slow smoking a ham

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Original poster
Jun 19, 2006
I have a charcoal smoker. I want to smoke a ham. My guess is, getting a uncooked ham is next to impossible. So, will look for precooked ham. I have guest coming this weekend so this will be easy enough i think. I want to use a pralene/mustard glaze which i have. Now, any tips from here on out? Is there a home made rub for this? Temp? How long? I want to make sure it's not overdone or dry. I plan on using pecan wood. Do i need to use cross slits? How much wood should I use? Can u overuse pecan smoke, i know u can with hickory. Thanks for any suggestions. Live near Mobile Alabama, but Floridian by birth.
If your in Mobile you shouldn;t have problem getting a fresh ham.

When I lived in Atlanta we used to go to the Fulton County Meat Market downtown in Atlanta and get fresh hams, whole pigs or about anything else you could dream up to try and cook.

We cooked fresh hams by digging a pit and stacking concrete blocks around it. We filled the insides of the blocks with the dirt we dug from the hole and put a piece of expanded metal on top. If I remember right we stacked 3 high on the blocks and dug about a foot deep in the ground.

Then we put 100# charcoal in the hole and lit it up. When it burned down we started adding firewood. We cooked the hams on the expanded metal turning them over every half hour and sprayed with oil and vinegar mix. Usually took about 12 hours to get them done. Pulled them and ate them.
A ham is on my list, but have not tried it yet. I have to do one soon. I'm craving my ham bone soup and I think the extra smoke would give it a great flavor. Nice to see a neighbor on here. I live in Mobile also.

Gator, I'll try to catch as many of your questions as I can.

Pecan is a great wood for ham, you won't be cooking ham to 200* like a pork butt, so it's not likely you'll have any trouble with oversmoking no matter what wood you use.

I've never rubbed a ham and don't see the need. The curing process develops its own flavor profile and your glaze will add all the additional flavor you need.

To prevent drying, do not overcook A pre-cooked ham need only be brought to 140*. You can actually remove the ham from the cooker at 135 and residual heat will carry it easily to 140.
To further ensure a moist finished product you can inject the ham with apple juice at the rate of 2oz per pound, or use a commercially available injection at the mfgrs recommeded rate. Injecting isn't essential but well worth the effort. To keep mess at a minimum wrap the ham in a few layers of plastic wrap and inject slowly in a pattern shaped like this * at each injection site, going as far toward the center of the ham as possible and again at a shallower depth.

Scoring the ham is a great way to allow the smoke in and gives a great place for the glaze to hang on.

"Over smoking" is almost always the result of improper combustion of the wood resulting in bad smoke, not the application of too much good smoke. A "smoker" should never produce lots of smoke, just thin wisps of sweet pale blue smoke.

Let us know how your ham turns out. Happy Eating!!
Boy how I would love to smoke a ham for Christmas! After reading everyone's posts, I just might do it (after a bit of more research on technique, of course)!
Thanks for the good tips. We had dinner guest last Saturday, and I smoked an 11 lb ham using pecan wood. I had injected it with apple juice and made slits on the top. I smoked it about 225 temp. I placed it on top of foil to collect the juices and basted it about every hour or so. The last hour I put on the pralene/mustard glaze. It came out great!!!! Very tender and flavorful. Will be a repeat. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.