Grill-Roasted Ham

From Cook's Country | April​/May 2009

Why this recipe works:

Instead of spiral-sliced ham, which dried out on the grill, we chose uncut ham for our Grill-Roasted Ham recipe. The protective layer of fat on the outside of uncut ham allowed it to stay moist on the grill. Cooking the ham over indirect heat ensured moist, tender meat, while finishing it over… read more

Instead of spiral-sliced ham, which dried out on the grill, we chose uncut ham for our Grill-Roasted Ham recipe. The protective layer of fat on the outside of uncut ham allowed it to stay moist on the grill. Cooking the ham over indirect heat ensured moist, tender meat, while finishing it over direct heat yielded a crisp, charred crust. To prevent the fat from dripping onto the grill and setting fire to grill and meat, we used a roasting V-rack to keep the ham a safe distance from the flames. For a charred crust on all sides of the ham, we needed a safe way to turn the ham on the grill. Our solution was to use metal skewers to simulate a rotisserie: Skewer the meat on either side if the bone to create handles. Once the ham has cooked through, we turned it about every five minutes on the makeshift rotisserie. The fat rendered off, creating a tantalizing smoky, charred exterior all around.

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Serves 16 to 20

Do not use a spiral sliced ham; it will dry out on the grill. You will need two 12-inch metal skewers for this recipe.

Ingredients

  • 1 (7-to10-pound) cured bone-in ham (see note), preferably shank end, skin removed and fat trimmed to 1/4 inch thick.
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  1. 1. SCORE AND SEASON Score ham at 1-inch intervals in crosshatch pattern. Combine sugar, paprika, pepper, and cayenne in small bowl. Rub spice mixture all over ham. Transfer to V-rack and let stand at room temperature 1½ hours. Thread ham with metal skewers on both sides of the bone.

    2. ROAST HAM Heat all burners on high for 15 minutes, then leave primary burner on high and turn other burner(s) off. (For charcoal grill, open bottom vent on grill. Light 100 coals; when covered with fine gray ash, spread over half of grill. Set cooking grate in place and heat covered, with lid vent open halfway, for 5 minutes.) Scrape cooking grate. Arrange V-rack over cooler side of grill. Cook ham, covered, until meat registers 100 degrees, about 1½ hours.

    3. CRISP HAM Turn all burners to low. (For charcoal grill, light about 25 coals. When coals are covered with fine gray ash, remove grill grate and scatter over top of spent coals. Replace grill grate and position V-rack directly over coals.) Grill ham until lightly charred on all sides, about 30 minutes, turning ham every 5 minutes. Transfer to cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest 15 minutes. Carve and serve.

Ham on the Move

To develop the smoky char of the grill on all sides, we needed a way to manipulate the unwieldy ham as it sat in a V-shaped roasting rack. We used metal skewers as a makeshift rotisserie. They let us turn the bulky ham with ease. Don't forget oven mitts—the skewers get hot as the ham heats.

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