craycort grates, big green egg ham,
Notice there are only a few wisps of smoke, not billowing clouds.  You want a clean, light smoke for ham.  Yucky smoke (thick, white, and full of particles from incomplete combustion) will stick to your glaze and give your ham a bitter foul taste.

twice smoked ham, holiday grill ham, Grill Dome ham
Something this good shouldn't be this easy.

If you want something a little different, here are a few other great recipes for ham on the grill. I was able to find them all online via Google but I highly recommend you buy the book because all of these are fantastic grilling books that belong on your shelves.  You'll get your money's worth.

Spiral Sliced Ham with Spicy Apricot Glaze
-From World Champion Pitmaster, Chris Lilly's, book Fire and Smoke, A Pitmaster's Secrets

Maple Bourbon Ham
-From Smoke and Spice by Cheryl and Bill Jamison

Smoky Marmalade Glazed Ham
-From Weber's New Real Grilling by Jamie Purviance

Smoked "Baked" Ham
-From Serious Barbecue by Adam Perry Lang

[FTC Standard Disclaimer] Grill Dome is the official kamado sponsor of Nibble Me This.