Mike LangGrilling, Pork

What's on the Grill #201: Grilled Ham w/Bourbon, Molasses & Pecan Glaze

Mike LangGrilling, Pork

It's New Year's Day and as is usual with the holidays, the last week has been a blur.  I'm fairly certain Christmas was last weekend.


For a change-up of year's past, we hosted Christmas dinner.  Never being one to do things on a small scale, I opted to pick up 36 pounds of meat...for 6 people.  Let's just say I had leftovers in mind.  With Zoe hard at work prepping the table and everything else, I concentrated on my mission: the meat.

Snowy grills

Christmas Day was cold.  Not exactly the ideal weather for all day grilling.  At least with the snow it made the day even more festive.

On track

Anytime I have long cooks planned, doubly so when it's a special occasion, I always, always write out a schedule.  It's important to keep track of the different grills, what goes on when and where my beer breaks are.  It takes a lot of the stress of managing special meals.  I wholeheartedly recommend doing it, if you don't already.

Ham with Bourbon, Molasses & Pecan Glaze

Based on a recipe from Epicurious

1/2 cup orange juice

1/3 cup bourbon

1 3/4 cups brown sugar

1 cup pecans, toasted, cooled, finely ground

1/4 cup molasses

3 tbls dry mustard

1 whole bone-in ham.  Mine was 20 pounds.

To the grill...

1.  Boil the juice & bourbon and reduce to about a 1/3 cup.  Combine the sugar, pecans, molasses & mustard in a bowl.  Add the bourbon mixture and stir to form a thick paste.  (This can be made a day ahead of time, but I didn't).

2.  My ham was already cooked. I meant to buy semi-cooked, but during my ham dive at the grocery I guess I ended up grabbing the wrong one.  My ham also had skin, which I removed prior to grilling.  I left all of the fat, which wasn't much, intact.

3.  Prep the kettle for indirect medium (350 F) and place a drip pan below the grate at charcoal level.  For cooking time, figure 10 minutes per pound, which for my ham was about 3 1/2 hours.

4.  At this time mark (130-135 internal temp), remove the ham from the grill.  Lightly score the top of the ham with a knife and then rub the glaze over the top and sides.  Next, return the ham to the grill, but at indirect high (425 F).  I slightly cheated here by placing the ham on the gas grill.  Ideally I would have ramped up the temp on the kettle, but with the cold weather already proving a challenge, I opted for the easier route.  Once in at the higher temp, cook for 25 minutes more or until the glaze bubbles.  Let stand for 25 minutes then slice and serve.

Grilled Ham

The ham turned out great.  With the rotisserie turkey on the Performer, there was more than enough meat to go around and now a ton of ham in the freezer to last the winter.

Roto Turkey

Although the week has been busy, it's been great.  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and now that 2011 is upon us, a fabulous New Year too.  Now pardon me, I'm off for a ham sandwich.