Double Smoked Ham with Cherry Bourbon Glaze

4.62 from 49 votes
Jump to Recipe

Sharing is caring!

Double Smoked Ham (or twice smoked ham) is a great way to add wood fire smoke flavor to your favorite cured ham. This Cherry Bourbon Glaze takes a Smoked Ham to the next level giving it that extra wow factor!

Find out how to make an incredible double-smoked ham and impress your guests for your next holiday meal.

Double Smoked Ham with a Cherry Bourbon Glaze on a serving platter

If you are looking for a brown sugar glazed smoked ham we have you covered too.

Vindulge Recipe Highlights

  • This recipe can be used for a whole ham, carver ham, spiral-cut ham, or boneless ham.
  • Cured ham is precooked ham usually smoked after a salt brine.
  • Smoking the ham over indirect heat is essentially reheating an already cured and smoked ham giving additional flavor.
  • The simple cherry bourbon glaze is applied at the end of the cook to add a sweet glaze with a nice citrus, jam, and Bourbon flavor.

I wasn’t much of a ham person growing up. We had a generic spiral cut ham every year for Easter and often Christmas, but it just wasn’t my thing. It always ended up dry and boring when cooked in the oven.

But cooking it in the smoker gives it so much added flavor, and when you ditch the packaged glaze that comes with your grocery store ham and replace it with your own it’s off the charts! I’m more than happy to reintroduce ham back into my holiday lineup with this double smoked ham.

What is Double Smoked Ham?

When learning how to smoke a ham, I think it helps to first start with what type of ham this works best on. The ham comes from the rear portion of the pig versus the pork shoulder. If you simply buy a ham and smoke it, you will get a very similar characteristic to a shoulder.

In this post, we are referring to the same cut, but one that has been wet cured and smoked already. This is what you are most likely to get when you buy a ham at the store or butcher. One that is already cured and pre-cooked. Thus why it is called double smoked, or twice smoked, ham.

What is “wet cured” you may be asking?

Well there is dry cured, which is in a salt or salt and sugar combo (think prosciutto as an example). And there is a wet brine. This is what you will see often in the US, which is when the ham is injected or immersed in a liquid brine and smoked.

An uncooked ham on a sheet tray
An example of a spiralized ham.

We like to buy a ham that is wet brined or cured and is a pre-cooked ham (which means it’s been smoked once already). If sliced already for a spiral ham, it will allow glaze and rub to get into the meat and makes for an easy cut when done. But they don’t have to be pre-sliced. You can do this with a ham that is not already sliced. One of our favorite hams is from Snake River Farms (these are not pre-sliced).

In addition to the wet brining, what you will see in the store is often smoked once and pre-cooked. So by smoking to reheat a second time, we get the double smoked ham component we want for flavor.

Double Smoked Ham and Glaze Ingredients

  • Pre-Cured Ham
  • Dijon Mustard – Helps the seasoning stick to the ham and acidity to the glaze.
  • Seasoning – We prefer our sweet seasoning, which is a mix of brown sugar and savory spices.
  • Cherry Jam – Base for the glaze. You can substitute any jam flavor you like.
  • Brown Sugar – Sweetens and helps jam thicken.
  • Bourbon or Whiskey – Adds the base flavor while still cooking out the alcohol.
  • Orange Juice – Adds a nice citrus note and complexity.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – Adds acidity to prevent it tasting like jam and offsets the sweetness.
  • Kosher Salt and Allspice

Preparation

We’re adding big flavors to our ham, so we start by adding Dijon mustard to the outside of the ham to provide something for the rub to stick to. We then coat with a dry rub to the top of the ham to give it some bark as we smoke it. This will also add great outside flavors and a slight crunch.

seasoned ham on a sheet tray ready to go into the smoker.

Finally we finish with our sweet and savory cherry bourbon glaze, which will slightly caramelize and give that nice added flavor to the finished ham.

How to make a Cherry Bourbon Glaze for Smoked Ham

Simply add black cherry jam, brown sugar, bourbon, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, and allspice into a small saucepan and bring it to a simmer, whisking often to let everything combine. The cherry jam will have small chunks of cherries in it, which will show up on the glaze. If you wish for a smoother glaze feel free to use a food processor or hand mixer to mix up the glaze so it’s smooth, not chunky. The glaze can be made in advance, then warmed up before applying to the ham.

Or you can make the glaze while the ham is smoking. If you make the glaze the day before it will thicken up.

Can you use a different flavor jam? Yes you can substitute the cherry jam with any jam that you like. The additional ingredients should balance the sweet and savory.

How to Cook a Fully Cooked Ham on a Smoker

  1. We use fruit wood (cherry wood preferred) and smoke at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. After coating the ham with your Dijon and dry rub, you can place the ham on a tray, like in the photo below, or directly on your grill grates. For ease of transferring we like to use a sheet tray.
Ham cooking on a smoker
Spiralized Ham with Thermoworks Smoke Unit Monitoring Temperature
  1. If you have one, place a temperature probe alongside the bone, but not touching to monitor the internal temperature of the ham. We like using the Smoke unit by Thermoworks for a ham this size.
  2. What is important when cooking a smoked ham is keeping temps low and cooking it until the ham reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees F, and then glaze it. Glaze the ham once, then close the lid and continue cooking until the ham reaches 140 degrees, and then pull the ham from the smoker. If you add the glaze too soon it runs the risk of burning.
Glazing a double smoked ham with a cherry bourbon sauce
Adding glaze just prior to finished temperature.
  1. When you add it towards the end you get that nice bark from the dry rub, and then finish with that satisfying bourbon and cherry flavor. We find this is the best way to smoke a ham for ultimate flavor.
  2. Once you remove the ham from the smoker immediately apply one more coating of the glaze and let it set for 15 – 20 minutes. Serve warm.
Smoked Ham with Cherry Bourbon Glaze on a smoker

Wine Pairing for Double Smoked Ham

Most folks are usually enjoying a twice-smoked ham for a holiday meal with family and friends. There’s likely going to be a lot of different flavors in the mix, much like Thanksgiving, so we don’t need to freak out about something perfect for just the ham.

But when focusing just on the flavors of double smoking, we’ve got a lot of flavors going on here: smoky, sweet, savory. The meat itself is salty and sweet, and the glaze is bold. We’re looking to wines to stand up to this. One of my go-to wines for smoked ham is a bolder style Rosé. It truly fits the bill for all categories. But if you’re looking for something else, consider the following:

White wine can be great with ham, but a bit trickier with this glaze and dry rub. But those that fit the bill include a dry-ish Riesling or Chenin Blanc.

For reds shoot for something fruity, like Beaujolais or new world Pinot Noir. With the bold flavors of the glaze you can even reach for a Zinfandel. It would be great with this!

Smoked ham resting on a platter

Frequently Asked Questions

Is double smoked ham safe to eat?

Yes, double smoked ham is safe to eat as long as it has been properly cooked and stored. It’s important to ensure that the ham has been cooked to an internal temperature of 140°F to kill any potential bacteria.

Can I freeze double smoked ham?

Yes, double smoked ham can be frozen for later use before it’s been smoked. It’s best to wrap the ham tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and then place it in a freezer-safe container or bag. When ready to use, allow the ham to thaw in the refrigerator before cooking or serving.

Does double smoked ham need to be cooked?

If the ham is pre cured and smoked then technically it has already reached the safe cooking temperature and you can enjoy cold. But if you want it to have that extra flavor of smoke then smoking it a second time is a great way. If you cook a second time be sure the ham reaches the appropriate internal temperature.

What is the best wood for smoked ham?

Any fruit wood like apple and cherry are perfect for the level of sweetness it adds to the ham. Oak and hickory work well too for more of a woodsmoke flavor. We do not recommend mesquite as it is the smokiest and is almost too intense.

How long will it take to smoke ham at 225 degrees F?

Plan 20 minutes a pound. So an 8 pound ham will take just under 3 hours plus resting time.

How long will it take to smoke ham at 250 degrees F?

Plan 15 minutes a pound. So an 8 pound ham will take 2 hours plus resting time.

Side dishes for Holiday Ham

Leftover Ideas

Leftover ham is also amazing as a ham hash recipe or as a base to a Cuban Sandwich. Or use the ham slices for any ham sandwich. It’s also incredible if you make a ham benedict just sub the ham in our smoked salmon benedict recipe.

Or try it in our grilled ham and cheese slider recipe.

Useful Products for this Recipe


About Vindulge

Mary (a certified sommelier and recipe developer) and Sean (backyard pitmaster) are co-authors of the critically acclaimed cookbook, Fire + Wine, and have been creating content for the IACP nominated website Vindulge since 2009. They live in Oregon on a farm just outside Portland.

cookbook cover

Now on 2nd edition

Fire + Wine Cookbook


“This book is a one-stop guide for anyone truly interested in elevating their BBQ experience into a culinary work of art.”
5 out of 5 Stars
San Francisco Book Review


This recipe was originally published in April of 2019 and updated in October 2022 with additional information and photos. The original recipe remains the same.

If you like this recipe we’d truly appreciate it if you would give this recipe a star review! And if you share any of your pics on Instagram use the hashtag #vindulge. We LOVE to see it when you cook our recipes. 

Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
4.62 from 49 votes

Double Smoked Ham Recipe with Cherry Bourbon Glaze

Recipe for double smoked ham with cherry and bourbon glaze. Slowly smoked and finished with an amazing cherry and bourbon sticky glaze.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 4 hours
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8 people

Ingredients 

  • 1 10 pound bone-in ham,, (We use Snake River Farms Kurobuta Ham)
  • cup Dijon mustard
  • ¾ cup dry rub

For the Cherry Glaze

  • ½ cup cherry jam
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup bourbon or whiskey
  • 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice

Instructions 

For the Glaze

  • In a small sauce pan over medium heat, add all ingredients and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes and remove. Let cool. Will thicken as it cools. Can be made in advance. Reheat slightly before applying. 

For Smoking the Ham

  • Preheat Smoker: Set smoker to 250 degrees Fahrenheit using fruit wood (we like cherry).
  • Season Ham: Coat ham with Dijon mustard and liberally apply dry rub, and place into smoker on a sheet pan or in a small aluminum pan (uncovered). Insert a digital meat thermometer temperature probe if you have one.
  • Smoke Ham: Smoke at 250 until the internal temperature of the ham reaches 130 degree Fahrenheit.
  • Glaze Ham: Glaze the ham with half the glaze. Close the lid and continue cooking until your internal temperature of the ham reaches 140 degrees. 
  • Remove and Glaze Again: Remove from smoker and glaze the ham once more with the remaining glaze. Let sit for 20 minutes and serve. 

Video

Notes

We use our Ultimate Dry Rub for this recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 143kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 224mg | Potassium: 108mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 190IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 89mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Resting Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Course: Entree
Cuisine: American, holiday
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 143
Keyword: Cherry Bourbon Glaze, Double Smoked Ham, Smoked Ham, Twice Smoked Ham
Like this recipe? Leave a comment below!


mary cressler headshot

Vindulge

About Mary


I'm Mary, a wine/food/travel writer, Certified Sommelier, mom of twins, former vegetarian turned BBQ fanatic, runner, founder of Vindulge, and author of Fire + Wine cookbook. Thanks for stopping by!

You May Also Like:

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

26 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Just made this for Thanksgiving dinner today and it was a hit! We couldn’t find cherry jam so we used raspberry. Added some chopped fresh rosemary to the glaze also, because we love a raspberry-rosemary combo and rosemary ham is delicious. It was so tasty! And so easy to make on our Traeger. Thanks!

  2. 5 stars
    My family loves this recipe. I’ve always made it with a half bone in ham but this year I got a whole bone in ham from SRF. It’s 17 lbs.. Any suggestions on cook time or.increasing ingredients.as this ham.is bigger than the ones I’ve previously smoked.

    1. 17 pounds!!!! Amazing, we want to join you! So yes, on cooking time, assume a 20% increase in the cooking time to the center of the ham. And I would double the cherry glazer recipe. With one that size, it is better to have leftover sauce. If your ham is done early, wrap it and store in a cooler to keep it warm.

  3. 5 stars
    This was absolutely amazing! I had never heard of a twice smoked ham but we always use our smoker for thanksgiving to free the oven up and this was pretty much the easiest meat I’ve ever smoked and so phenomenal!! Next year we’re making this again and the tried and true smoked Turkey from this site (the best turkey recipe we’ve ever made and that’s saying something!). Try this ham, you won’t regret it! Plus you can dice and freeze the leftovers for quiches, fried rice, whatever.

  4. Curious on reheating instructions. For example, I smoke this for someone the day ahead. What instructions would you give for them to reheat in an oven?

    1. Michael – for reheating I would do it in an oven at 250. Ideally if you have a sheet tray and a cookie rack, place the cookie rack on the sheet tray. Pour some liquid (water) in the sheet tray. On the cookie rack place the ham and then cover in foil. Place in the oven. The steam will keep the tenderness. Pull when you hit the internal temperature you like.