By Christie Vanover | Published April 3, 2023 | Last Updated April 3, 2023
Release Date: April 3, 2023
LAS VEGAS – Grill up the perfect Easter ham with these last-minute tips from award-winning pitmaster Christie Vanover.
Read the Label
When shopping for an Easter ham at the grocery store, read the label. Look for packaging that says smoked and pre-sliced. These hams are usually in the refrigerated meat section and are packaged in shiny metallic plastic.
Because they’re already smoked, they’re already cooked, which leaves more time for preparing side dishes and desserts.
A fresh ham, on the other hand, is raw and uncured. It generally needs several days to cure and several hours to cook.
Remove all Packaging
Pre-smoked, pre-sliced hams are usually wrapped in thin plastic on the outside and a thicker vacuum-sealed plastic beneath that.
Once the ham is removed from the packaging, there is a piece of plastic on the bottom. It covers the bone, so no sharp edges break through the plastic. Be sure to remove it before cooking the ham.
Grill in a Pan
Because the ham has already been cooked, reheating it can cause it to dry out. To prevent this, place the ham in a large pan and add beer, soda, juice or water into the pan to create steam and moisture.
To double smoke a ham, heat a smoker or pellet grill to 250 F degrees. To quickly heat a pre-cooked ham without more smoke, heat the grill to 350 F degrees with an indirect heat zone.
No matter the grill temp, be sure to baste the ham with the liquid every 30-60 minutes to retain moisture.
An 8-10-pound ham cooked at 250 F degrees will take about 3 1/2 hours to heat through to 145 F degrees. A ham cooked at 350 F degrees will take around 2 1/2 hours.
Create a Glaze
The glaze is what separates a ho-hum ham into a social media-worthy ham. Most pre-smoked hams come with a glaze packet, but homemade glaze is even better.
Combine 1/2 cup of any flavor jelly or jam, 1/4 cup mustard and two tablespoons of soy sauce. Orange marmalade and apricot preserves are great options.
For those who like it sweet and spicy, use pepper jelly mixed with cherry preserves or add a couple dashes of hot sauce.
As the pre-sliced layers of ham start to shrink and separate, pour on the glaze and grill the ham for another 30 minutes, basting periodically.
Slice and Serve
By choosing a spiral-sliced ham, the butcher has done most of the work.
After the ham has rested for 15-20 minutes, simply glide a sharp knife along the edge of the grilled ham to remove the meat from the bone.
Save the bone for making a pot of greens or bean soup.
Follow these tips and Easter dinner will be a breeze. For more Easter grilling recipes and BBQ tips, visit girlscangrill.com.
Founded in 2015, Girls Can Grill is an online resource for all things related to griling and barbecuing. The site, which is owned and operated by pitmaster Christie Vanover, contains hundreds of recipes, how-to videos, product reviews and BBQ tips to help everyone from the beginnger barbecuer to the most advanced pitmasters. Christie has won multiple state BBQ championships, has been named the Nevada BBQ Team of the Year and has judged and promoted several BBQ competitions. She also has her own line of award-winning internationally distributed BBQ rubs.