Smoked root beer glazed ham is full of incredible flavor. It goes through the double-smoking process and is then basted with a sweet and savory glaze, making it perfect for the holidays and special occasions. The best part is that you make delicious sandwiches and hearty, comforting soups with the leftovers!
What is double-smoked ham?
Most prepackaged hams are smoked through a process called “cold smoking.” While technically cooked, they need to be reheated first before safe consumption. Cold smoking requires a great deal of skill, the proper equipment, and the right conditions to produce safe, edible foods like ham. This is something best left to professionals. The term “double-smoked”,: means that a cold-smoked item like ham will go into a hot smoking environment (like a smoker or grill) to finish cooking. It also infuses a it with extra flavor, and is a convenient way to apply the glaze.
- Spiral cut, bone-in ham, about 6-7 pounds
- Whole cloves (optional)
- Aluminum drip pan
- Root beer (substitute with Dr. Pepper, cherry cola, or Coca-Cola)
- Dark brown sugar (light brown sugar or coconut sugar works in a pinch)
- Dijon mustard (substitute with stone-ground, yellow mustard, or dry mustard if needed)
- Red wine vinegar (substitute with apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar)
- Fresh ginger
- An instant-read meat thermometer
Wood Suggestions: Use hickory or maple wood for this smoked ham recipe.
How to Double Smoke Ham:
- Prepare the smoker for 210 degrees F. and a smoking time between 5-6 hours. Add preferred wood.
- Optional steps: With a sharp knife make shallow gashes in a diamond pattern (or criss-cross pattern), on the surface of the ham. Stud the top of the ham with cloves.
- Place the ham into the smoker, set the aluminum drip pan underneath, and close the lid. Cook for 2-2 1/2 hours. Keep an eye on the cooking temperature.
- Prepare the root beer glaze: Measure out the root beer and sit for 10-20 minutes to release the bubbles. Combine with remaining glaze ingredients. Cover the bowl and set aside until ready to use. Mixture does not require a saucepan or need to be simmer, simply combined.
- Apply the first layer of glaze: Brush the glaze on the surface of the ham after the 2 ½ hour mark. Repeat this process every 40-45 minutes until the glaze runs out or when the ham reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.
- Carefully remove ham from the smoker and place it onto a clean cutting board. Let the ham rest for 10-15 minutes. Carve and serve.
- Storing leftovers: Place leftover root beer glazed ham into an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Rewarm in a pan on your stovetop or in the microwave.
- Do I have to purchase a spiral ham? You do not have to use a spiral ham for this recipe, nor a bone-in ham, but keep in mind that this might shorten or lengthen the cooking times. Use the baste in the second half of cooking as instructed above.
- Can I make this ham in my oven? Yes! If you are not keen on smoke, you can prepare this ham in your oven. Cook for 90 minutes to 2 hours, at 350 degrees F. Baste ham during the last 45 minutes of cooking in 15-minute intervals until done.
- What wood can I use?: I prefer to use maple or hickory wood for this smoked root beer glazed ham, but apple, alder, or oak would work too!
- Can I use a spice rub on the ham? : Yes, you can use a low-salt spice rub for this smoked ham, but it isn’t necessary. Since you’ll be basting throughout the cooking process, the glaze will build with each layer, imparting a flavorful sticky crust on the surface. However, if you chose to use a rub, we recommend our Honey BBQ Rub or Kansas City Rub.
Root Beer Glazed Ham
- 1 spiral cut ham about 6-7 pounds, bone-in
- 1-2 tablespoons whole cloves for studding the ham (optional)
- Aluminum drip pan
- For glaze:
- 2 1/2 cups root beer
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- Prepare the smoker for 210 degrees F. Add wood of choice.The cook time for this recipe can take anywhere from 4-6 hours, so plan your fuel needs accordingly.
- Remove ham from wrapping and set onto a large cutting board. Stud the large top layer with cloves. (optional)
- Once the smoker is up to temp, place ham into the smoker, set the drip pan underneath, close the lid, and let it go for 2 ½ hours. Keep an eye on the temperature, and adjust as needed.
- Prepare the root beer glaze. Measure out root beer, and let sit for 20 minutes to flatten a bit. Mix all baste ingredients with root beer together in a bowl. Cover bowl and set aside until ready to use.
- Apply the first layer of glaze after the 2 ½ hour mark. Repeat this process every 40-45 minutes until the glaze runs out or the ham reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees F.
- Carefully remove ham from the smoker and place it onto a clean cutting board. Let it rest long enough to handle; about 10-15 minutes. Carve and serve.