Vegan Ham Watermelon

Have you always been on the search for a vegan substitute to ham? Or do you want to serve ham for your next Thanksgiving dinner but have vegan friends or family members? 

Read on to find out how to make smoked watermelon ham that will leave all your guests satisfied and unable to tell the difference from real ham! 

What Is Vegan Ham Watermelon? 

Vegan watermelon ham is a delicious sweet and smoky vegan alternative to smoked ham. It is made by seasoning watermelon with a blend of spices and then roasting it. 

Looking for a regular smoked ham recipe? See it here

Is Vegan Watermelon Ham Similar to Real Ham? 

It is extremely easy to turn this summer fruit into a roasted dish that tastes, feels, and looks the same as real ham. Just make sure to cut the rinds and carve the fruit carefully to make it look like actual ham. 

The key to success with this recipe is to properly smoke the melon and include a good dry rub to remove any excess moisture. 

How To Pick The Right Watermelon? 

When buying your watermelon, make sure to lift it to ensure it is dense and heavy. If it feels light and hollow, it has lost too much of its natural moisture. 

Brine Recipe For Vegan Watermelon Ham

Brining is one of the most important steps to prepare your vegan watermelon ham. The best brine recipe includes whisking together coconut sugar, salt, and seasonings such as garlic, onion powder, chili, paprika, and cloves in a medium bowl. 

You may use your preferred herbs and spices by all means.

How to Prepare The Watermelon For Brining 

It can be tricky to cut your watermelon to brine it for the first time.

Start with carefully cutting the ends off of the watermelon and turning it onto a flat side. Then cut off the rind, working carefully to cut off as little flesh as possible. 

Next, lay the watermelon on the cutting board lengthwise.

Find the side of the watermelon that has the largest surface area and set that face-up.

Lastly, cut 1-inch deep diagonal slits in opposite directions to form a cross-hatch pattern on top of the fruit. 

How to Brine the Watermelon 

Rub the brine mixture all over the watermelon, making sure to get it between the cross-hatch cuts. Just be careful to not tear the watermelon.

Set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Place the watermelon on the rack with the cross-hatched side up and refrigerate it, uncovered, for at least 12 hours. 

This will pull out any excess moisture and allow the flavors from the spice rub to permeate the entire watermelon. 

What Temperature to Cook The Watermelon Ham?

Next, preheat your oven to 450°F. Spread hickory chips and just two tablespoons of its soaking liquid over the bottom of the roasting pan. Set a roasting rack on top. 

Place your watermelon, cross-hatch side up on the roasting rack. Then cover the pan tightly with heavy-duty foil. 

How Long To Bake The Watermelon? 

It is recommended to bake the watermelon for 30 minutes, at 450°F.

You may see a bit of smoke coming from the roasting pan. If it smokes too much, tighten the foil around the pan to ensure the smoke is contained inside. 

After 30 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 250°F. Continue baking the watermelon for 3 hours, then remove the foil and roast for another 3 hours. 

Chipotle And Honey Glaze Recipe 

Adorning your smoked watermelon ham with this sweet-smoky chipotle and honey glaze will be the perfect final touch to this delicious dish. Furthermore, you can make this while your watermelon roasts. 

Firstly, heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is simmering, add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring frequently, for 1-2 minutes, or until light golden brown and very fragrant.

Next, add the coconut sugar, honey, orange juice, mustard, chipotle, salt, and Worcestershire sauce and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture is evenly combined. Bring this mix to a simmer and reduce the heat to medium. 

Lastly, keep stirring the mix often, for 10-12 minutes more, or until reduced by half. You should have about 1 cup worth when transferred to a measuring cup to cool. 

How Should The Watermelon Look After Being Roasted? 

After the 6 hours are up, remove the watermelon from the smoker and turn your broiler on high.

The watermelon should look slightly charred and reduced in size. Carefully remove the rack from the roasting pan and place it on a baking sheet.

Discard the excess liquid and hickory chips from the pan before returning the rack with the watermelon to the roasting pan.

Finishing Up And Serving Your Vegan Watermelon Ham 

Brush 1/4 cup of the chipotle and honey glaze on top of the roasted watermelon. Broil for 10-12 minutes, rotating the pan as needed, until the glaze has evenly caramelized.

If one spot is getting darker more quickly than others, use foil to cover that specific area. After 10 minutes, remove the watermelon from the oven and let it cool slightly.

Transfer the watermelon to a large serving platter with sliced oranges, fresh rosemary, or thyme sprigs using long metal spatulas. Glaze the warm watermelon with another 1/4 cup of the glaze. 

Lastly, slice the watermelon and your vegan watermelon ham is ready to be served alongside the remaining glaze! 

smoked watermelon ham (1)

Vegan Ham Watermelon

Charlie
This vegan substitute for ham will have your vegan friends asking for more!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Course lunch, main
Cuisine American, Barbecue
Servings 5
Calories 126 kcal

Equipment

  • Pellet smoker

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Watermelon large

Instructions
 

Preparing The Watermelon For Brining 

  • Start with carefully cutting the ends off of the watermelon and turning it onto a flat side.
  • Then cut off the rind, working carefully to cut off as little flesh as possible.
  • Next, lay the watermelon on the cutting board lengthwise.
  • Find the side of the watermelon that has the largest surface area and set that face-up.
  • Lastly, cut 1-inch deep diagonal slits in opposite directions to form a cross-hatch pattern on top of the fruit.

Brining the Watermelon 

  • Rub the brine mixture all over the watermelon, making sure to get it between the cross-hatch cuts. Just be careful to not tear the watermelon.
  • Set a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Place the watermelon on the rack with the cross-hatched side up and refrigerate it, uncovered, for at least 12 hours. This will pull out any excess moisture and allow the flavors from the spice rub to permeate the entire watermelon. 
  • Roasting The Watermelon
  • Next, preheat your smoker to 450°F. Spread hickory chips and just two tablespoons of its soaking liquid over the bottom of the roasting pan. Set a roasting rack on top. 
  • Place your watermelon, cross-hatch side up on the roasting rack. Then cover the pan tightly with heavy-duty foil. 

Smoking And Baking The Watermelon

  • It is recommended to cook the watermelon for 30 minutes, at 450°F.
  • After 30 minutes, reduce the smoker temperature to 250°F.
  • Continue baking the watermelon for 3 hours, then remove the foil and roast for another 3 hours. 
  • After the 6 hours are up, remove the watermelon from the smoker and turn your broiler on high.
  • Carefully remove the rack from the roasting pan and place it on a baking sheet.
  • Discard the excess liquid and hickory chips from the pan before returning the rack with the watermelon to the roasting pan.
  • Brush 1/4 cup of the chipotle and honey glaze on top of the roasted watermelon.
  • Broil for 10-12 minutes, rotating the pan as needed, until the glaze has evenly caramelized.
  • If one spot is getting darker more quickly than others, use foil to cover that specific area. After 10 minutes, remove the watermelon from the smoker and let it cool slightly.
  • Transfer the watermelon to a large serving platter with sliced oranges, fresh rosemary, or thyme sprigs using long metal spatulas
  • Glaze the warm watermelon with another 1/4 cup of the glaze. 
  • Lastly, slice the watermelon and your vegan watermelon ham is ready to be served alongside the remaining glaze! 
Keyword smoked watermelon

Bottom Line 

You may be skeptical about trying to substitute fruit for meat at first.

However, this recipe will make sure that you won’t be able to tell the difference between your homemade roasted watermelon and real store-bought ham! 

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
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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