The Correct Temperature to Smoke Ham

Are you planning on smoking a ham?

Not sure what temperature to smoke your ham at? 

Don’t worry! 

Although smoking ham may seem a little intimidating initially, it is very easy and straightforward.

Whether you’re making raw ham from scratch or just want to infuse your store-bought ham with delicious smoky flavor, all you need to do is follow the guide below for perfectly smoked ham for your next meal. 

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Temperature to Smoke Ham

Regardless of the type of ham, it is recommended to smoke ham at a temperature of 250°F.

If you choose to run your smoker at a higher temperature to reduce the cooking time, just be sure to turn it off once your ham reaches an internal temperature of 145°F. 

How to Smoke Ham

The first step is to select the type of ham you want to work with.

Whether you’re using raw ham or pre-cooked ham will determine the smoking process.

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How Long Does It Take to Smoke?

It typically takes about 20 minutes per pound to smoke ham.

The internal temp of the thickest part of the meat should register 140°F when it is completely warmed through. 

This would mean planning on about 4-5 hours for a 7-pound ham. 

Furthermore, it is important to be mindful of the size of the ham selected.

The smaller the ham, the faster the cooking time.

Monitoring the Temperature

It is best to use a remote meat thermometer so that you can leave the probe in the ham inside the smoker.

This can be done while simultaneously monitoring the temperature of the ham. 

Smoking Pre-cooked Ham

Smoking pre-cooked ham is really about heating up the ham to an internal temperature of 140°F and then infusing it with smoke by adding any additional flavor.

Keep in mind that the ham is already pre-cooked so try not to exceed an internal temperature of 140°F or your ham will be dry.

If you are applying glaze on your pre-cooked ham, it is best to smoke it until it reaches an internal temperature of 130°F and spread it over your ham.

Then, continue smoking until the internal temp is 140°F.

Lastly, spread extra glaze before letting the ham rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.

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Smoking Raw Ham 

The main difference in smoking raw ham and pre-cooked ham is the curing process.

By doing this from scratch, you have full control over the quality of your finished ham. 

The first step is to cure the ham.

Curing the ham will require you to prepare a brine that draws moisture out of the meat, giving the ham a great flavor and allowing it to retain its color. 

After preparing the brine, ensure the ham is submerged under the brine for 7 days in order to cure it. 

Once the curing period is over, you may remove the ham from the brine and let it dry in the fridge overnight. 

Then, proceed to smoke it in an identical manner to the process mentioned above for pre-cooked ham. 

When to Add Wood Chips

It is recommended to add about one cup of wood chips roughly every 45 minutes throughout the smoking process.

You may add this less frequently for a milder smoker flavor.

Best Wood Chips for Smoking Ham

Experts generally recommend using a lighter, sweeter wood when smoking ham as it complements the flavor of pork.

Apple wood chips may be your best bet as they may add a hint of sweetness without imparting an overly smoky flavor to your ham.

Other good choices include hickory or cherry wood.

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What Sort of Glaze to Use?

A flavourful brown sugar glaze is undoubtedly the perfect pairing with your smoked ham.

It has an amazing flavor that saves you from seasoning the ham with a rub, but you can also make the glaze while your ham is smoking to save time.

Brown Sugar Glaze Recipe

Add butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat and let it melt.

Then, add shallots and sautè them to soften for about 6 to 8 minutes.

Add garlic and sautè for another minute to soften. 

Finally, add sugar, cider, honey, Dijon, cayenne, and salt to the pan, slightly increasing the heat and bringing it to a simmer. 

Lastly, allow the glaze to simmer for up to 10 minutes, not boiling it.

The glaze will thicken as the sugar and liquids incorporate and slightly reduce. 

If you like these flavor I recommend trying my pineapple bourbon smoked ham recipe.

Tips for Smoked Ham

– It is recommended to use a disposable aluminum pan to smoke the ham to keep mess to a minimum 

– Cut the side of the ham face down in the pan instead of face-up

– You should start preparing your glaze once the ham temperature reaches around 135°F. 

– Garnish your ham with an assortment of herbs and fruit such as grapes for a beautiful presentation 

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Even though smoking ham may look like a lot of work that requires precision, you will find it extremely easy and straightforward once you get the hang of it. 

Be sure to keep your smoker at the right temperature and wait for your ham to reach the desired internal temperature to achieve your satisfying, smoky and indulgent smoked ham! 

Smoke On!

Charlie

Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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