How to Smoke Fresh Ham?

Smoking is an art that needs proper care and attention. 

If you are thinking of smoking fresh ham, then it is good for you. Fresh ham is delicious and it is healthier than smoked ham. 

It is full of nutrients and vitamins that can provide you with a healthy lifestyle.

You can enjoy many benefits by smoking ham-like:

  • Reduces the risk of cancer. Smoking ham is a good source of vitamin B12, which is a vitamin that can reduce the risk of cancer.
  • Gives you healthy skin. Ham is full of vitamin C and A that will make your skin healthy. It will also give you glowing skin and remove the dark patches on your face.
  • Cures constipation. Ham is full of lactic acid that will help in curing constipation.
  • It is low in calories. Ham is a portion of delicious food and it has fewer calories than smoked ham. So, you don’t need to worry about the calorie intake of ham.
  • Reduces the risk of heart diseases. Fresh ham is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is a type of fat that reduces the risk of heart diseases.

If you are planning to cook a ham then you need to make sure that it is fresh. If your ham is not fresh then it will spoil your food for the whole day. 

In this article, I will teach you how to smoke fresh ham most easily.

Equipment Needed to Smoke Fresh Ham

Some people insist on using electric smokers. If you are one of those people, remember that electric smokers tend to dry the meat out.

It does not matter what kind of smoker you use, it can be a regular one as well as charcoal. It is up to you to choose which piece of equipment you want.

What is the difference between a butt cut and a shank cut? Butt cut is a good choice for people who like meat with high-fat content.

This meat comes from the butt area on the upper parts of each leg. If you asked most gourmets, they would tell you that butt cut tastes better.

The piece of wood that contains lower amounts of fat is called the shank cut.

To smoke a ham perfectly you will need the following equipment.

  • Charcoal, wood chips, or pellets. As you are smoking it is up to you to choose, but it will be best if you choose the items mentioned above.
  • Dry rub. You need this. If you don’t have one you can get it online or in a nearby store. It adds awesome taste to your dish.
  • A little mustard.
  • Meat thermometer.
  • Aluminum foil.
  • Injector.

Injector Recipe

  • 2/4 cup of apple or pineapple juice
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • 1/3 cup of kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of your favorite sauce

Preheating the Smoker

Preheating the smoker correctly is one of the most important parts of smoking the ham. The process is not an easy one.

You need to make the most of your time. Prepare, season, and cut your ham so you won’t have to multitask later on. Light the flames. 

The smoker is ready if the color hits red. Putting the wood chips next is a good idea. When cooking fresh ham, the ideal temperature is 250 F.

Smoking Fresh Raw Ham in a Smoker

While waiting for your smoker, cut the ham in half with a sharp knife. This will make sure your meat won’t cook on the surface.

The cuts should only be half an inch deep. The next step is to add mustard. Don’t add too much. It’s just enough to cover the entire ham.

When the meat is ready the dry rub will stick to the mustard and make a nice combo. Put some dry rub in a bowl and roll your ham around.

Put the pieces on the grill once they are fully covered. The internal temperature of a smoker should be no higher than 250 F.

Depending on the amount of ham you have, you can cook it in 15-20 minutes per pound.


If you want to learn how to smoke ham, you should not open the smoker unless you need to cook it.

This is a bad cooking practice because when you open the smoker, hot air comes out and it brings the meat’s internal temperature down.

The meat should not be served as soon as you take it out of the smoker. Allow it to rest for about 10 minutes and then apply additional seasonings.

You will enjoy the perfect taste when the temperature goes down a few degrees.

How Long to Smoke a Fresh Ham Per Pound?

There’s no set rule. However, there are some guidelines. First, let’s address the fat content. The USDA’s safe meat guide states that “the higher the percentage of fat, the less the amount of salt and water that can be added and still meet FDA standards.”

The fat content of a ham ranges from 11-20 percent, depending on what region you get your ham from.

Ham also has a high sodium content. This can be avoided by getting the ham at a local butcher and asking them to trim it for you.

Overall it takes 15 to 20 minutes to smoke a fresh ham per pound. 

Reheating the Fresh Ham

Can ham leftovers be reheated and eaten? 

Of course! You can save it for the next day if you don’t want to eat a lot. The next day it’s even better.

How do we rewarm fresh ham without ruining the meat? You could use a frying pan instead of the smoker or grill.

  • Apply a little bit of oil as the ham cut already contains plenty of fat.
  • Add more dry rub and place it in the frying pan.
  • Now put the ham on the pan and cook it for ten minutes on both sides.
  • Now it is ready for eating.

How to Smoke a Fresh Ham in an Electric Smoker?

It takes two to three hours to smoke ham in an electric smoker. When the meat is fully cooked, the internal temperature of the meat must reach 170 degrees. It usually happens in 2.5 hours.


What temperature is ideal for smoking green ham?

Green ham smoked to 160°F/71°C is an ideal temperature for serving, with a crisp texture and flavor. For most people, this will take around five hours of smoking time at that temperature.

Do you need to bring a fresh ham before smoking?

Yes, but you can brine the ham for four days instead of two if needed. Start by making the brine, then follow these steps:

  • Place the ham in the pan or roaster. If using a roaster, cover with a double layer of aluminum foil.
  • In the roasting pan, pour water (about 4 cups) until the ham is covered.
  • Place in refrigerator for 24 hours.

What Kind of Wood Can I Smoke Ham With?

The most commonly smoked hams in the USA are dry-cured and are traditionally made from a natural ham, sometimes with added sugar.

They can be a bit saltier than a sweet ham, but they’re still delicious. You can smoke any ham you want, including boneless loin or sirloin.

The most common woods for smoking ham include apple, hickory, cherry, mesquite, and pecan.


Now you know how to smoke a perfect piece of ham. Follow the steps mentioned in this article carefully if the process seems too hard for you.

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