Smoked Christmas ham
breadcrumbs or crushed thin rye crispbread, cookies, nuts and almonds
One of the most delicious Christmas hams is prepared by smoking in a charcoal grill. The long smoking time and the coals give the ham an intense flavor and color. Smoking pellets add their own piquant taste to the ham. The temperature of the grill should be kept moderate, around 100 degrees Celsius.
Take the thawed ham to room temperature well in advance. The internal temperature of the ham should be around 10 degrees Celsius when you start smoking it.
Preheat the Mustang Pispala smoker with either briquettes or coals to about 120 degrees Celsius (in the beginning of the smoking process, it does not matter if the temperature is slightly higher than the desired 100 degrees Celsius). Place the ham with the rind side up on the grate. Insert a meat thermometer into the ham, pull the cord out of the hole in the smoker and connect the cord to the meat thermometer. If necessary, adjust the air intakes of the Pispala smoker to maintain a constant temperature. Add coals and smoking pellets where necessary during the smoking process. The ham is cooked when its internal temperature is 75 degrees Celsius, but smoked and grilled ham is at its best when overcooked, i.e., when you have allowed its internal temperature to rise to around 85 degrees Celsius. The smoking time for the ham is 1–1.5 hours per kilogram.
Remove the rind from the cooked and slightly cooled ham before glazing. The fat under the rind can also be removed or left in place. However, a small amount of fat will improve crusting in the oven and the crust will be crispier and more delicious.
Traditionally, the ham is lightly brushed with mustard and breadcrumbs are sprinkled on top to give a crispy texture. You can easily replace breadcrumbs with crushed thin rye crispbread, cookies, nuts and almonds or even crushed cornflakes. You can also glaze the ham with a thick and sweet glazing sauce instead, which gives the ham a beautiful shine as the sugar roasts into the ham.