Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible


Maple Syrup- and Brown Sugar-Crusted Smoked Ham

Recipe by Steven Raichlen

  • Advance Prep: 2 cups smoking wood chips or chunks, preferably hickory, maple, or apple, soaked in water to cover for 1 hour, then drained

  • Yield: Serves 15 to 20
  • Equipment: sturdy disposable roasting pan, such as a turkey roaster
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  • 1 9- to 10-pound bone-in ready-to-eat ham
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup, preferably Grade B
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1-1/2 cups dark brown sugar, or more as needed

Step 1: Set up the grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium-low (275 degrees). If using a charcoal grill, throw the wood chips or chunks directly on the coals; in a gas grill place chips in the smoker box. If using a smoker, preheat following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 2: When ready to cook, place the ham in its roasting pan in the center of the grill grate. Close the lid and cook the ham until warmed through, 1-1/2 to 2 hours, adding coals as needed to maintain the grill temperature.

Step 3: In the meantime, make the glaze: Combine the maple syrup, butter, bourbon, mustard, and ground cloves in a saucepan over medium heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, until the butter melts. Keep warm.

Step 4: Paint the surface of the ham with the glaze using a pastry brush or spatula. Coat with brown sugar, patting it with the back of a spoon so it adheres.

Step 5: Return the ham to the grill. Close the lid. Continue to cook the ham until the glaze is bubbling and caramelized and the internal temperature in the thickest part of the ham is 135 degrees when read on an instant-read meat thermometer, about 30 to 40 minutes more. (Make sure the probe doesn’t touch bone or you will get a false reading.)

Step 6: Let the ham rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving and serving.

Tips:

If you are using a spiral-cut ham, place it in the roasting pan cut-side down so the ham slices are parallel to the grill grate. The weight of the ham compresses the slices and reduces moisture loss. Put the ham in a normal serving position when you glaze it so the glaze can seep into the cuts.