Grilled Smoked Ham - Bone In
Eli won a ham at the turkey shoot. If you're not Southern - not to worry. They do not shoot turkeys. The guys shoot paper targets. The one who gets closest to the center gets a prize. In this case, Eli won the ham turkey shoot prize.
Of course, I'm thinking grilling when Eli comes home proud with his haul. Actually it's smoking with a larger cut of meat that is not pre-cooked as this ham butt as it's called. Don't stress if you don't have a smoker though. You can also do this on a grill with a few tips.
Now if you want a super easy grilled ham, then get you a pre-cooked ham and just grill smoke it up to temperature. I've already written about super easy grilled ham. An uncooked one is not so hard though, so stick with me here. If you can bake a ham, you can grill one.
Getting the Ham Ready to Grill
First I got the ham out of the package. They have a flavor package in there, but I've had those . . . and well no thanks. That packaged stuff is not very good. You can find much better flavors right in your refrigerator or cabinets.
As you can see, I used a toss away pan to have moisture going in the grill. Some people wrap the ham in aluminum or tin foil (as we say in the South), but then how does the smoke flavor get in there? So, I'm open grilling but with moisture under, so I know I'm getting some smoke flavor.
I put the ham in meat side down and then added half and half water and apple cider up to around one inch around the meat (which is why I put the meat in first). You can use water only. I just happened to have some cider going begging and a chance to use it rather than waste it (plus apple juice or cider gives a nice flavor kick to ham).
Then, I had a bag of oranges, and we often don't finish a whole bag, so I decided to slice one up and float it in the water. Well, now that was smelling yummy.
Next up, I stuck cloves in the ham. You can score the ham (little criss-crosses with a knife). My Mom always did that. I was running a little behind so just randomly placed whole cloves around on top.
Sometimes I rub the ham with mustard (which you can't taste - just acts like glue on grilled meats) and add various seasoning or rubs. That always works out well, but we had this bottle of Bacardi Peach that I could not pawn off on anyone. The Bacardi Razz is good in a drink, but the Bacardi Peach is way too sweet. Hum . . .
I poured the Bacardi Peach rum over the top of the ham.
And, then I was ready to grill my bone in ham.
Grilling the Ham
What you want on a ham is a low temperature - say 250 to maybe 325. Ham is kind of forgiving, but try to keep it low on the grill or smoker temp.
I was using a Traeger pellet grill here which is super easy. Just turn it on and let it do its thing. Check now and then. But, a Traeger is about like using an oven except you've got burning wood pellets and that kiss of smoke flavor.
For other smokers, just work on the vents to get your low temperature.
With a grill, offset. Put the heat to one side (charcoal only on one side of the Weber for instance). Or, if you have a big gas grill turn the side burners on but not the middle one. Keep the heat low and the meat over the area without direct coals or burner flames.
How Long to Grill an Uncooked Ham?
With various grills, outdoor temperatures, and grillers, you get variations on times when grilling a ham or any large cut of meat. I always suggest allowing an hour more than you expect. If you do get done early, then just wrap the meat in foil and let it rest until meal time.
In this case, the ham was small. I was switching between smoke setting and medium on the Traeger which is a little low on smoke and a little high on medium (which is why I switched around). It took about three hours to hit the magic mark of 145 degrees F which is the suggested time for uncooked ham by the USDA. Actually I think I pulled it at 147 F.
I did use a thermometer, because you really can't eyeball a big cut of meat and tell. Steaks, burgers, pork chops - those I can tell by looking. Something like a ham, I check with a thermometer. My favorite outdoor thermometer is the Thermopen, but it's expensive. I have a Taylor that works fine (but takes longer) that was only $10 or so.
So, How'd the Grilled Ham Turn Out?
Yum. I think this is the best ham I've made. Everything just came together for a great taste, and that Bacardi Peach rum gave a nice glaze on the outside while holding in the moisture.