Heating a "ready-to-eat" ham using the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker is quick, easy, and makes a great addition to your holiday table. This one with an apricot and whole-grain mustard glaze is inspired by a recipe from Martha Stewart.
Here are some pictures I took on May 24, 2008 when I prepared this ham.
As always...click on any of the pictures to view a larger image.
Choose A "Ham With Natural Juices"
Purchase a half ham labeled "ready-to-eat", meaning that you don't have to cook the ham before serving, you just need to heat it up. Also, look for the term "ham with natural juices" on the label. This indicates a high-quality ham.
Remove the ham from its packaging and place it face down on a foil-lined pan that will fit on the top cooking grate in the WSM (Photo 1). The ham shown here is a butt-end, ready-to-eat half ham with natural juices, weighing 10.62 pounds.
To learn more about the various types of ham and ham terminology, visit the Ham Selection & Preparation page.Smoke Wood Is Optional
The ham I used was a high-quality applewood smoked ham. I decided not to use smoke wood for added flavor, knowing that I would get just a bit of flavor from the charcoal alone.
Depending on your ham, you may want to use 2 chunks of apple smoke wood. Each chunk should be small, for example 3" x 2" x 2" or similar. In this case, a little bit goes a long way—you don't want to overpower the meat. Another mild fruit wood can be used if apple is not available.
There is no need to soak the wood or remove the bark before use.Fire-Up The WSM
Fire-up the cooker using the Minion Method. Fill the charcoal chamber 1/2 full with unlit Kingsford charcoal briquettes, then place 20-40 lit coals on top of the unlit ones along with any smoke wood chunks.
Put the water pan in the cooker and fill it with cool tap water to help with temperature control.
Heat & Glaze The Ham
Assemble the cooker and put the ham on the top cooking grate. Insert a probe thermometer in the thickest part of the ham to monitor internal temperature during cooking.
Set the 3 bottom
vents to 100% open. Open the top vent fully and leave it that way
throughout the entire cook.
Heat the ham at 225-250°F to an internal temperature of 110°F. Remove from the cooker and score the fat in a diamond pattern, making the lines about 3/4" apart. Brush with 3/4 of the glaze (see recipe below) then return the ham to the cooker.
Continue heating the ham until it reaches 120°F internal temperature, then brush with the remaining glaze. Return the ham to the cooker. It is ready to serve when it reaches 130°F internal.
Remember, there's no cooking involved here...a ready-to-eat ham is already fully cooked, so you're just heating the ham to serving temperature and glazing it with the apricot/mustard sauce. This may seem like a low finishing temperature, but anything much higher risks drying out the ham.
Here's how the cooker and meat temperatures went for this ham.
Note that the vent percentages represent the way I set the vents at the time indicated.
Prepare The Glaze
You'll need the following ingredients for the glaze:
In a 1-quart pot, bring apricot preserves to a simmer over medium-high heat (Photo 4). Place preserves in a blender and purée until smooth, about 2 minutes (Photo 5). Pass through a fine sieve. You should be left with slightly less than 1/2 cup of preserves.
In a small bowl, combine puréed apricot preserves, whole-grain mustard, and cider vinegar (Photo 6).
Apply glaze to ham as directed.
Serve The Ham
When the ham reaches an internal temperature of 130°F, it's ready to serve.
Photo 7 shows the finished ham served with roasted potatoes, pearl onions, and sprigs of thyme. Photo 8 shows a close-up of the diamond-scored and glazed surface of the ham.
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