Sweet and spicy smoked spiral ham is brushed with a hot honey bourbon glaze.
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Smoked Spiral Ham & Hot Honey Bourbon Glaze

Sweet, spicy, sticky, and glistening in glory, Smoked Spiral Ham with Hot Honey Bourbon Glaze will beckon you to steal a slice before it even hits the table. Combining a kick of sweet heat with familiar flavors, this double-smoked ham is an instant classic.

Smoked spiral ham tastes delicious with the hot honey bourbon glaze.

Warm spices, the tang of Dijon, and the mysterious allure of smoky bourbon combine with bold hot honey for an easy glaze that will instantly tantalize your taste buds. This hot honey bourbon glaze is special enough for any holiday meal while also being easy enough to throw together to add an additional layer of flavor to your smoked ham salad.

Try pairing this ham with delicious sides such as Grilled Corn Ribs, Green Chile Cornbread, and Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits!

I bet you cannot wait to carve into this smoked spiral ham.

Why This Recipe Works

  • Easy process. Spiral ham is one of the easiest and most forgiving proteins you can smoke. Because it is already cooked you’re just heating it to temperature while setting the hot honey bourbon glaze. The glaze itself also comes together quickly and can be prepared ahead of time. 
  • Charcoal, pellet grill, or oven. This twice-smoked ham can be prepared on a charcoal grill or smoker. Save your oven for the sides! Make it for Easter Sunday and then feast on its leftovers all week long with smoked grilled ham and cheese or topping sliders and serving with Nashville hot pickle potato salad
  • Balance of flavors. The only thing more delicious than smoky, salty, savory ham is ham slathered in a glossy glaze. This takes the familiar flavors of honey-glazed ham but gives it more depth and complexity. The Dijon brings savoriness to the hot honey and brown sugar while cinnamon and ginger bring tingling warmth.
Carve into the juicy twice smoked ham.

Important Tips

  • Between the juicy ham itself and the thin bourbon hot honey glaze, this smoked spiral ham recipe will create a lot of excess liquid. Make sure to place the ham in a grill-safe skillet such as cast iron or on a baking sheet that has a generous lip. 
  • All of those ham drippings are liquid gold. Save them and use them in the same way you would use any sort of salty liquid or the drippings from other roasts. Add an instant boost of flavor to rice, gravy, ramen, or your homemade stocks.
  • Just like the ham juice is liquid gold, that bone with its bits and pieces of meat is money as well. Add the bone to your beans the next time you’re making pintos or red beans. It can also be used to make an incredible ham stock. Just pop it in a freezer-safe bag and it will keep for up to two months in the freezer. 
  • Ham is an extremely forgiving and grill-friendly protein. Because it is already cooked, the process of smoking spiral ham is more about warming it all the way through while adding an additional layer of flavor.  Don’t stress over getting an exact temperature or exact timing. 
Start with a smoked spiral ham, and set it in a pan.

Prepping the Ham for the Grill

The good news is that there is very little to prep. This recipe doesn’t involve coating it with mustard and seasonings. It will build flavor from the wood and the flavorful hot honey bourbon glaze.

Remove your ham from the package and pat it dry. It’s going to release a lot of liquid during the smoking process in addition to the bourbon glaze so you’ll want to place it in a cast iron skillet, grill-safe skillet, or aluminum pan. Place it with the sliced side down as shown above.

These are the ingredients for the hot honey bourbon glaze.

Hot Honey Bourbon Glaze

This unique blend of sweet and spicy flavors is the secret to this recipe. Here is the list of the ingredients:

  • ½ cup hot honey (or extra hot)
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • Juice of 1 orange, about 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

There are many brands and varieties of hot honey, which is honey infused with chiles. Use what works for you, and don’t be afraid to bust out the extra hot!

Warm up the glaze ingredients over the coals carefully, allowing it to simmer.

Preparing the Glaze

This is where the magic happens. Add all of your ingredients for the glaze to a saucepan and bring it to a low boil over medium heat.

Lower the heat and let it simmer for 5-6 minutes until the sugar and honey have dissolved and it has slightly thickened. The glaze will still be runny, but this makes it perfect for slathering and basting that glorious ham.

This can be prepared on the stovetop or on the grill, and even ahead of time if desired.

Smoke the ham for a few hours before glazing.

Smoking the Spiral Ham

Prepare your smoker and aim for a temperature of 250-265°F. It’s not absolutely critical to have it at an exact temperature for ham, so don’t stress too much.

If you are using a charcoal grill you’ll want to prepare it for two-zone cooking. The ham is going to cook indirectly the entire time. Bank your charcoal to one side once ashed over and add a mild flavored wood such as apple.

The ham will darken and let off juices after the first couple of hours.

Place your skillet or pan in the smoker, or on the cool side of the grill away from the charcoal. Let it smoke for about two hours, or until it hits an internal temperature of 120°F.

If you’re smoking your spiral ham on a charcoal grill you’ll want to rotate it a couple of times during this phase to ensure that it evenly cooks and the side exposed to the charcoal doesn’t get too dark.

Glaze the Ham and Baste

Once your ham has reached about 120°F you can add an even, light coat of the hot honey bourbon glaze. You can slightly increase the heat of your grill or smoker at this point if you want which will help caramelize the glaze.

Continue to baste the spiral ham with the glaze every 15-20 minutes, rotating it if it’s on a charcoal grill. This will allow all the sides to get that beautiful caramelization that will get the taste buds watering and build anticipation for the first bite.

The smoked spiral ham will be done once it hits about 140°F.

Remove Ham and Rest

Once the smoked spiral ham is around 140°F remove it from the grill. Make sure that when you’re testing the temperature you’re checking the thickest part of the ham and going to the center without touching the bone.

Carefully remove the pan from the grill, being mindful of all of the liquid. Give it a final glossy coating of the glaze and allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes before carving.

Don’t forget to save the ham juices and the bone, for other recipes!

Pour the remaining hot honey bourbon glaze onto the twice smoked ham when ready to serve.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to smoke a ham?

It depends on the size of the ham and the temperature of your grill, but it’s around 3 hours. Allow about 20 minutes per pound at 250°F.

Is spiral ham already cooked?

Yes. Most spiral hams are already cooked. While it’s very rare to find one that’s not cooked, you should always consult the labels. The process of smoking spiral ham is simply warming it up while adding another layer of smoke and building additional flavor.

How much ham should I serve per person?

Since spiral ham has a bone you should account for half a pound per person. If you have a hungry family and love those leftover ham and pimento grilled cheese sandwiches, use your judgment and go bigger. There is nothing like snacking on that leftover smoked spiral ham!

How long does leftover spiral ham keep?

You can safely store leftover smoked spiral ham in zip-top bags or an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. They will last for up to two months in freezer-safe bags if frozen. To defrost them, let them gently defrost in the refrigerator overnight.

Can I smoke a regular ham that isn’t spiral cut?

Yes, this process works well with other types of hams like a ham shank or butt. However, the process will take an additional 45-60 minutes because the ham is not cut. You can score the outside allowing the smoke to permeate more and giving the glaze something to cling to. This also makes for a beautiful presentation.

How spicy is the hot honey bourbon glaze?

The glaze is mildly spicy as it loses some of its heat as it cooks. It only flavors the outside of the savory, salty, smoky ham. If you want additional heat feel free to use an extra spicy hot honey.

Smoked Spiral Ham needs Tasty Sides

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Sweet and spicy smoked spiral ham is brushed with a hot honey bourbon glaze.

Smoked Spiral Ham with Hot Honey Bourbon Glaze

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Sweet, spicy, sticky, and glistening in glory, Smoked Spiral Ham with Hot Honey Bourbon Glaze will beckon you to steal a slice before it even hits the table. Combining a kick of sweet heat with familiar flavors, this double-smoked ham is an instant classic.

  • Total Time: About 3 hours
  • Yield: Serves 1012 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 bone-in spiral ham, about 710 pounds

Hot Honey Bourbon Glaze

  • ½ cup hot honey
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon smooth Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup dark brown sugar
  • Juice of 1 orange, about 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Instructions

  1. Remove the ham and rest. Once the ham is around 140°F it can be removed from the smoker. Take out the pan carefully, there should be plenty of liquid at the bottom. Give it one final brush with the glaze. Allow the ham to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving in.

Notes

  • Time will vary based on the size of the ham. Estimate for about 3 hours, and it could potentially be more if it’s a very large ham.
  • Author: Brad Prose
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Category: Pork
  • Method: Smoking
  • Cuisine: Ham
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