Bourbon Cherry Glazed Ham


April 8, 2023

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Ham is the classic choice for Easter, whether its center stage for brunch or dinner. Typically you’ll find your ham glazed with brown sugar, but if you’re in the mood for something new you’ve come to the right place!

So why do we eat ham for Easter? Traditionally, animals were harvested in fall allowing the meat to cure through the winter. The ham would be ready to eat in the spring, making it the perfect main dish for spring holidays.

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For this year’s ham, Mike heated up the smoker and pulled inspiration from his favorite drink, an Old Fashioned.

“I wanted a barbaque flavor with some salt and spice under the glaze.”


The importance of a low and slow method is just as much about candying the outside as it is about warming the center. For this Mike took to the smoker. We’ve had our RecTeq for 2 years now and love it!

Preheat the smoker to 250 degrees. To allow for a smoky rich flavor that will leave your ham juicy and tender.

Some alterations can be made:

  • If you have the time, you could smoke it a little longer at 225 degrees. This will give you a little smokier flavor.
  • If you’re in a hurry, you could turn it up as high as 300 degrees to warm it quicker.
  • If you do not have a smoker, the oven will work just fine.

The best way to monitor your temperature is with a temperature probe. Ultimately you want the ham to reach an internal temperature of 140 degrees. For us, that took approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes with the RecTeq set to 250 degrees. The smoker came with two meat probes, but if you’re looking for one I highly recommend this one.

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After you’ve preheated the smoker, take some time to prepare the precooked, spiral cut ham. Rinse and pat dry. You’ll want to use some kind of binder for seasoning. So, consider duck fat oil or spray olive oil.

For a layered flavor, you’ll want to add spices under the glaze. For this Mike reaches for Everglades Rub (a little heavier on the sugar) and Jack Daniel’s Pork Rub. Something like Meat Mitch’s Honey Bacon Rub is a great choice, too.

Once your ham is seasoned, place it in your preheated smoker with the widest part face down. Insert the meat thermometer, and close your smoker.

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The flavors of glazes change with the seasons. Making your own takes only a few ingredients.

“Have fun with this…experiment based on what you like.”

Add ingredients below in a small sauce pan over low-medium heat until thoroughly combined.

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 4 heaping spoonfuls of cherry preserves
  • honey
  • 2 Tablespoons of Jack Daniel’s Rub
  • 1.5 ounces Bourbon

Mike was inspired by his go-to drink, a classic Old Fashioned. We like the richness of cherry over ham, but don’t feel limited. You can easily swap cherry for other flavors in this glaze recipe. Things like jalapeno or habanero pepper jelly are great. Pineapple preserves over ham is awesome when you can find them, too.

Once the ham’s internal temperature reaches 120 degrees, brush the glaze over the entire ham. You’ll want to do this 2-3 times until the ham reaches 140 degrees internally.

Our RecTeq took 2 hours set at 250 degrees for the ham to reach an internal temperature of 125 degrees. We continued to glaze the ham for another 40-45 minutes until the ham reached a temperature of 140 degrees.

Once the ham is complete you’re ready to carve and serve warm. While we’ll be enjoying our Bourbon Cherry Glazed Ham for Easter, this recipe is perfect for all your gatherings!

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