Make your next holiday meal even more special by serving this double-smoked ham with a spiced orange glaze. Also known as twice-smoked ham, this succulent piece of meat is reheated on the smoker for an extra flavor injection and then finished with a sticky, sweet glaze to make a holiday dinner the whole family is sure to love. This ham is perfect for feeding a hungry crowd, and it only calls for about 10 minutes of hands-on cooking time — the smoker takes care of the rest.
What Is a Double-Smoked Ham?
This is a store-bought cured and smoked ham that undergoes a second smoking phase on our backyard smoker. By smoking the pre-cooked ham a second time, we not only heat it to the perfect warm serving temperature, but we also give it an extra touch of smoky flavor.
But don’t worry — the smoke flavor isn’t overpowering. We simply enhance the flavor to make for an even more delicious holiday ham. Once you try a double-smoked ham, you’ll never prepare this dish any other way.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
That extra kiss of smoky flavor: Before smoking for a second time, I saved a slice of ham to compare the two. Oh, boy. The extra trip to the smoker added a wonderful depth, and that low and slow heat kept the ham super moist.
Serves crowds of all sizes: Whether you’re feeding a small family or larger holiday gathering, this recipe works on hams of all sizes to keep your guests full and happy. All you have to do is adjust the smoking time based on the ham’s size. Plus, ham is great for leftovers if you have extras.
Frees your oven space: Hams are typically served during the holidays when oven space is precious. Since the smoker takes care of the work, you can keep your oven open and ready to accommodate your holiday side dishes and desserts.
Spiral-cut ham: For easy entertaining, I love using a spiral-cut ham. This type of ham is already sliced in a spiral pattern around the bone, so you don’t have to worry about carving. It’s especially great for holiday party grazing because your guests can easily serve themselves.
Brown sugar: I like to use dark brown sugar, which contains more molasses than light brown sugar. This gives the glaze a richer flavor. That said, you can certainly use light brown sugar if that’s what you have on hand.
Dijon mustard: You’ll love how this gives the glaze a slight tang.
Spices: We use a combination of cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, allspice and cayenne pepper.
Step 1: Let’s show you how truly easy it is to smoke a ham. We place our pre-smoked ham cut-side down on a wire rack with an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet underneath and put it in a 225-degree F smoker. To properly monitor the ham, we insert a leave-in meat thermometer in the center of the meat, close the lid and let the ham cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees F (photo 1).
Step 2: When the ham reaches about 120 degrees F, we can start on our glaze, which only takes a few minutes to whip up. We make the glaze by simply combining the brown sugar, orange juice, honey, Dijon and spices in a small saucepan and then bringing the mixture to a boil (photo 2). Once the mixture boils, we allow it to continue cooking for another two or three minutes, and then we turn off the heat.
Step 3: After the internal temperature of the ham hits 130 degrees F, we pour half the glaze on the ham and use a pastry brush to coat the meat (photo 3). We close the lid, let the ham smoke for another 10 minutes and repeat with the remaining glaze.
Once again, we close the lid and let the ham finish smoking for another few minutes. The meat is done when the internal temperature of the ham reaches 140 degrees F.
Step 4: Now we remove the meat from the smoker, tent it with foil and let the ham rest for 10-20 minutes (photo 4).
Just like that, we have the very best double-smoked ham that you’ll want to make for every special occasion from here on out.
Note: I tested this ham recipe on a vertical pellet grill, but you can use any type of smoker. Another type of electric smoker, charcoal smoker or gas smoker are all options.
Favorite Serving Ideas
Our big meal calls for family-favorite side dishes. Since we already have the smoker fired up, why not try a smoked side? My smoked mashed potatoes and smoked macaroni and cheese are always delicious options.
If you’re looking for more traditional holiday side dishes, these classics never fail: fresh green bean casserole, croissant stuffing, brandy cranberry sauce, sweet potato soufflé and fried cabbage casserole. And don't forget some bread, like these fluffy sweet potato rolls.
For an especially large holiday party, you might also want to have another meat option. Not everyone eats pork, so it’s never a bad idea to have alternatives. Try this smoked prime rib, smoked leg of lamb, smoked turkey legs or smoked lobster tails.
And don’t forget to have plenty of sweet Hawaiian rolls on the side — they’re a classic with ham.
How to Store, Freeze and Use Leftovers
Keep the leftover ham in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The ham should last for three to five days.
For even longer storage, you can keep the ham in a freezer-safe container for one to two months. To thaw, simply place the ham in the refrigerator overnight.
Double-smoked ham makes delicious leftovers, especially when piled high onto a sandwich or fried in a skillet and served with a side of scrambled eggs. But you can certainly get more creative. Here are a few recipes for using that leftover ham.
- Ham fried rice
- Ham and spinach pasta
- Ham and cheese quiche muffins
- Ham, broccoli and cheese crescent cups
- Chicken cordon bleu casserole
- Breakfast bagel sliders
The shank cut is typically what most people enjoy for their holiday dinner. A whole ham consists of two cuts from the pig’s hind leg: the shank and butt ends. Odds are your local grocery store will carry the two different cuts separately rather than an actual whole ham, which weighs between 15-20 pounds.
The shank comes from the lower part of the pig leg and only contains a single bone for easier carving while the butt cut has trickier bones to handle. Although this recipe calls for a spiral-cut ham, that simply refers to the preparation. A spiral ham can come from the shank or butt.
Sometimes the cut isn’t labeled. In that case, you can identify the two cuts based on their shape. A shank cut features a pointed, tapered shape while the butt cut is more round.
For a bone-in spiral ham, plan for ¾ pound to 1 pound per person. If you serve a boneless ham, you can size down to ⅓ pound to ½ pound per person.
Since ham has already gone through one smoking phase, I recommend a lighter fruit wood with a touch of sweetness, such as cherry wood or apple wood. Maple wood or pecan wood are also great options.
We want to smoke the ham at 225 degrees F to prevent it from drying out. At that low temperature, plan for 20-25 minutes of smoking time per pound.
Keep in mind that this is just a guideline. Many factors play into the smoking time, and every cut of meat behaves in its own way. Just make sure you have plenty of snacks and appetizers on hand to keep the party going — you always want to be a bit flexible with your serving time when smoking meat.
I recommend reheating the ham in a skillet or the oven. To reheat the ham in a skillet, add a little olive oil or butter to the pan over medium heat and cook the ham until it’s warm, which should only take two to three minutes or so. This is my preferred method — I love how frying crisps up the edges and leaves the ham perfectly moist and flavorful.
If you’d like to reheat the ham in the oven, place the slices in a baking dish with a little water and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Put the baking dish in a 275-degree F oven and check the ham after about five minutes.
Variations and Substitutions
- You can substitute a boneless ham for a bone-in ham. That said, a bone-in ham has a richer flavor.
- Likewise, you can use a non-spiral ham. Keep in mind, the smoking time will likely increase, and you'll want to use a sharp knife to score the outside of the ham first.
- If you’d like to crisp up your glaze, place the ham under the broiler for two to five minutes. Just make sure you keep a watchful eye on it.
- Already have a favorite ham glaze recipe? You’re welcome to use that instead of this brown sugar glaze.
- Substitute the honey for maple syrup or molasses.
- Swap orange juice for another fruit juice, or you could even combine it with another juice, such as a cranberry juice for a festive twist. Other juice options include pineapple juice, cherry juice, apple juice or cider, peach nectar or mango nectar.
- For extra Dijon flavor, you can rub the entire outside of the ham with mustard before smoking.
Pick the right ham: Make sure the ham is labeled as smoked and fully cooked or ready to serve. If possible, try to buy a ham without added water for the best flavor and texture.
Use a water pan: This helps create a moist environment in the smoker to prevent the ham from drying out.
Don’t let the thermometer touch the bone: If the temperature probe touches the bone, it can skew the reading.
Save the ham bone: You can use it to make a flavorful ham stock or classic split pea soup.
Plan for leftovers: If it’s in the budget, get a slightly larger ham than you need, so you can enjoy that delicious ham for meals to come.
If you’d like a beer with your holiday meal, try a Belgian tripel on the side of your smoked ham. This yeast shows off some spicy clove and fruit notes that match our glaze, and we get just the right touch of malt sweetness to complement the pork. Plus, it has high carbonation to cut through the ham’s richness.
For a wine, a dry riesling is a nice choice. You get a slightly sweet finish, but it also comes with an acidic kick. That contrast keeps your palate refreshed between each bite of that rich glaze and pork.
Or perhaps you’d enjoy a cocktail. Try this whiskey maple sour, specifically using bourbon for the whiskey. The sweeter bourbon is wonderful with ham. If you’re not a fan of the whiskey family, this rum sour is another nice option.
To make your next holiday meal extra special, I hope you try this double-smoked ham recipe with that fabulous spiced orange glaze. Don’t be surprised if this ham becomes a new holiday tradition for your family.
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Double Smoked Ham With Spiced Orange Glaze
- Wood chips or pellets cherry or apple wood recommended
- 8-10 pound bone-in spiral ham cured and smoked
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- ½ cup orange juice
- ½ cup honey
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- Heat smoker to 225 degrees F. Place the ham on a wire rack on top of a foil-lined baking sheet, cut-side down. Insert a leave-in meat thermometer in the center of the ham, ensuring it doesn't touch the bone. Place the ham in the smoker with a water pan to keep the meat moist and close the lid. Smoke until the ham reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees F.
- When the ham gets close to 130 degrees F, it's time to make the glaze. Stir together the dark brown sugar, orange juice, honey, Dijon mustard, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, allspice and cayenne pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring the mixture to a boil and continue to boil for two to three minutes. Turn off heat.
- Once the ham reaches 130 degrees F, pour half the glaze on the ham and use a pastry brush to coat the surface. After 10 minutes, repeat with the remaining half and let the ham come to 140 degrees F.
- Remove the ham from the smoker and tent with foil. Let the ham rest for 10-20 minutes and serve. Enjoy!
- If choosing between a shank or butt cut, the shank is the most popular. Make sure the ham is labeled as smoked and fully cooked or ready to serve. If possible, try to buy a ham without added water for the best flavor and texture.
- Keep the leftover ham in an airtight container in the refrigerator. The ham should last for three to five days. For even longer storage, you can keep the ham in a freezer-safe container for one to two months. To thaw, simply place the ham in the refrigerator overnight.
- For a bone-in spiral ham, plan for ¾ pound to 1 pound per person. If you substitute a boneless ham, you can size down to ⅓ pound to ½ pound per person.
- Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.