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How to Reheat a Smoked Ham: 3 Methods for Delicious Results

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Have you ever found yourself with a store-bought smoked ham, eager to impress your guests with a holiday feast but unsure about the perfect way to reheat it? Join us on a culinary journey as we explore three foolproof methods to learn how to reheat a smoked ham to perfection.

When you pick up that fully cooked smoked ham from the grocery store, all you need to do is reheat it for a delectable holiday spread. Before we start though, I want to make sure you know the difference between smoked ham and fresh ham, this matters because one is already cooked, and the other is not.

This is a image showing How to reheat a smoked ham.

What is Ham?

Ham is a type of meat that is typically obtained from the hind leg of a pig. It can be prepared in various ways, including curing, smoking, and sometimes cooking.

This image is showing what a spiral smoked ham looks like. This image is used to show what we are going to reheat vs a green or fresh ham that would need to be fully cooked.
Fully cooked smoked ham

There are different types of ham, with the most common being:

  1. Fresh Ham (Green Ham): This is an uncured leg of pork. It is similar in appearance to a roast and is not preserved with curing salts. Fresh ham is typically cooked like other cuts of pork.
  2. Cured Ham: Ham is often cured with a mixture of salt, sugar, and sometimes other flavorings. This curing process helps preserve the meat and gives it a distinct salty flavor. Cured ham can be further divided into various types, such as city ham, country ham, and prosciutto.
  3. Smoked Ham: Some cured hams are also smoked to add a smoky flavor. This is common in many varieties, including American-style hams.
  4. Cooked Ham: Some hams are fully cooked during processing, making them ready to eat or requiring only reheating before consumption. Cooked ham is often used for deli meat. 

Frequently, ham can combine several of these characteristics, as exemplified by a Honey Baked Ham. In this case, it undergoes curing, smoking, and finally, a delectable glazing process.

This pictures shows pouring a glaze over a smoked ham that has been reheated.

People enjoy ham in various culinary dishes, including sandwiches, omelets, and quiches, and as the centerpiece of holiday feasts, showcasing its versatility as meat. The flavor, texture, and preparation methods of ham vary widely, making it a popular and widely consumed meat product in many parts of the world.

Ensuring You Have a Thoroughly Cooked Ham: Why It Matters

Given our discussion about a fully cured and cooked ham, it’s crucial to verify that the ham you’ve acquired is indeed fully cooked and not in its uncooked state. When you visit a grocery store, you’ll come across smoked ham, but you might also encounter fresh ham or what’s known as “green” ham.

This is a close up of the smoked ham with the person pointing at "Fully Cooked". The purpose of this image is to make sure the audience knows the difference between a smoked ham that is fully cooked and a green or fresh ham that is raw and needs to be cooked.
Make sure you buy a fully cooked ham and not a fresh or “green” ham

Fresh or green ham refers to a ham that has not undergone the cooking or curing process.

According to Michigan State University, “You can identify if the ham has been processed as the package will say what type of ham it is.” The label should also tell you if the ham needs to be cooked or not. 

What is a smoked ham?

Although you may know what a smoked ham is, I thought it might be useful for some people to know exactly what and how it is. A smoked ham is a fully cooked ham that has been cured and then smoked. 

Curing Process

The process typically involves taking a raw ham and curing it with a mixture of salt, sugar, and various seasonings. After curing, the ham is then smoked, which imparts a distinct smoky flavor and helps to preserve the meat.

Smoking Process

The smoking process can vary, and different types of wood or other flavorings may be used to add specific taste profiles to the ham. Smoking also contributes to the ham’s characteristic pink color. 

Ham Ready to be smoked | Photo Credit: Canva.com

Different ways it is used

Smoked ham can be found in various forms, including whole hams, ham steaks, and sliced ham for sandwiches or other dishes. It is a popular ingredient in many cuisines and is often served during holidays and special occasions such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. 

Picture from Canva showing the smoked ham being in the center of a holiday feast.
Photo Credit: Canva.com

Smoked ham is fully cooked

It is important to reiterate that smoked ham is fully cooked and this recipe is dedicated to showing 3 ways to reheat a smoked ham. As such, smoked ham can be eaten cold or heated, and it is known for its savory, salty, and smoky flavor.

A good example of this is Honey Baked Ham. Honey Baked Ham is a spiral-sliced ham that undergoes smoking and is often enjoyed both cold and hot.

How to Reheat a Smoked Ham: Best Practices and Techniques

Now that we know what a smoked ham is and why when we need to cook or reheat a ham depending on what type it is, let’s go over my favorite 3 ways on how to reheat a smoked ham. 

The first thing you need to know is the weight of the smoked ham. This will determine how long you cook the ham. The weight should be listed on the package; if not, you can weigh it beforehand.

This image is showing that you need to know the weight of your smoked ham before reheating it. The weight tells us how long we will need to reheat it for.

Method #1: Reheating a Smoked Ham on the Orion Cooker

By far my favorite method of how to reheat smoked ham is using the Orion Cooker. The main reason I love this method is the simplicity in which it works. I conducted an honest review of the Orion Cooker, and you can explore the details and discover why I’m impressed with it in my dedicated blog post

picture of the orion cooker with charcoal lit.

I’ll skip the lengthy explanation in this post and skip right to the straightforward instructions on using it.

Tools Needed:

Instructions:

Preparations

  • Fill the bottom ring and top ring with match light charcoal. If using regular charcoal, make sure to soak the charcoal with lighter fluid. 
  • Next, if you want to add a little extra smoke flavor and color, (which I recommend), add some wood chips to the outside edge of the drip pan at the bottom of the inside of the Orion Cooker. 
  • Next, add your rack.
  • Remove all the packaging from the ham and then place your ham on the rack. If you have half ham or 1/4 ham, place it on the rack with the flat side down and the fat cap up. If you have a whole ham, place it on the flattest side with the fat cap up. This allows the fat to drip down, basting the ham as it cooks. 
  • Place meat prob from the remote meat thermometer into the ham. This will help to monitor the internal temperature. 
  • Close the lid. 

Cooking

  • Light the Charcoal and set your timer. Orion is a timer-based cooker. Your time starts when you light the charcoal. Trust the time and do not open the lid as this greatly affects the cooking time. 
  • For an 8 to 9-pound ham, you will cook for 1hr 40 minutes or about 13 mins per lb. 
  • Once time is reached, the remote BBQ alarm temp should be close to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If this temp is reached earlier, you can remove ham at that time. 
  • If you do not have a remote BBQ alarm (meat probe and thermometer) you can use an instant-read meat thermometer to check the internal temp after the time is done. 
  • For reheating precooked ham, the 140-degree Fahrenheit range is a good serving temperature for ham slices but anything within 140 to 150 is adequate.
This is a image showing How to reheat a smoked ham.
Ham that has been reheated on the Orion Cooker

Note: Don’t fret, the charcoal and lighter fluid never come in contact with the food. The food will seal inside the chamber of the Orion Cooker, while the charcoal will supply heat from the outside of the cooker.

Method #2 Reheating a smoked ham in a roaster oven

Using a roaster oven to reheat a smoked ham is a great choice and one that will make a very juicy ham. This method uses an appliance that is similar to a slow cooker, but on a larger scale to be able to fit a large ham.

This image shows a smoked ham sitting in a roaster oven ready to be reheated.

This method also works well for cooking fresh ham, boneless hams, other precooked ham, and even a whole turkey. 

​Tools Needed:

Preparations

  • Add 2 cups of water or chicken stock to the bottom pan then replace the rack. 
This image is a person adding chicken stock to a roaster oven in order to reheat a smoked ham.
  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. 
This image is showing the temperature setting on a roaster oven.
  • Remove all the packaging from the ham and place on the rack.
  • Place meat prob from the remote meat thermometer into the ham. This will help to monitor the internal temperature. 
This image shows a remote meat thermometer placed in the center of a smoked ham that is about to be reheated in order to be served.

Cooking

  • Place the ham on the rack with the fat cap up and close the lid. 
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes per pound. 
  • Once the meat probe reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the ham from the roasting oven. If you do not have a remote BBQ alarm (meat probe and thermometer) you can use an instant-read meat thermometer to check the internal temp. 
This image is showing what the Thermoworks Smoke Remote BBQ alarm looks like.
Once the ham reaches 140 degrees, you are done.

Method #3 Reheating a smoked ham in the oven

The next and last method I am going to recommend is reheating a smoked ham in the conventional oven. The benefit of this option is it is the least expensive option as most people will already have an oven in their house. We will use a low heat and slow cooking time, along with a roasting pan to produce a flavorful and juicy ham. 

This image shows someone putting a precooked ham in the oven in order to show how to reheat a smoked ham.

The oven produces great results, but in my opinion, the other two methods mentioned above are the best ways to cook a pre-cooked ham.

​Tools Needed:

Preparations:

  • The oven temperature we are using will be 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Preheat the oven to that temperature. 
  • Place a cup of water or chicken stock in the bottom of the pan. 
  • Place meat prob from the remote meat thermometer into the ham. This will help to monitor the internal temperature.
This image shows a remote meat thermometer placed in the center of a smoked ham that is about to be reheated in order to be served.
  • Next, put the ham on the rack in the pan and cover tightly with a single layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. 

Cooking:

  • Cook for 10-15 minutes per pound of ham until the meat thermometer reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit. 
This image shows someone putting a precooked ham in the oven in order to show how to reheat a smoked ham.
  • Once the meat probe reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the ham from the roasting oven. If you do not have a remote BBQ alarm (meat probe and thermometer) you can use an instant-read meat thermometer to check the internal temp. 
Note: If you do not have a roasting pan, you could use a baking dish.

​Serving

Ham is typically served in slices. If you have a spiral-cut ham, you can serve the ham on a platter and let guest cut their own slice. You could also precut the slices of ham and serve them on a platter. 

What to serve with smoked ham

Conclusion

In conclusion, adding a perfectly warmed pre-cooked ham to your holiday table is not just a good idea; it’s the secret ingredient for creating a delicious meal that your guests will remember. The tender, flavorful, and moist holiday ham, carefully prepared in your roasting oven, Orion cooker, or conventional oven, will undoubtedly be the centerpiece of your holiday table. 

Its exquisite taste and impressive presentation will make your holiday table complete. So, whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, or any special occasion, consider including a holiday ham as a delightful addition to your holiday festivities. Your holiday table and your guests will thank you for this delectable addition.

FAQ’s

What can I do with leftover ham?

If you have leftover ham, cut the remaining ham off the bone and place it in an airtight container. It will be good in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

Can I freeze leftover ham?

Yes. Place in a freezer-safe container or freezer-safe ziplock bag. It will be good for 2 to 3 months in the freezer.

Can I use any pre-cooked ham for this recipe?

Yes, you can use various pre-cooked ham types, but ensure it is fully cooked and follow specific packaging instructions if available.

How do I prevent the ham from drying out during warming?

Covering the ham with foil when cooking in the oven with help with drying out. The other two methods do a great job of conserving moisture. Also, make sure to monitor the internal temperature as this is key to maintaining moisture. You do not want to overcook the ham.

What can I use to glaze the ham for added flavor?

You can use the ham’s own juices to bast or glaze the ham, a glaze from the packaging, or a homemade glaze to enhance the flavor.

Can I use a roasting bag instead of foil?

Yes, you can use a roasting bag for a similar effect. Just follow the bag’s instructions.

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