BBQ Cooking: Cherry-Molasses Ham

BBQ cooking a ham

We tried out one of my new ideas for BBQ cooking this past weekend. I wanted to smoke a whole ham, but the grocery store was sold out, so I got two half-hams, instead. These were cured hams – not the salty country-cured hams, but the kind you’d typically bake in the oven. You can include this in with your Thanksgiving recipes, too – it’s great any time! 

The first thing I did was to remove most of the tough hide from the meat. I left a little around the leg joint. I made diagonal scores across the tops of the hams with a sharp knife. Next, I made a wet rub with 1 cup of molasses, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, and 2 teaspoons of ground cloves. I rubbed the hams all over and let them sit in the fridge overnight.

The next evening, hubby filled the water pan on the electric smoker with a mixture of cherry juice, apple juice, and water. He also placed some water-soaked hickory chips on the burner to provide smoky flavor. We usually use pecan wood, but we didn’t have any. The hickory worked out nicely, however. The hams went on the smoker next. We like to cook hams on the top rack, but it wouldn’t hold both, so we had to put one on the top rack and the other on the bottom rack. The hams were placed fat side up.

After the hams had smoked for six hours, I made the glaze:

  • ¼ cup cherry juice
  • ½ stick of butter
  • ½ cup molasses
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves

Cook the ingredients in a saucepan over high heat until a syrup forms. Stir frequently to prevent scorching. Brush on hams every hour for the last four hours of cooking.

We smoked the hams for about 12-13 hours. Once they were done, we brought them inside. I heated the glaze again and coated the hams with the rest of the glaze. If you want a crunchy ham glaze, you’ll need to boil the graze on high until it caramelizes. While the ham glaze is boiling, you’ll need to stir it constantly. Once the ham and glaze cool, it will become a crunchy ham glaze. If you don’t cook the glaze long enough, you’ll still have a wonderful glaze – sweet, sticky, and aromatic!