American-style Brown-Sugar-Glazed Holiday Ham
Published by W. W. Norton
This is the classic American baked ham, like the honey-baked ham most are familiar with—as worthy a ham tradition as those of Europe. The ham is brined, then hot-smoked and glazed, after which it can be eaten cold or baked in a low oven to rewarm.
16 to 18 servings
Cooking Methodbrining, smoking
Total Timea day or more
Make Ahead RecipeYes
OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together
Recipe Coursemain course
Dietary Considerationmain course
Taste and Texturemeaty, savory, smoky, spiced, sweet
- 1 gallon/4 liters water
- 1 ½ cups/350 grams kosher salt
- 2 packed cups/360 grams dark brown sugar
- 1 ½ ounces/42 grams pink salt (8 teaspoons)
- One 12- to 15-pound/5.5 to 6.75-kilogram fresh ham, skin and aitch-bone removed
- 1 ½ packed cups/270 grams dark brown sugar
- ¾ cup/185 milliliters Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon/20 grams minced garlic
Combine all the brine ingredients in a container large enough to hold the ham and stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. Submerge the ham in the brine, weight it down to keep it completely submerged and soak for 6 to 8 days (half a day per pound/450 grams).
Remove the ham, rinse it under cool water, and pat dry. Place it on a rack set on a baking sheet and refrigerate it, uncovered for 12 to 24 hours.
Hot-smoke the ham at 200 degrees F/93 C for 2 hours.
Meanwhile, mix the brown sugar, Dijon, and garlic in a bowl until smooth. Brush the ham with glaze (reserve the remainder) return it to the smoker, and smoke until it reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees F/68 degrees C.
Remove the ham from the smoker and brush with the remaining glaze. Allow to cool, and refrigerate.
To serve, slice and serve cold, or reheat it in 275-degree-F/140-degree-C oven until warm in the center (test with a metal skewer).
2005 Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn