The big holiday is approaching. Your dinner is consisting of several side dishes, desserts and a spiral cut ham. Spiral cut hams are pre-sliced and normally covered with a glaze. The hams are easily heated in your home's oven. This year, you want to smoke the ham in the new smoker you purchased back in the summer. With a few helpful tips and hints, your spiral cut ham will be the talk of the table.
The Smoker Set Up
Make sure you use both coals and wood chips in your smoker. The coals will get the fire going and keep it flaming. The wood chips will add the smoky flavor to your spiral cut ham. Do not be afraid to experiment with wood chips of a different flavor than you normally use. The temperature of your smoker should be around 225 degrees F. You want to smoke the spiral cut ham and not burn it.
If using a grill to smoke your spiral cut ham, heat your grill's coals first and let them burn down to a gray color. Next, push the coals to one side and add a few wood chips to the mix. Place your spiral cut ham on the grill. The temperature will be low enough where it will not dry out the ham, but it will still produce smoke.
To allow the smoke to get to your spiral cut ham, wrap the entire ham in cheesecloth. The cheesecloth allows the smoke to move into the ham--unlike covering the ham with aluminum foil or some other covering. Cheesecloth is available at most grocery and retail stores. Also, make sure you keep the spiral cut ham moist at all times. Check the amount of water in your smoker regularly.
Use Skewers to Hold the Ham Together
If you are worried about the slices of ham separating while you are smoking it, use skewers. Hold the ham together with two or more skewers. Turn the ham so the spiral cut side is down. After you have wrapped the ham in cheesecloth, stick the skewers through. The weight of the ham and the skewers will keep all the slices together.
Smoke a Spiral Cut Ham
The smoking time for a spiral cut ham varies depending on size but usually takes about two hours. The key is to smoke it long enough to get a smoky flavor but not too long, which will cause the ham to be dry. To test for flavor, cut a small piece of ham and taste it after 90 minutes. If the flavor is to your liking, add your glaze at this point. You want to give the glaze at least 30 minutes to coat and stick to the ham before removing the piece of meat from the smoker.
Place an aluminum pan under the spiral cut ham so any drippings will fall into the pan instead of into smoker. Drippings that fall into the fire will cause the fire to flare up and the temperature to rise. You will also want to use a lid on your smoker. The lid will keep the smoke contained. If using a grill, cover it with a lid as well.
Simple Glaze Recipe
If you are lost as to what type of glaze to place on your spiral cut ham, mix 1 cup honey and ½ cup orange juice in a pan. Heat the mixture over medium heat and stir it well. Pour the glaze over the ham during the last 30 minutes of the smoking process.
Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.