How Long to Cook Ham on a Charcoal Grill: Delicious Grilling Tips

Published By Patrick Harvey

Last Updated Jan 30, 2024 is reader-supported. If you buy something using the links on our site, we might earn an affiliate commission at no added cost to you. This helps us pay our staff to keep making awesome content for you!

grilled ham
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    Grilling the perfect ham isn’t just a culinary endeavor—it’s an art form, and boy, do I understand the challenges that come with mastering it! Picking out the ideal ham and figuring out how long to let those charcoal embers work their magic? It’s no small feat.

    Through my own backyard trials (and more than a few errors), I’ve crafted some surefire strategies. This article is packed with straightforward guidance—from selecting your prize pork to prepping your grill like a pro, right down to nailing the cooking time for that savory, smoky perfection.

    Brace yourself—you’re about to become the grill master everyone will be talking about at your next cookout!

    Key Takeaways

    • Select the right type of ham for grilling, with pre – cooked, smoked hams or cured hams being great choices. Prepare a glaze with ingredients like honey and mustard to enhance flavor.
    • Set up your charcoal grill for indirect heat by arranging coals on one side and using a drip pan filled with water on the other. Preheat the grill properly before cooking.
    • Use time and temperature guidelines when grilling ham; fully cooked, smoked hams often require 1.5 – 2.5 hours at an internal temperature of 140°F while uncooked hams need up to 4 hours at 145°F.
    • Baste the ham with glaze every 15 – 20 minutes during cooking to add moisture and flavor, creating a caramelized crust. Let it rest before carving after grilling.
    • Store leftover grilled ham in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 – 4 days or freeze it for future use. Experimenting with wood chips like hickory or applewood can infuse additional flavors into your grilled ham.


    Types of Ham for Grilling

    When it comes to grilling ham, there are a few different types to consider. Whether you prefer smoked or cured ham, each type of ham offers its own unique flavor and texture when grilled on a charcoal grill.

    Keep reading to learn more about the best ways to grill your favorite type of ham!

    Smoked Ham

    I love firing up the charcoal grill for a smoked ham feast. It’s essential to choose the right type of ham for grilling, with fully cooked, pre-smoked hams providing the best results.

    These beauties have already taken in that rich smoky flavor during their initial cooking process. By grilling them, I’m layering on extra depth and creating an irresistible outer crust.

    I make sure my smoked ham gets some special treatment before it hits the grate. A personal favorite is applying a honey bourbon glaze or an orange mustard mix to amp up the flavors; these glazed finishes caramelize beautifully over indirect heat.

    Smoking this pork delight low and slow ensures every slice is succulent and packed with barbecue goodness—it’s outdoor cooking at its finest!

    Cured Ham

    Cured ham is a popular choice for grilling due to its rich, savory flavor. When preparing cured ham for the grill, make sure to check if it’s pre-cooked or requires cooking before serving.

    If using a charcoal grill, I love to infuse my cured ham with the smoky essence from the coals. Whether you opt for a sweet glaze or prefer tangy notes, cured ham holds up well on the grill and offers a delectable outcome that’s hard to resist.

    Prepping the Ham and Grill

    To get the ham ready for grilling, I’ll mix up a delicious glaze using ingredients like honey, brown sugar, and bourbon. Then, I’ll prepare the grill for indirect heat by setting up charcoal on one side of the grill to create a cooking zone away from direct flames.

    Ingredients for Glaze

    For the glaze, you will need:


    1. Honey or bourbon for a sweet and rich flavor
    2. Dijon mustard or orange juice for a tangy kick
    3. Brown sugar or maple syrup for caramelization and sweetness
    4. Garlic powder and black pepper for savory depth
    5. Apple cider vinegar or pineapple juice to balance the sweetness with acidity


    Preparing the Grill for Indirect Heat

    To prepare the grill for indirect heat, first, I place the charcoal on one side of the grill. Then, I light the coals and let them burn until they are covered with a thin layer of gray ash.

    Next, I position a drip pan filled with water on the opposite side of where the charcoal is placed to help maintain moisture during cooking. After that, I put the cooking grate in place and close the lid to preheat the grill for about 10-15 minutes.

    Once it’s preheated and ready to go, I adjust the bottom vents to regulate airflow for maintaining a consistent grilling temperature.

    Cooking the Ham

    Once the grill is prepped for indirect heat, it’s time to cook the ham. The time and temperature guidelines will ensure that your ham is cooked to perfection, and don’t forget to baste with your delicious glaze for added flavor.

    Time and Temperature Guidelines for Ham

    When it comes to cooking ham on a charcoal grill, getting the time and temperature right is crucial for achieving that perfect tenderness and flavor. Here’s a quick table to guide you through the process:


    Type of Ham Weight Cook Time Internal Temperature
    Fully Cooked, Smoked Ham (Unsliced) 5-8 lbs 1.5-2.5 hours 140°F (60°C)
    Fully Cooked, Smoked Ham (Sliced) 5-8 lbs 1.5-2 hours 140°F (60°C)
    Uncooked, Cured Ham 5-8 lbs 2.5-3 hours 145°F (63°C)
    Uncooked, Fresh Ham 5-8 lbs 3-4 hours 145°F (63°C)


    Keep in mind, cooking times may vary based on your grill’s temperature stability and the external environment. I always use a meat thermometer to ensure the ham reaches the correct internal temperature. This way, I’m not just guessing when it’s done—I know it’s perfectly cooked and safe to eat. Remember, you’re aiming for juicy and succulent results, so monitoring the grill’s heat and the ham’s internal temp is my little secret to grilling success.

    Basting with Glaze

    To baste the ham with glaze, I carefully brush the glaze over the entire surface of the ham using a basting brush. This helps to keep the meat moist and adds a beautiful caramelized crust.


    1. Begin basting the ham with glaze after it has been cooking for about 30 minutes. This allows some of the natural juices to release before adding the glaze.
    2. Apply a generous amount of glaze, ensuring that it covers the entire surface of the ham evenly.
    3. Continue basting every 15 – 20 minutes throughout the remainder of the cooking time to build up layers of flavor and a glossy finish.
    4. Use any remaining glaze as a final coating before taking the ham off the grill to enhance its appearance and taste.
    5. Allow the grilled ham to rest for a few minutes before carving and serving to let the flavors fully meld together.


    Serving and Storage Tips

    After grilling, carve the ham into thin slices and serve it on a platter with your choice of sides. Store any leftover ham in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days, or freeze it for longer storage.

    Carving and Plating the Ham

    To carve and plate the grilled ham, place the cooked ham on a cutting board. Use a sharp carving knife to cut thin, even slices across the grain of the meat. Arrange the slices neatly on a serving platter, garnish with fresh herbs for added flavor and visual appeal. For individual servings, place the sliced ham on dinner plates alongside your favorite sides and garnishes. When serving a crowd, consider presenting the ham on a large platter as the centerpiece of your meal for everyone to enjoy. Remember to offer extra glaze or sauce on the side for those who want to drizzle more over their portion. After carving, store any leftover ham properly to maintain its freshness and flavor.


    Proper Storage for Leftovers

    Once the grilled ham has been enjoyed, any leftovers should be promptly stored in airtight containers or resealable bags. It is important to refrigerate the leftover ham within two hours of cooking to prevent bacteria growth and food spoilage.

    When properly stored in the refrigerator, leftover grilled ham can stay fresh for 3-4 days, while it can last for up to 2-3 months when frozen. To retain its flavors and moisture, ensure that the ham is tightly sealed to avoid exposure to air.

    After learning about proper storage for leftovers, let’s explore some flavor enhancements to elevate your grilled ham experience further with different wood chips for smoking or alternative glaze recipes.

    Flavor Enhancements

    Elevate the flavor of your grilled ham by experimenting with different wood chips for smoking and trying out alternative glaze recipes. These small adjustments can make a big difference in the taste of your dish.

    Using Different Wood Chips for Smoking

    To enhance the flavor of grilled ham, I experiment with various wood chips for smoking. Hickory and applewood are my go-to choices, adding a rich and smoky taste to the ham. When using hickory, the strong aroma gives the ham a robust flavor, while applewood imparts a slightly sweet and fruity undertone.

    It’s essential to soak the wood chips in water before placing them on hot coals to prevent them from burning too quickly.

    Mixing different types of wood chips can elevate the complexity of flavors in smoked ham. Combining hickory for depth and mesquite for a touch of sweetness creates an irresistible blend.

    Alternative Glaze Recipes

    When preparing a glazed ham on the charcoal grill, you might want to consider alternative glaze recipes. Here are some flavorful options to elevate your grilled ham:


    1. Try a Maple Dijon Glaze: Combine maple syrup, Dijon mustard, brown sugar, and a splash of apple cider vinegar for a sweet and tangy flavor profile.
    2. Experiment with a Pineapple Brown Sugar Glaze: Mix pineapple juice, brown sugar, and a hint of ginger for a tropical twist that pairs perfectly with grilled ham.
    3. Consider a Spiced Honey Glaze: Blend honey with cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg to infuse your ham with warm, aromatic flavors.
    4. Opt for a Citrus Chipotle Glaze: Combine orange juice, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, and a touch of honey for a zesty and smoky glaze that complements the savory notes of the ham.
    5. Create a Bourbon-Mustard Glaze: Whisk together bourbon, whole grain mustard, and honey to add depth and richness to your grilled ham.
    6. Go for an Apple Cider Molasses Glaze: Mix apple cider, molasses, and a pinch of allspice to achieve a sweet and slightly spicy glaze that enhances the natural juiciness of the ham.
    7. Consider a Cranberry-Orange Glaze: Combine cranberry sauce with orange zest and brown sugar for a bright and tangy glaze that brings out the natural sweetness of the ham.



    In conclusion, grilling ham on a charcoal grill can lead to delicious results. The key is to follow time and temperature guidelines while basting the ham with your favorite glaze. Carve and plate the grilled ham for a mouthwatering presentation, and remember to store any leftovers properly.

    Experiment with different wood chips or alternative glaze recipes to enhance the flavor of your grilled ham. Enjoy your outdoor cooking experience!


    1. How do I grill a precooked ham on a charcoal grill?

    To grill a precooked ham on a charcoal grill, heat it by placing it cut-side down and cover the grill for about 10-15 minutes per pound at medium heat.

    2. Can you give me some grilling tips for delicious BBQ glazed ham?

    Sure! Brush your BBQ glaze over the ham during the last 30 minutes of grilling, and keep an eye on it to prevent burning while achieving that perfect caramelization.

    3. What’s a tasty glazed ham recipe I can try with my charcoal grill?

    Try grilled ham with honey bourbon glaze or orange mustard glaze for mouth-watering results; just apply the mixture periodically as you cook!

    4. Is smoked cured ham good for grilling, and what are some outdoor cooking techniques?

    Absolutely! Smoking cured hams adds deep flavor – simply use indirect heating on your charcoal grill and monitor temperature closely for best results.

    5. How do I know when my grilled sliced ham is done cooking?

    Grilled sliced ham will be ready when its edges start to crisp up nicely; typically within minutes if placed directly over hot coals—be careful not to overcook!

    Learn More About Grilling

    If you want to learn more about grilling, check out these other helpful resources!

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    How Long to Smoke a Brisket Per Pound


    How to Start a Charcoal Grill Without Lighter Fluid: Safe Methods

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    Best Tasting Meat for a Yummy Hamburger


    How to Use Charcoal Grill Vents for Perfect Temperature Control

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    How to Tell the Flat and Point of the Brisket Apart

    Patrick Harvey
    Patrick is a life long grilling enthusiast with an eye for product development and user experience. His expertise helps us test and review all of the products you see the website.

    About The Grilling Master

    Hi there, I'm Kevin Turner, Founder and CEO of

    My passion has always been grilling, smoking and BBQ delicious meats that satisfy my inner carnivore!

    I started this website to share my passion and knowledge with you, the hungry reader who wants to prepare the perfect meal. 

    You can leverage my years of experience as a pit master and professional. 

    Send me a message and let's connect on Twitter here.

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