7 Rubs for Smoked Ham (Sweet, Savory and Smoky Options)

Are you planning to smoke a ham sometime soon? Maybe it’s for a holiday meal or maybe it’s just an excuse to use your smoker. Either way, it’s important to find the right rub. Below are my six favorite dry rub recipes to use on smoked ham.


Brown Sugar and Spice Rub for Ham

Sugar is an excellent component of a dry rub for smoked ham, as it creates a declious caramelisation. However, it is important to find the right balance.

1 cup of brown sugar.

2 tablespoons of honey

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice.

½ teaspoon mustard powder

¼ teaspoon onion powder.

Add black pepper and salt to taste

Mix the dry rub ingredients and rub them all over the ham.


Garlic and Rosemary Rub for Ham

Let’s move on to some of the more savory recipes. Not everyone has a sweet tooth after all! If you want to skip out on sugar, this is a great recipe for you.

3 tablespoons rosemary

3 tablespoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons kosher salt.

1 tsp fresh rosemary

2 cloves of diced garlic

Coarse kosher salt is better suited for this recipe because it is less salty than table salt.


Onion and Garlic Rub for Ham

Garlic and onion belong on all things smoked meat! We will use some sugar to counteract the bold flavors of these foods.

3 tablespoons of minced garlic

3 tablespoons of minced onion.

Add 2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tsp mustard powder

kosher salt to taste.

This savory rub will be amazing on smoked ham.

Cajun Dry Rub for Ham

For all the spice lovers out there, this one is for you. Spicy dry rubs are amazing, so try your hand at this Cajun dry rub.

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon black pepper.

Add 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon celery seed

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper.

Add salt to taste.

If you want to use fresh thyme leaves that have been dried, you can use one teaspoon.

BBQ Coffee Rub for Ham

This dry rub is a bit unique. Not everybody will love it, but it’s worth trying!

Start with 1/4 cup of ground coffee and 1/4 cup of brown sugar.

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon black pepper.

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

Add kosher salt to taste.

When preparing this dry rub, it is essential to consider the type of coffee you use. There are so many types of coffee and each one will yield slightly different results.


How Do I Use a Dry Rub on a Ham?

First, apple a binder like mustard or oil, then apply the dry rub all over the ham; be generous.

Do You Recommend Using An Injection?

I don’t often use an injection to flavor my ham but I have had good results trying it. If you want my recipe for ham injected with bourbon you can see it here.

Do I Need to Use a Glaze on My Ham?

There are so many glaze recipes out there, one of my favorites is my bourbon glaze for ham; you can see it here.

Smoke On!


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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