Robin Anish: Grill a ham for a summertime dinner treat

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When did you last cook a ham? Was it Christmas or Easter?

It was for me. Other than holidays, I don't much think of cooking ham. Baked ham is great for cooler weather, but not so much in the summer. No one wants to use the oven on a hot summer day. That's why we grill outdoors. So then, why not grill a ham?

When cooked over charcoal, a ham takes on another layer of smoky flavor; in other words, a double-smoked ham, which is absolutely delicious.

The Kingsford charcoal website offers this detailed method for charcoal grilling a whole ham.


Set up your coals in a parallel configuration. In this configuration, coals burn slowly in two rows on either side of the grill, with a water pan in the center to provide a moist environment and help stabilize temperatures. This configuration provides long, steady heat for grill-roasting your ham.

This method works with a fully cooked, whole or half ham, butt or shank. For the juiciest ham, do not use a spiral cut ham. Prepare by scoring the ham about 1/4-inch deep in a crosshatch pattern to allow seasonings to penetrate the meat. Then apply spicy dry rub (recipe below). If the ham has skin, remove it and trim fat to 1/4-inch.

Place the seasoned ham in the center of the grate, right over the water pan with the coals on either side. Put the lid on your grill and adjust your vents to maintain a temperature of about 325 degrees F. Add more coals as necessary. Since hams are already smoked, additional smoke wood is not essential, but you can add some if you like. Let your ham grill-roast for roughly 15 minutes per pound. Because the ham is already fully cooked, you just need to bring it up to temperature.

When the ham reaches about 120 degrees F, it's time for you to apply a sweet glaze, if you like. Try the Pineapple Honey-Lime Glaze recipe below. Brush the glaze on periodically until the ham reaches a final temperature of 135 degrees F.

Let the ham rest for about 10 minutes to cool prior to slicing. Slice the ham across the grain into slices about 1/4-inch thick. If you have a bone-in ham, cut large pieces of the ham away from the bone first, then thinly slice the large pieces on your cutting board.

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2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon paprika, smoked or sweet

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1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon mustard powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper


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1/4 cup pineapple juice

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 cup honey

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup butter


Combine ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to simmer, stirring, until slightly thicken and syrupy. Cool.

Smoky and sweet, this ham will be a real treat alongside potato salad, macaroni salad, a fresh garden salad or corn on the cob, all the classic picnic foods we love.


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