My Simple Smoked Ham Recipe in 10 Steps or Less [September 2020]

I have loved smoked ham ever since I was a young boy. I have always been drawn to the delicious smoky smoked ham flavour. Nowadays it reminds me of my childhood.

Growing up my family was huge on a smoked ham at Christmas time.

We would always have a gigantic ham centrepiece at the Christmas table. That would lead into leftover ham sandwiches for weeks on end (yum!!)

​For those of you who have never cured a ham before this recipe will also serve as a guide on how to cure a ham, you will be surprised at how easy it is.

12 hours of hot smoking is a long one! You need something that can stand up to the test & hold the temperature for this duration!!

Two Techniques to Smoking Ham

This guide includes two different techniques, each offering a different layer of flavour to the ham.

First off curing in brine, then injected with brine, cold smoking and finished off with a hot smoke. It sounds tricky, but it’s not. 

According to Steve from Barbecue Bible, cold smoking process gives the ham a deeper, more flavorsome smoke flavour. This is because the cold smoke drives deeper into the meat than hot smoke. The main job of the hot smoke is to finish off the cooking process.

Second, you can inject the meat. Injecting doesn’t so much add flavour but help keep the ham moist and helps speed up the curing process.

The kids love it when I make this one, they always take leftover sandwiches to school.

I hope your family enjoys this smoked ham as much as we do!

How To Serve My Smoked Ham

This ham can be served hot straight out of the smoker. I think its delicious with a side of garlic green beans and a big helping of mashed sweet potato.

Have some leftovers? Of course you do! I think thinly sliced is perfect for sandwiches (with that leftover potato salad and some mustard!!). My favorite way to have this ham is cold between two pieces of fresh buttery bread!

If you are storing the ham make sure to let it rest until it’s at room temperature, then cover and refrigerate. You can refrigerate for up to 1 week.

The Smokehouse Shoulder Ham Recipe

This recipe makes 1 large ham shoulder. This is enough to serve 6 to 8 hungry humans for a main course or a family of 4 with plenty of leftovers! This recipe does take time, planning and a little bit of self-control. I normally get this started on a Saturday and eat the following Sunday.
Resting Time10 mins
Total Time9 d
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Barbecue
Servings: 8
Calories: 70kcal
Author: Charlie


  • 1 tablespoon pink curing salt
  • 1 8-10 pound (4-5 kg) bone-in fully cooked ham

  • 1 pound of coarse salt kosher or sea
  • 2 tablespoons pickling spice
  • 2 quarts ice water
  • 3 quarts hot water
  • 8 ounces packed dark brown sugar


  • 1 Meat injector
  • 1 Jumbo heavy-duty resalable plastic bag
  • 1 Wire rack
  • 1 Large stockpot or plastic bucket
  • 1 Instant-read or remote digital thermometer
  • Hickory or apple wood, Ideally you want a mix of both (enough for 24 hours of smoking)
  • 1 Roll If hanging a roll of sturdy butcher’s string Optional


  • In your large stockpot or plastic bucket mix together the coarse salt, curing salt, pickling spice, sugar and 3 quarts of hot water. At this point stir in any additional flavouring. Over a high heat bring to a boil and continue to boil until the sugar and salts have dissolved. Stirring several times. This should take around 3 minutes. Once dissolved remove from the heat and add in the ice water. Let cool then place in refrigerator until cold.
  • Once the brine has cooled strain two cups into a measuring cup. Inject the full 2 cups of brine deep into the ham using a meat injector. You want to inject a 1 – 1 ½ inch intervals along the bone. Inject all 2 cups of the brine.
  • Place the ham in a large resealable heavy-duty bag, and then place safely inside a large stockpot or large food-safe bucket. Once the ham is resting safely in the bag and bucket, add the brine to the bag. You are looking to submerge the whole ham. Once submerged, squeeze out any excess air and seal tightly. Place in the refrigerator for 7 days. Once a day turn the ham over to ensure an even cure. Midway through the 7-day process, repeat the injecting process with another 2 cups of brine.
  • Once the 7 days is up (finally) drain the ham and give it a very thorough rinse with cold water. Once thoroughly rinsed pat dry with paper towel. At this stage, if you plan to hang your ham during the process, securely tie your butcher’s string around the narrow end of the ham. To be safe give it a test hang to make sure the string is going to hold. If you plan to use your smoking rack there is no need to tie.
  • Prepare your smoker for cold smoking by following your specific brands instructions. You should set your temperature no higher than 100°F. Add your preferred woods. I like a mix of hickory & apple for this recipe. Hang or place your ham in the smoker and cold smoke at 100°F for no longer than 12 hours.
  • After 12 hours, set up your smoker for hot smoking. Preheat your smoker to between 225 & 250°F and add your preferred woods. I like a mix of hickory & apple for this recipe.
  • Once your smoker is up to temperature, place or hang your meat and let cook for 10 – 12 hours or until cooked. You are looking for an internal meat temperature of 160°F. When checking the internal temperature you want to get the probe in the middle of the meat, but not touching the bone.
  • Eating time! I like to serve the heat hot out of the smoker with some fresh green beans and a big helping of creamy mash sweet potato! Delicious!

Final Thoughts

Making smoked ham takes a little bit of prep time and planning, however, I guarantee you that the end result is totally worth it.

I like to get the ham brining on a Saturday and eat the following Sunday, it’s a great Sunday evening meal in summer. Not to mention the leftover sandwiches at work and for the kids at school on Monday and Tuesday!

If you have your own smoked ham, cured ham or double smoked ham recipes I would love to hear about it!


Still Hungry for More?

6 thoughts on “My Simple Smoked Ham Recipe in 10 Steps or Less [September 2020]”

  1. Thank you for the awesome tips on smoking a ham Charlie!! I had found it hard in the past but using your ideas of curing it via injection then cold smoking it with a finish in the hot smoker was brilliant!

    1. Thanks Hugo!! I agree the curing via injection was a game changer for me as well when it came to smoking ham last Christmas I knew I had to share it!! Have you tried it with brisket yet?

    1. Hiya Glen,

      Mate I usually go something that is 8-10 pound (4-5 kg) good for the extended fam and loooots of smoked ham sandwiches! Are you cooking it up this weekend?


  2. Hey there! I have a 12-15 lb half ham leg with shank and I’d like to use this method to cook it for Thanksgiving (the goal is to replicate my own honey baked ham), but I’m short on time…What happens if I decrease the brine time from 7 to 5 or 6 days? What will happen if I opt for no curing salt? Can I finish it off in the oven (the day I serve it) after cold smoking it rather than hot smoking as the last step? Oh my gosh, so many questions! Thanks for any recommendations you can give :).

    1. Hiya Jess!! Sorry for the delay, I haven’t cold smoked ham before, how did you go with it? No stress about only curing for 6 days, I gone down to 4 before, but I definitely wouldn’t skip that step. Let me know how you go!! ohh and send some pics of your thanksgiving ham if you can 🙂

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