clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
nitrate free green ham recipe

Honey Ginger Smoked Ham (How to Smoke a Green Or Nitrate Free Ham)

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

No reviews

  • Author: Robyn
  • Total Time: 9 hours, plus overnight brining
  • Yield: 25 1x


Smoking wood: Apple

Smoker temperature: 250 degrees


  • 1 15-pound “fresh” or green ham, bone-in, any “rind” removed


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher sea salt
  • 2 tbsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. ground chipotle powder or cayenne
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika


  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp. fresh ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt


  1. Score the fat on the ham to create a “cross hatch” so the rub can penetrate the meat.
  2. Spread the rub evenly over the ham.
  3. Refrigerate the ham overnight uncovered for 12 hours or more to allow it to cure in the spice rub.
  4. Make the glaze. Combine all ingredients in a pot and let simmer on medium for 20 minutes until the liquid has combined and reduced down. Reserve a small amount to be served with the ham after it is cooked. 
  5. Smoke the ham at 250 degrees, glazing every two hours, until the internal temperature has reached 160 degrees with an internal read thermometer (this will take at least 6 hours).
  6. Remove and wrap in foil and let rest in your oven (turned off) for 15 minutes or until ready to serve.
  7. Serve with remaining glaze and slice ham parallel to the ham bone or the flat end of the ham.


Pro tip: Smoked ham pairs wonderfully with homemade biscuits and Carolina mustard sauce for brunch or entertaining a crowd. Leftover ham can be repurposed into quiche, soup or even pot pie. And don’t throw out the ham bone! Save it for making stocks or adding flavor to collard greens and kale.

Pro Tip: When ordering a fresh ham from your butcher, specify the size you want, otherwise you may end up with a ham larger than you want/need.

  • Prep Time: 1 hour, plus overnight brining
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Category: Grill, Smoke, Whole30 Recipes
  • Method: Smoke
  • Cuisine: American