Twice-Smoked Ham:
How & Why to Smoke a Smoked Ham a Second Time

Looking for a special way to cook a ham? Start with a smoked ham and then, yes, smoke it again. The second smoke transforms an already good ham into something that's smoky-good and with perfect texture for serving at room temperature in a buffet or gently rewarmed in the oven for serving hot at the table.

Twice-Smoked Ham

The story of my obsession with ham, especially Twice-Smoked Ham, begins four years and 200 pounds of ham ago.

Inspired by a recipe from a food magazine, I went hunting for a Christmas ham, not just any ham, mind you, but the exact one specified in that ‘preferably’ language that recipes use – a ‘smoked ham, bone-in, shank end’ ham.

My teenage nephew was along, our first stop was Whole Foods where we found little more than blank stares. “Com’on, Auntie Al. Let’s get a honey-baked spiral ham,” he pressed, already bored with my pursuit.

Plan B, however, was what we ‘always’ serve for Christmas, a beef roast. So off we went to Ladue Market, the only place in St. Louis to buy prime meat, where the butcher counter just happened – get this – to sport a hand-lettered sign, ‘WE HAVE MILLER HAMS’. Instantly curious, I asked, “What’s a Miller Ham?” Turns out, a Miller Ham is a locally cured ham, smoked. “Could I get the shank end?” Sure! Plan A was back.

The best news came at the check-out when a 15-pound ham cost about the same as maybe two pounds of prime beef. Call me hooked on ham. Since then, I’ve found a place that sells Miller hams for $2 a pound, not $3. Call me really hooked.

WHY SMOKE A SMOKED HAM A SECOND TIME? Now I love a good baked ham and will share one or maybe two great recipes along the way. But a Twice-Smoked Ham, it’s almost its own category of ham.

The first difference is in taste. It’s just sooo smoky good, somehow it tastes like what ham is ‘supposed’ to taste like, none of the sugary-sweet business of expensive spiral-cut hams, just real meat, real ham.

The second difference is in texture. The extra time in the smoker removes some of the ‘wetness’ that plagues hams these days. It moves closer to a country ham that’s less wet – although I promise, this ham is as moist as can be, it’s not dry, it’s just not overly wet. While I’ve never tasted a country ham, I think we’ve maybe achieved something akin to a country ham, although more smoky than salty.

HAM 101, a PRIMER When I first started buying ham, I found all the terms confusing and couldn't figure out if ham were already cooked or not. So I've put together what I call Ham 101: What to Know Before Buying a Ham including tips on finding a locally produced ham in your own area.

LEFTOVER HAM The trick to Twice-Smoked Ham is making sure there is enough for leftovers! You'll want to be sure to save the ham bone to make Ham & Beans but there's also the substantial Ham & Eggs.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via recipes@kitchen-parade.com. How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Become a Kitchen Parade fan on Facebook!

TWICE-SMOKED HAM

Hands-on time: 10 minutes plus regular attention during second smoke
Time to table: 24 hours
  • 1 whole smoked ham, bone in
  • Whole cloves

Soak some four-inch hickory logs in water. They should be cut to fit the smoker firebox.

Glaze the ham with a sticky mixture of water, salt and brown sugar, maybe some good mustard. Let dry somewhat and glaze again. Or stick the ham with cloves, not too many, 10 for a little spice, 20 for a lot. Or both. We like both.

Place some charcoal in the firebox and light. Read the paper. The daily is about the right length of time. Put a pan of water in the smoker. Put the ham in the smoker.

Play ball with the grandchildren. After about two hours add a little charcoal. Remember, you are not cooking the ham, you are smoking the ham. Take a nap.

Two hours later add another log. Go for a walk or to the store or whatever you like to do on a Saturday.

Overnight, try to check the smoke output about every four hours adding a log and charcoal as needed.

If you are so inclined, go to church on Sunday morning. If not, read the Sunday paper while enjoying a cup or two of coffee. Discuss the news with someone dear to you. Be civil.

As the noon hour approaches, bring the ham inside and let it stand for an hour. With luck, your guests will bring side dishes. If not, you should have planned accordingly. If this is a family occasion, there should be enough children to organize a baseball game. Get the local ground rules straight before the game.

After the game, the ham will be ready to slice and serve.

After dinner, put the bone in a large pot with some beans. Add onion. Simmer a long time. Eat the ham ‘n’ beans Monday night.

Careful readers will notice a change in 'voice', this recipe versus all others. Full disclosure, count this as the first – and perhaps ever-only – Kitchen Parade recipe I’ve never cooked myself. But when your favorite cook is a master on the grill, the smoker, a China box, heavens, even a pit dug in the ground for cooking a whole hog, it’s smart to let expertise speak for itself. If someone mans the smoker in your life? I suggest passing along the idea.

ALANNA's TIPS For a buffet, Twice-Smoked Ham is best served barely warm turning to room temperature. But it’s also fabulous served hot. Smoke the ham a day or two ahead, cover and refrigerate. Return to room temperature, cover with foil and rewarm in a 350F oven until the meat reaches an internal temperature of about 120F. If you’re smoking one smoked ham, why not smoke two or three? Hams are quite inexpensive, they would make great gifts at Christmas or even Easter. Since ham doesn’t freeze well, choose the size of ham enough for the main meal and leftovers for a few days.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE (How many calories in ham? How many Weight Watchers points in ham?) Per Three-Ounce Serving: 133 Calories; 4g Tot Fat; 2g Sat Fat; 46mg Cholesterol; 1709mg Sodium; 0g Carb; 0g Fiber; 0g Sugar; 21g Protein; Weight Watchers 3 points

Just Look at This Gorgeous Ham!


Twice-Smoked Ham

Those first slices of Twice-Smoked Ham are coveted! The smokiness, the moistness, the richness are so enticing, people gather round, ready to snatch the first slices of ham.


An Easter Menu

Mini Crab Bites
Herbed Saltines

~ Twice-Smoked Ham ~
(recipe above)
with
Spicy Raisin Sauce

Asparagus Whole-Wheat Bread Pudding
(for vegetarians)

World's Best Green Casserole
Creamy Carrot Purée
Classic Seven-Layer Salad
from A Veggie Venture

Vegetable Biryani for a Crowd
from One Hot Stove
(Nupur brought this for Christmas one year, fabulous)
Walnut Chocolate Cake

More Easter Specialties

(hover for a description, click a photo for a recipe)
Hot Cross Buns Choereg, Aremenian Easter Bread Perfect M&M Cookies

Shop Your Pantry First

(helping home cooks save money on groceries)





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I have to say -- as a long-time friend of your Mom's -- that I recall you are the daughter who send not one but TWO Honey-Baked Hams for a reunion in the far reaches of Northern Minnesota. Both were delivered, one day apart, by cab from the airport over 100 miles away. But that was nearly 10 years ago. So this Twice-Smoked Ham must REALLY be good. I am hoping that sometime, somewhere I'll get to taste it. Happy Easter to all.
 
Hello dear OCHER friend ~ Thanks for the big laugh. Yes, twas me. But I didn't actually ORDER two honey-baked hams, but when the first was routed through Alabama or somewhere far removed from Minnesota, the company sent another. That was a LOT of ham.
 
Last year, we picked up not one, but two hams right before Easter, which my husband smoked. It doesn't take any more effort to smoke two than one!

They are absolutely wonderful! We took one and just cut it into cubes - packets of that went into the freezer for future soups, ham salad, casseroles . . . and the double-smoked ham bones, well, they made some mighty nice soup (one bean and one split pea)!
 
ToyLady ~ And here I thought we were being so original! ;-) You're absolutely right about smoking two, I have the idea, too, that at Christmas we should almost 'take orders' to give family members gifts of whole Twice-Smoked hams. Maybe someday!
 
Yummo!! We'll be doing this one again!
 
The twice-smoked ham [was] amazing, if I do say so myself...and I do.
 
HOW LONG DOES A SMOKED HAM LAST IN THE FREEZER?
 
Hi Anonymous ~ So you have a ham that's in the freezer and want to know if it's still good. If so, the standard for cooked meats is about two to three months according to the USDA.

That said, I don't recommend freezing ham if you can help it. The texture really changes and it's just not "ham" anymore, I'm afraid.

I hope this helps!
 

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna