Smoked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze Recipe

This smoky ham with sweet brown sugar glaze recipe is a delightful way to enjoy a tender, juicy ham with a hint of sweetness. This recipe incorporates a smoky BBQ rub and an irresistible brown sugar glaze, bringing out the richness of the ham. The use of apple cider helps to tenderize the ham and adds a subtle sweet-tartness, balancing the robust flavors. This recipe will undoubtedly result in a dish that is a star of any dinner table.

Smoked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze Recipe

Photos of Smoked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze Recipe

The ingredients for this recipe are generally easy to find. The BBQ rub can be store-bought or homemade, depending on your preference. If you can't find it in your local store, online gourmet food shops carry a variety of BBQ rubs. The apple cider is usually available in the juice or beverage aisle. Lastly, cherry wood chips are essential for this recipe. They can be found in the BBQ or outdoor cooking section of a supermarket or home goods store.

Ingredients for Smoky Ham with Sweet Brown Sugar Glaze

Bone in ham: This will be the star of the show. The bone in the ham helps to keep the meat moist during the smoking process.

BBQ rub: This is used to add depth of flavor to the ham.

Butter: This is used in the glaze to add richness and shine.

Brown sugar: Brown sugar adds a sweet, molasses-like flavor to the glaze.

Maple syrup: This sweetens the glaze and adds a hint of maple flavor.

Apple cider: This will be used to baste the ham and also in the glaze, adding a sweet-tart balance to the dish.

Fresh herbs: These are used for garnishing and add a pop of color and freshness.

Cooking spray: This is used to prevent the ham from sticking to the pan.

One reader, Jo Barron says:

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The smoky ham with sweet brown sugar glaze recipe is a game-changer! The combination of the smoky flavor and the sweet glaze is simply divine. It's a showstopper at any gathering and always leaves everyone asking for the recipe. It's a must-try for any ham lover!

Jo Barron

Techniques Required for Making Smoky Ham with Sweet Brown Sugar Glaze

How to smoke the ham: Preheat the smoker to 250 degrees F and load it with cherry wood chips. Place the ham in a disposable aluminum pan, coat it with cooking spray, and sprinkle the spice rub all over the exterior. Smoke the ham for 1 hour, then continue cooking for 2 to 3 hours, basting every 30 to 45 minutes with apple cider until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees F.

How to make the glaze: In a pan over medium heat, combine the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and apple cider. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 6 to 8 minutes until the glaze thickens.

How to garnish the ham: Once the ham is cooked, brush it with the prepared glaze. Transfer the ham to a platter and garnish with fresh herbs and fruit if desired before serving.

How To Make Smoked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze

Use your homemade spice rub to make this smoked ham recipe. The brown sugar and maple glaze offer a nice contrast to the smokiness of the meat.

Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 4 hours
Total: 4 hours 10 minutes



  • 7lbsbone in ham
  • cupBBQ rub
  • ½cupbutter
  • ½cupbrown sugar
  • ¼cupmaple syrup
  • cupsapple ciderdivided use
  • fresh herbsand fruit for garnish
  • cooking spray


  1. Preheat a smoker to 250 degrees F. Load the smoker with cherry wood chips.

  2. Coat a disposable aluminum pan with cooking spray. Place the ham cut side down in the pan.

  3. Sprinkle the spice rub all over the exterior of the ham.

  4. Place the pan in the smoker and cook for one hour.

  5. Continue to cook the ham for another 2 to 3 hours, basting every 30 to 45 minutes with the 2 cups of apple cider.

  6. The ham is done when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the ham reads 140 degrees F.

  7. While the ham is smoking, make the glaze.

  8. Place the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup and remaining 1/4 cup of apple cider in a pan over medium heat.

  9. Bring the pan to a simmer. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until glaze has just thickened.

  10. Brush the glaze all over the ham. Transfer the ham to a platter. Garnish the ham with herbs and fruit if desired, then serve.


  • Calories: 717.12kcal
  • Fat: 40.90g
  • Saturated Fat: 15.44g
  • Trans Fat: 0.37g
  • Monounsaturated Fat: 18.93g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.08g
  • Carbohydrates: 32.24g
  • Fiber: 4.37g
  • Sugar: 17.20g
  • Protein: 53.00g
  • Cholesterol: 205.39mg
  • Sodium: 3641.09mg
  • Calcium: 102.96mg
  • Potassium: 1018.83mg
  • Iron: 3.62mg
  • Vitamin A: 94.47µg
  • Vitamin C: 18.52mg

Helpful Technique Tip for Smoky Ham with Sweet Brown Sugar Glaze

When applying the glaze to the ham, it's best to use a silicone basting brush. This type of brush holds onto the glaze better than other types, allowing for a more even and generous application. Also, remember to apply the glaze during the last 15-20 minutes of cooking to prevent it from burning and to achieve a beautiful, caramelized exterior.

Time-Saving Tips for Preparing This Smoky Ham Recipe

Prep ahead: Prepare the spice rub and glaze the night before to save time on the day of cooking.

Use a pre-made rub: If you're short on time, consider using a pre-made BBQ rub instead of making your own.

Invest in a meat thermometer: This will ensure that you cook the ham to the perfect temperature without the need for guesswork.

Set up a basting station: Have all your basting ingredients ready in one place to streamline the process and save time.

Opt for a disposable pan: Using a disposable aluminum pan will save time on cleanup after cooking.

Choose a bone-in ham: Bone-in hams tend to have more flavor and juiciness, saving time on adding extra flavorings.

Substitute Ingredients For Smoked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze Recipe

  • bone-in ham - Substitute with smoked turkey: Smoked turkey has a similar smoky flavor and texture to ham, making it a great substitute for a smoky ham recipe.

  • bbq rub - Substitute with smoked paprika and brown sugar mix: The combination of smoked paprika and brown sugar can replicate the smoky and sweet flavors of a BBQ rub.

  • butter - Substitute with olive oil: Olive oil can provide a similar richness and flavor when used as a substitute for butter in this recipe.

  • brown sugar - Substitute with honey: Honey can add a sweet and sticky glaze to the ham, similar to the brown sugar, while also adding a unique flavor profile.

  • maple syrup - Substitute with honey and a dash of vanilla extract: The combination of honey and vanilla extract can mimic the sweet and aromatic qualities of maple syrup in the glaze.

  • apple cider - Substitute with apple juice and a splash of apple cider vinegar: Apple juice combined with a small amount of apple cider vinegar can replicate the sweet and tangy flavor of apple cider.

  • fresh herbs - Substitute with dried herbs: Dried herbs can be used as a substitute for fresh herbs, but in smaller quantities, as they are more concentrated in flavor.

  • cooking spray - Substitute with vegetable oil spray: Vegetable oil spray can be used as a substitute for cooking spray to prevent sticking and provide a light coating for the ham.

Presentation Ideas for a Delicious Smoky Ham Dish

  1. Elevate the plating: Arrange the smoky ham slices in an artful and visually appealing manner on the serving platter, ensuring each slice is presented with precision and care.

  2. Incorporate fresh herbs: Garnish the platter with sprigs of fresh herbs such as rosemary, thyme, or sage to add a pop of color and a touch of natural elegance to the presentation.

  3. Add a touch of sweetness: Introduce fresh fruit slices, such as apple or pear, strategically placed around the ham to provide a delightful contrast of flavors and textures.

  4. Utilize height and layers: Consider stacking the ham slices in a cascading manner, creating a visually striking display that showcases the layers and textures of the succulent meat.

  5. Highlight the glaze: Drizzle the sweet brown sugar glaze over the ham slices, allowing it to cascade gracefully down the sides, creating a beautiful glossy finish that enhances the overall presentation.

  6. Incorporate edible flowers: Introduce delicate and colorful edible flowers as a final touch, adding a touch of sophistication and a visually stunning element to the presentation.

Essential Tools for Making Smoky Ham with Sweet Brown Sugar Glaze

  • Smoker: A smoker is used to cook the ham at a low temperature with smoke from wood chips, adding a delicious smoky flavor to the meat.
  • Disposable aluminum pan: This pan is used to hold the ham while it cooks in the smoker, making for easy cleanup afterwards.
  • Cooking spray: Cooking spray is used to prevent the ham from sticking to the aluminum pan and to help with easy removal after cooking.
  • Thermometer: A thermometer is used to check the internal temperature of the ham to ensure it is cooked to perfection.
  • Pan: A pan is used to make the glaze for the ham, combining the butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, and apple cider over medium heat.
  • Brush: A brush is used to apply the sweet brown sugar glaze to the ham, ensuring it is evenly coated for a delicious finish.

Storing and Freezing Smoky Ham with Sweet Brown Sugar Glaze

Here are the storing and freezing guidelines for smoky ham with sweet brown sugar glaze:

  • Let the ham cool completely before storing. Wrap the ham tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out.
  • Store the ham in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Keep it in the coldest part of the fridge, usually the back.
  • To freeze the ham, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, then place it in a freezer-safe container or bag. Label the container with the date and contents.
  • Freeze the ham for up to 2 months. When ready to eat, thaw the ham in the refrigerator overnight.
  • To reheat the ham, place it in a baking dish and cover with foil. Bake at 325°F for 15-20 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 140°F.
  • If the ham seems dry after reheating, brush it with some of the reserved glaze or a little apple cider to add moisture.
  • Leftover ham can be used in sandwiches, salads, soups, or other dishes. Try dicing it up and adding it to omelets, quiches, or casseroles for a tasty meal.

How To Reheat Leftover Smoky Ham

  • Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C). Place the leftover ham in a baking dish and cover it with aluminum foil. Bake for about 10 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 135°F (57°C). This method helps to retain the moisture and flavor of the ham, while also allowing the glaze to caramelize slightly.

  • For a quicker option, you can reheat the ham in the microwave. Place a slice of ham on a microwave-safe plate and cover it with a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute, depending on the thickness of the slice. Be careful not to overheat the ham, as it can dry out quickly in the microwave.

  • If you have a lot of leftover ham, you can also reheat it in a slow cooker. Place the ham in the slow cooker and add a little bit of apple cider or water to keep it moist. Cook on low for 2-3 hours, or until the ham is heated through. This method is great for keeping the ham warm and moist for a longer period of time.

  • For a crispy exterior, you can reheat the ham in a skillet or on the grill. Slice the ham into thick pieces and heat a skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Cook the ham for 1-2 minutes per side, or until it is heated through and slightly crispy on the outside. Brush with a little bit of the leftover glaze for added flavor.

  • If you want to get creative with your leftover ham, try chopping it up and adding it to a frittata or quiche. Whisk together some eggs, milk, and your favorite herbs and spices, then add the chopped ham and any other desired ingredients. Pour the mixture into a baking dish and bake at 350°F (175°C) for 30-40 minutes, or until set and golden brown on top.

Interesting Fact About Smoky Ham with Sweet Brown Sugar Glaze

Smoky ham with sweet brown sugar glaze is a delicious dish that can be enjoyed during various occasions. It's a great option for family gatherings, holiday meals, or special events. The combination of smoky flavors and the sweetness of the glaze creates a unique and mouthwatering taste that is sure to impress your guests. Plus, the process of smoking the ham adds an extra layer of depth to the overall flavor profile. Whether you're a fan of savory or sweet dishes, this recipe offers the perfect balance of both, making it a versatile and crowd-pleasing option for any meal.

Is Making Smoky Ham with Sweet Brown Sugar Glaze at Home Cost-Effective?

This smoky ham with sweet brown sugar glaze recipe is moderately cost-effective for a household. The main expense is the ham, but the glaze ingredients are commonly found in most kitchens. The smoky flavor and succulent texture make it a hit for special occasions. The approximate cost for a household of 4 is around $30-$40, depending on the ham quality. Overall Verdict: 8/10. The delicious taste and impressive presentation make it worth the cost for a memorable family meal or gathering.

Is This Smoky Ham Recipe Healthy or Unhealthy?

This smoky ham with sweet brown sugar glaze recipe is a delicious treat, but it's not the healthiest option due to several factors:

  • High in sodium: Ham is naturally high in sodium, and the added BBQ rub likely contains additional salt.
  • High in sugar: The glaze is made with brown sugar and maple syrup, which can contribute to excessive sugar intake.
  • High in fat: The recipe uses butter, which is high in saturated fat.
  • Processed meat: Ham is a processed meat, and consuming processed meats has been linked to an increased risk of certain health issues.

While this recipe is undeniably tasty, there are some ways to make it a bit healthier without compromising on flavor:

  • Choose a leaner cut of ham, such as a center-cut slice or a ham steak, to reduce the overall fat content.
  • Reduce the amount of sugar in the glaze by using a sugar substitute or cutting back on the brown sugar and maple syrup.
  • Replace some of the butter with a healthier alternative, such as olive oil or avocado oil.
  • Incorporate more herbs and spices into the rub to add flavor without relying on salt.
  • Serve the ham with a variety of fresh, nutrient-dense side dishes, such as roasted vegetables or a leafy green salad, to balance out the meal.
  • Enjoy the ham in moderation as part of a well-rounded diet, rather than making it a frequent indulgence.

Editor's Opinion on the Smoky Ham with Sweet Brown Sugar Glaze Recipe

The smoky ham with sweet brown sugar glaze recipe is a delightful combination of savory and sweet flavors. The use of cherry wood chips adds a rich smokiness to the ham, while the brown sugar and maple syrup glaze provides a perfect balance of sweetness. The basting process ensures that the ham remains moist and flavorful throughout the cooking process. Overall, this recipe promises a succulent and flavorful ham that is sure to impress at any gathering.

Enhance Your Smoked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze Recipe with These Unique Side Dishes:

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes: Creamy mashed potatoes with a hint of roasted garlic, perfect for pairing with the smoky ham.
Grilled Asparagus with Lemon Zest: Tender asparagus grilled to perfection and topped with a zesty lemon zest, a refreshing side to complement the sweet and smoky flavors of the ham.
Candied Carrots: Sweet and caramelized carrots, a delightful and colorful addition to the plate alongside the smoky ham.
Bourbon Glazed Sweet Potatoes: Buttery sweet potatoes glazed with a rich bourbon sauce, adding a touch of indulgence to the meal.
Mixed Berry Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette: A refreshing salad of mixed berries drizzled with a tangy balsamic vinaigrette, a light and fruity accompaniment to the savory ham.

Similar Recipes to Try If You Like Smoky Ham

Savory Beef Stew: This hearty beef stew is packed with tender chunks of beef, carrots, potatoes, and onions simmered in a rich and flavorful broth. It's the perfect comfort food for a cozy night in.
Citrus Grilled Chicken: Marinated in a zesty blend of citrus juices and herbs, this grilled chicken is bursting with fresh and tangy flavors. It's a light and refreshing dish that's perfect for a summer barbecue.
Creamy Mushroom Risotto: Indulge in this creamy and decadent mushroom risotto, made with Arborio rice, flavorful mushrooms, and a touch of Parmesan cheese. It's a luxurious dish that's sure to impress your dinner guests.
Apple Cinnamon Crisp: This warm and comforting apple cinnamon crisp is the perfect dessert for fall. Sweet and tender apples are topped with a crunchy cinnamon oat topping, then baked to golden perfection.

Appetizers and Desserts That Complement Smoky Ham Perfectly

Stuffed Mushrooms: These savory bites are filled with a creamy mixture and topped with a crispy breadcrumb topping, creating a perfect balance of textures and flavors.
Spinach and Artichoke Dip: This creamy and cheesy dip is packed with spinach and artichoke, creating a rich and indulgent appetizer that pairs perfectly with crispy tortilla chips or toasted bread.
Chocolate Mousse: Indulge in a rich and creamy chocolate mousse, topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of cocoa powder. The smooth texture and decadent flavor will leave your taste buds craving for more.
Apple Pie: Savor the warm and comforting flavors of a classic apple pie, with a flaky golden crust and a sweet cinnamon-spiced filling. Pair it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect balance of sweetness and creaminess.
Want to share your experience making this Smoked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze or discuss your own twist on the recipe? Join the conversation in the Recipe Sharing forum!
How long does it take to smoke the ham?
It takes approximately 3 to 4 hours to smoke the ham at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. The ham is done when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can I use a different type of wood chips for smoking?
Yes, you can use different types of wood chips such as hickory or applewood for a different flavor profile. Experiment with different woods to find the flavor you prefer.
Can I prepare the glaze in advance?
Absolutely, you can prepare the glaze in advance and store it in the refrigerator. When you're ready to use it, gently reheat the glaze on the stovetop until it reaches a pourable consistency.
Do I need to baste the ham while it's smoking?
Yes, it's important to baste the ham every 30 to 45 minutes with apple cider to keep it moist and infuse it with flavor.
Can I use a boneless ham for this recipe?
Yes, you can use a boneless ham for this recipe. Adjust the cooking time as boneless hams may cook faster than bone-in hams.

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