Smoked Spiral Ham with Honey Glaze and Brown Sugar

Do you want a new idea for a holiday ham dish that you can prepare in your grill and/or smoker?

How about making some lip-smacking honey-glazed smoked spiral ham?

This dish will pretty soon become your favorite holiday ham dish suitable for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter, but suitable for making dinner for your family and guests.

You can garnish it with some veggies, creamy mashed potatoes, dinner rolls, and any other side dishes of your choice, and you can be sure that it will be a smoked dish that everyone who loves BBQ meat will appreciate.

How to prepare smoked spiral ham?

While the store-bought spiral ham is usually cured and pre-cooked and can be eaten as is, the added glazing and smoking will add to its deliciousness and will allow you to enjoy ham, like never before.

All products sold as ham are cured with a salt solution responsible for the tender texture and the pink color of smoked ham.


  • Smoked spiral-sliced and ready-to-eat ham – 9-11 lbs.
  • For the honey glaze:
  • Honey – 3 tablespoons
  • Ginger ale – 2 ¼ cups
  • Brown sugar packed – 1 cup
  • Apple cider vinegar – 4 ½ tablespoons
  • Garlic cloves minced – 2
  • Dijon mustard – 1 ½ teaspoon

Preparation step by step

  • Preparation time – 20 minutes
  • Cooking time – 3 hours
  • Servings – 12
  • Calories per serving – 871 kcal

The actual smoking of the spiral ham in a smoker and grill like the Traeger is relatively straightforward. The prepping process, too, will take no more than 30 minutes.

Here is a step-by-step guide for preparing and cooking the smoked spiral ham:

  1. Prepare the glaze. This is done by combining the honey, ginger ale, apple cider vinegar, and brown sugar in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and cook until it is reduced to about half of the original quantity. This should typically take about 15 minutes. Add the other ingredients for the glaze and stir them in, while cooking the mixture for another 5 minutes. After you are done, remove the saucepan from the heat.
  2. Prepare the spiral ham. Remove all of the wrapping and netting from the pre-cooked and ready-to-eat ham. Place it in a foil pan that is large enough to fit an 8-11 pound ham. Take the time to pull aside each slice and drizzle the honey glaze in between all of them. Make sure you do this thoroughly but gently to keep the ham whole and the slices from falling apart. Once you are done, you can use a basting brush or your hands to apply and rub in more glaze on the top and front flat of the ham.
    At this point, you can add a rub of your choice by following the steps as mentioned above and sprinkling the rub in between each slice, and after that on top and on the front of the ham. Once you are done, you can finish up by drizzling more of the honey on top. If the slices start falling apart, you can use toothpicks to keep them in place during the cooking.
    Some pitmasters prefer to apply the glaze to the smoked ham about 15 minutes before it is done. The glaze and rub are applied, and the almost ready smoked ham is finished up in a preheated oven at 275 degrees for another 15 minutes.
  3. Prepare the smoker. Follow the directions of the manufacturer for setting up your smoker. You can use cherry, apple, maple, or other wood for the best results. Remember to add water in the water pan of the smoker and set the temperature to about 230-240 degrees Fahrenheit. Pop the ham in the smoker once the temperature reaches the desired levels. Make sure you smoke it in a pan with a lid.
  4. Smoke the ham. At the suggested temperatures, smoking most store-bought hams will take around 3 hours. You won’t really be cooking the ham; rather, you’ll be imparting flavor and smokiness to the meat in the cooker because the ham is already pre-cooked and prepared for consumption before the smoking. After each hour of smoking, you can continue braising the ham with ginger ale or the honey glaze. The ham must be warmed to a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit inside. When the ham reaches the proper internal temperature, you should take it out of the smoker, place it on a serving tray, and start eating it right away. It pairs well with many sides, salads, breads, and toppings.

Related: How to Smoke a Fresh Ham – Recipe, Tips, & Guide

Frequently asked questions

Photo credit: tablespoon

Does a smoked ham mean a fully cooked ham?

Yes. Make sure that you buy ready-to-eat ham which has been cured and smoked so that it is safe to eat. The actual smoking helps add the delicious and beautiful glaze and the smokiness to its flavor and is not for cooking the meat.

How long does smoking take?

An average piece of ham weighs about 8-11 lbs. and will take about 3 hours to warm through to an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. So you can expect that you will be smoking the spiral ham for about 3 hours at 230-240 degrees Fahrenheit. Plus, remember to keep braising it every hour with the glaze or with some more ginger ale.

How much ham per person?

When serving bone-in ham, a typical portion per adult is about ¾ lbs., depending on the people and on the other dishes and garnishes which will be served. It makes sense to plan about 1 pound of ham per person to be on the safe side because even if there are leftovers, you can still enjoy them for days after the smoking and can even freeze them and then store them for months.

The finest side dished for smoked spiral ham

Since spiral hams are especially popular during the festive seasons, they go well with scalloped or mashed potatoes, turkey, and other Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving favorite dishes and sides.

But you can also enjoy some delicious honey-glazed smoked spiral ham all year round for Sunday dinner with friends and family.

Final thoughts

As you can see, prepping the smoked spiral ham and smoking it is pretty simple, so this is a recipe that can be enjoyed by complete newbies and by expert pitmasters alike.

Unlike most other smoked foods, the smoking of the spiral ham is not for cooking purposes but rather to add to the taste of the meat.

With this delicious honey and ginger-ale-based glaze, and with the amazing infused smoky taste, your smoked ham will be the star of the show no matter the occasion.

Interested in smoking ham? Check our double-smoked spiral ham recipe.

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