We all know how delicious a perfectly cooked ham is. But we all know that there’s one thing better: smoked ham!
So if you’ve got yourself a precooked ham it’s only natural that you ask yourself: I wonder if I can put this in the smoker.
The good news? You absolutely can smoke precooked ham, and believe me, it turns into something truly remarkable.
The other good news? Since it’s already precooked, you don’t need to wait hours and hours. Only enough for the smokey flavor to infuse into the meat and for the exterior to caramelize.
Here’s everything you need to know about smoking precooked ham, the best method to use, how long it takes, and some expert tips for smoking precooked ham.
Yes, precooked ham can be smoked. Even if it’s precooked and presmoked ham, you can go ahead and double smoke that bad boy.
However, one thing to keep front of mind is that the ham is ALREADY cooked. So, what you’re really doing is reheating the precooked ham in the smoker, adding that delectable smokey flavor and extra caramelization.
For this reason, you should adjust the way you smoke your ham to maximize the smokey flavor without straight up drying it out and overcooking your ham.
When you smoke precooked ham just right it tastes just as good as smoking raw ham — but at less than half the cooking time!
How To Smoke A Precooked Ham?
Because the ham is already cooked you only need to warm it to about 160°F. But, during this shorter time you want to infuse as much smoky goodness and extra flavor into it as possible, without drying it out either!
Here’s the best method for smoking precooked ham.
- Preheat: Preheat your smoker to 225°F, whether you’re using a pellet grill, electric smoker, charcoal, or an offset.
- Prepare: While your smoker is getting up to temp, allow your precooked ham to come up to room temperature, and apply any additional binders, rubs, or sauces.
- Smoke: Get a probe into your precooked ham and place it in the smoker fat side up for up to about 2-3 hours. Since it’s precooked already, you only need to cook it to at least 145°F. But, taking it up to 160°F produces a good result and allows extra time for that smokey flavor to build up.
- Glaze (Optional): For the last 5-15 minutes of the cook you can optionally add a glaze to your ham and put it back in the smoker. This adds extra flavor and caramelizes and sets onto the exterior of the ham.
- Rest & Serve: Since your ham’s been precooked already, you should only need to rest it for about 5-10 minutes to allow it to cool slightly before you’re ready to serve!
How Long Does It Take To Smoke A Precooked Ham?
Precooked ham is already cooked. This means it’s safe to consume cold, so long as it’s been stored correctly.
So, when you smoke precooked ham you’re really doing so to add smokey flavor while reheating your ham.
For this reason, it takes not nearly as long as smoking a ham from raw.
Smoking a precooked ham at 225°F takes between 1.5-2.5 hours to reach an internal temperature of at least 160°F, which is prime for consumption.
Larger precooked hams (over 12 pounds) may take 2.5-3 hours, and smaller precooked hams (under 5 pounds) may only take 1.5 hours.
Either way, the doneness of your precooked smoked ham should be determined by internal temperature rather than time. Smoke it to at least 155°F, but up to at least 180°F or more if that’s what your preference is.
Tips For Smoking Precooked Ham
Everyone has a different preference for smoked ham. Some like it sweet, and some like it savory.
Ham can be an entree, be used for delicious sandwiches, or be served as a roast for a celebration or festive feast.
Here are some expert tips for preparing and serving your smoked ham:
- When smoking precooked ham, you want to serve it only about 5-10 minutes after it comes off the heat for the best results! Unlike when you’re serving a brisket or pulled pork for a crowd, you don’t have the luxury of letting the meat rest for hours.
- Get your precooked ham out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before you’re ready to smoke it. Letting your ham come up to room temperature before starting the smoking process will keep the heat in the smoker steady when you add the meat, and help it to smoke and reheat evenly.
- Be aware that your precooked ham could already be seasoned and cured too. The meat might already be pretty salty, so it’s best not to go overboard with another salty rub. Instead, try something sweet or spicy, or try using a sweet glaze to finish.
- Remember, you want to add as much smoky flavor as possible and you don’t want to overcook the meat. Be patient and don’t turn the heat up too high. Keep it low and slow just like cooking from raw.
- To maximize smokiness, you can optionally use a pellet smoker tube or smoker box too. This works particularly well for getting more smoke from pellet grills.
To Glaze Or Not To Glaze Precooked Smoked Ham?
Now, when we’re talking glazing on a ham we mean that sticky, sweet, shiny overcoating of deliciousness that covers all sides of the meat.
Although there’s some clear deliciousness going on when you apply a glaze, it’s completely optionally. This is because a non-glazed smoked ham is amazing in its own right, and there are some downsides to applying glaze too!
Here are the pros and cons of adding glaze to precooked smoked ham.
- Glaze adds additional flavor to the exterior of the ham.
- The glaze adds a uniquely sticky and satisfying texture to the ham.
- Glaze can be too sweet and take away from the natural flavors of the ham.
- If overcooked, the glaze can become bitter or excessively dry.
A precooked ham can be incredible as it is. But, smoking a precooked ham is something to marvel at.
Just remember, it’s already cooked!
Therefore the focus of smoking precooked ham is to infuse as much smoky flavor into it, without overcooking it and drying it out.
Smoking a precooked ham should only take between 1.5-2.5 hours to be considered done. Although it’s up to personal preference, generally it’s best to smoke your precooked ham to between 155-180°F for best results.
Geeze, I’m hungry now!