How to Double Smoke Ham

Jeremy Bivens
Jeremy Bivens
Research Writer
Jeremy Bivens is a passionate writer and grilling enthusiast. He's been working as a freelance journalist for over 15 years now and has a particular interest in food writing read more
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Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams
Expert Consultant
Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous read more
Last updated: August 31, 2023
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Double smoked ham takes regular smoked ham to a whole new level of deliciousness. You can make it in lots of flavors, ranging from habanero to bourbon, so you can enjoy your homemade smoked ham just the way you want it.

What’s even better, double smoked ham is easy enough to do on a charcoal grill or any type of smoker you might have. Double smoked ham is ideal for the holiday season, but you can also enjoy it whenever you want some extra wow factor in your favorite cured ham.

If you are a beginner, you may think that making a twice smoked ham looks like a daunting process. The good news is that it’s easier than it looks — this guide will provide you with all the information you need to do it successfully even if it’s your first time. Now let’s have a look at the best ways to double smoke a ham!

What is double smoked ham?

How to Double Smoke Ham

Most of the hams you can buy in stores are already cooked hams, and as their name suggests, double-smoked hams are smoked a second time to add more flavor and texture to a regular cut ham.

Because the ham is already cooked, the double smoking process is a very easy one. All the hard work has been done before you purchase your ham. All that remains to do is warm the ham and add all the flavors you want before smoking it again for, well, double the smokiness.

The ham you buy in the stores has already been cured with a nitrate solution for a tender texture and pink color. Hams have already been smoked once, and you can choose from multiple flavors, such as apple or hickory, for example, which you can then enhance as you wish.

Useful info

The cooking time and number of servings you can obtain when double smoking a ham depends on the type and size of the cut you choose. Try to get a quality ham, the best you can get, as it will have less fat on it.

The smoking process for a pre-cooked ham is basically the same as the one for a raw ham. All you need to do is skip the brining process and reduce the smoking time, too, as the ham has already been smoked.

You will need to pay special attention to temperature, because you don’t want your ham to be too dry. The ham is already pre-cooked, so you should not exceed 140 F. You only want to warm the ham through and infuse it with smoke.

The calories and nutrition per serving can vary depending on the ingredients you used for the glaze, but typically, you can expect a serving of double smoked ham to have 80-90 calories and approximately 21 grams of carbohydrates.

Equipment you will need

How to Double Smoke Ham

There are multiple ways to double smoke a ham, and the equipment you use may differ. However, some pieces of equipment are essential, and they include the following:

·         A quality smoker — if you don’t already have one, have a look at our guide for buying the best smoker. According to most reviews, the best model must be the wood pellet grill smoker from Z Grills.

·         A cast iron skillet — many recipes for double smoking a ham indicate that you should transition the ham from high temperature grilling to the oven to broil for that perfect final touch. A cast iron skillet is ideal for this purpose not only because it’s durable and versatile, but also because it’s so easy to transition it to the oven straight from the grill or stove.

·         A good knife for cutting meat — a quality knife is essential when cooking ham, as it will allow you to slice it as thin as you want.

·         A meat thermometer — A handheld thermometer is a must have item when you cook with meat, as it will allow you to know when you have reached the optimal temperature. Read our article f you want to find best meat thermometer. We believe that the ThermoPro wireless meat thermometer is an excellent choice, as it scores the highest in reviews.


The ingredients you need to double some a ham vary according to the flavors you want to achieve. As a rule of thumb, you will need the following:

  • 8 – 2.4 pound spiral sliced ham
  • Brown sugar
  • Dijon mustard
  • Chicken stock
  • Ground cinnamon, ground ginger, or some other favourite spices
  • Canola oil
  • BBQ or Worcestershire sauce

You can use goose or duck fat instead of canola oil if you want, and you can also apply your favorite rub, too. If you want to do this step, make sure that the flavors of the rub you use work well with the existent flavors of the ham.

When it comes to spices, the possibilities are truly endless, and you can use cloves, peppercorns and basically any of your favorite things. Cayenne pepper and dry mustard can be applied to the ham as well as part of the rub, together with salt and paprika.

For the basting sauce, you can use a mix of chicken stock and orange or pineapple juice. The glaze itself can include honey, orange or pineapple juice, cloves, dry mustard, and something to make the ham festive, like bourbon or white wine.

To make the perfect double smoked ham, it’s a good idea to experiment with spices and create your own combination that’s tailored to your taste.


Once you have gathered all your ingredients and equipment, it’s time to get to work. There are several steps that you need to follow to double smoke a ham.

  1. Smoke the ham. To do this, you’ll need to expose the pre-cooked ham to low temperature so it gets warm inside and absorbs the smoke. Use your thermometer to make sure the inside of the ham doesn’t go over 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Have your chicken stock handy so you can braise the ham with liquid. Cover the ham in aluminum foil in order to retain as much moisture as possible and avoid it going too dry.
  3. The next step is glazing. You make a glaze from the brown sugar, mustard and your favorite spices plus BBQ or Worcestershire sauce and cover the ham in it with a brush Make sure all the ham is covered in glaze in an uniform way.
  4. Finally, transfer the ham to the cast iron pan and place it under the broiler. This will caramelize the glaze and make the ham crisp.

Chicken stock is a popular option to use as a braise when double smoking a ham, but there are lots of alternatives here. Depending on your preferences, you can use beer, white wine, bourbon, hard cider, and even soda (Coca-Cola smoked ham is a very popular recipe for the holidays).

Some of the pre-cooked hams you can buy in shops have a glaze already applied. There are multiple ways to deal with this when you want to double smoke a ham. If the glaze is pre-packaged, simply ignore it and discard it. If the glaze is already on the ham, you can choose o use your own glaze on top of it or rinse it off if you only want your preferred glaze on the ham.

How to choose the best ham for smoking

Hams typically vary between 1 and 12 pounds, so you can choose the right size for you easily. When buying the ham, make sure it says “ready to eat” or “smoked” on it. Keep in mind that the size of the ham will influence cooking times.

For example, if you’re using an 8-10 pound ham, you will need up to 3 hours in the braising step, but this time is significantly lower for smaller hams. Having a meat thermometer is extremely important for this step, because it’s the only way to check the temperature inside the ham and check its progress before proceeding with the glazing and the next steps.

Spiral, sliced hams that are precooked are ideal for double smoking. However, if you don’t want your ham to be pre-sliced, you can absolutely use an unsliced one, but keep in mind that it may take a bit longer to cook — again, the meat thermometer is your friend here to determine whether the ham has reached the correct temperature.

Some of the smoked hams available in shops have the skin on. You can double smoke hams with or without skin on, but keep in mind that the skin and fat may take longer to cook because it takes longer for the heat to penetrate those extra layers.

What glaze to use for double smoked ham

There are countless variations of glaze you can use for a double smoked ham. Choose the one that suits your tastes.

Some of the most popular options for glazing a double smoked ham include brown sugar honey glaze, bourbon peach habanero glaze, cherry bourbon, and maple-mustard glaze.

The best glazes for double smoked ham have the perfect balance of sweet, savory and shiny. In most cases, the ham should be glazed towards the end of the cooking process, because you shouldn’t allow the sugar to caramelize too much. Add the glaze when there are approximately 20-30 minutes left from the cooking time.

If you want a sweeter glaze, use a light brown sugar. Dark brown sugar typically results in a deep molasses flavor. If you want to add a festive holiday flavor to your glaze, you can use some orange juice in it.

Making a glaze for double smoked ham is super easy — all you need to do is bring the sugar, liquid of choice, honey, and spices to a boil and cook for 3-4 minutes until they thicken. If the glaze cools too much before you use it, it can harden. But not to worry, you can reheat it to loosen before using it on the ham.

What you can serve with double smoked ham

Double smoked ham is ideal for holidays and they also make a great gift at Christmas and Easter. The best ways to serve it sliced and with your favorite trimmings, which can range from green beans, root veggies such as carrots and parsnips to salad and roast potatoes.

This ham is also a great choice for a buffet-style meal or a potluck. You can use leftovers to make a potato salad or a hearty casserole. Other ideas include frittatas, an egg and ham pie, and Reuben sandwiches. The possibilities are truly endless!

To serve the ham, transfer the sauce to a gravy boat and move the ham from the pan to a cutting board. Using a quality knife, start carving it by slicing inward from the sizes towards the bone. Release the slices by slicing own along the bone. Pour some gravy on each slice befre serving.

Final thoughts

Double smoked ham is the perfect way to add wood fire smoke to your favorite pre-cooked ham. You can opt for numerous types of glaze to give your ham that extra wow factor. Most people enjoy a ham for a holiday meal, and you can easily pair it with your favorite wines, ranging from Pinot Noir to Zinfandel.

We hope you enjoyed this guide and that you’ll give it a try and prepare your own double smoked ham. Learning how to double smoke a ham is really useful skill to have come Christmas, and applying our tips will help you gain recognition as a master smoker in your family and friends circle.

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