How to Cook Ham on A Charcoal Grill?

18 minutes read

Cooking ham on a charcoal grill is a delicious way to infuse smoky flavors into this already flavorful meat. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to cook ham on a charcoal grill.

  1. Start by selecting a bone-in or boneless ham. A bone-in ham often has more flavor, but both options work well on a grill.
  2. Prepare the grill by lighting your charcoal. Allow the coals to burn until they are fully covered in white ash and have an even heat distribution.
  3. While the grill is heating up, prepare the ham by scoring the skin. Make shallow, diagonal cuts across the surface, forming a diamond pattern. This will help the glaze penetrate the meat and result in an attractive presentation.
  4. Apply your desired glaze or seasoning to the ham. Popular choices include a mixture of brown sugar, mustard, honey, or maple syrup. Apply a generous amount all over the ham, making sure to cover it evenly.
  5. Once the charcoal grill is heated and the ham is coated with the glaze, it's time to start grilling. Place the ham directly on the grill grate, using indirect heat. This means stacking the coals on one side of the grill and placing the ham on the opposite side.
  6. Cover the grill with the lid and let the ham cook slowly for around 2 to 2.5 hours. Maintain a steady temperature of around 325°F (165°C).
  7. Periodically check the ham's internal temperature. The ideal temperature should be around 145°F (63°C) for cooked, juicy ham. Use a meat thermometer to ensure accuracy.
  8. To add more smoky flavor, you can occasionally add wood chips or chunks over the coals. Soak the wood in water for about 30 minutes before adding it to the fire.
  9. While grilling, resist the urge to constantly lift the lid and check on the ham. This may result in temperature fluctuations and prolong the cooking time.
  10. Once the ham reaches the desired internal temperature, carefully remove it from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing.
  11. Slice the ham and serve it hot. The smoky flavors infused during the grilling process will make your ham a delicious centerpiece for any meal.


Remember that cooking times may vary depending on the size of your ham and the specific grill setup. It's always best to rely on a meat thermometer for accuracy. Enjoy your homemade grilled ham!

Best Charcoal Grills of April 2024

1
Royal Gourmet CC1830SC Charcoal Grill Offset Smoker with Cover, 811 Square Inches, Black, Outdoor Camping

Rating is 5 out of 5

Royal Gourmet CC1830SC Charcoal Grill Offset Smoker with Cover, 811 Square Inches, Black, Outdoor Camping

  • 811 Square Inches: Includes 443 sq. in. porcelain-enameled steel wire cooking grates, 184 sq. in. chrome-plated warming rack and 184 sq. in. offset smoker.
  • Tasty Smoke Flavors: The offset smoker is firmly attached to grill to ensure good circulation of heat and smoke. Easy to open side door to add charcoal and remove ashes; air vent stokes fire instantly.
  • Adjustable Pan: 2-level height-adjustable charcoal pan creates better heat control and holds up to 4.4 lbs. of coal.
  • Temperature Monitor: Lid-mounted thermometer gauge helps check and monitor the cooking temperature and you can cook with great confidence.
  • Grill Cover Included: Made of heavy-duty fabric, the cover protects your grill from elements and withstands the harshest weather.
  • Ample Space: Front and side tables offer workspace for seasonings and grilling tools. The bottom shelf provides extra storage space and holds up to only 20 lb. accessories when they are evenly distributed.
2
Weber Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

Weber Original Kettle 22-Inch Charcoal Grill

  • Stay true to the modern version of the kettle that started it all—the Original Kettle, invented by Weber’s founder, and loved around the world. Its ultra-durable, porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat, while the damperseasily adjust for precise temperature control. With a One-Touch cleaning system for easy cleanup after a long day of grilling, the Original Kettle will always be the grill built for everyone
  • Holds up to 13 burgers made with a Weber burger press
  • One-Touch cleaning system provides hassle-free ash cleanup.Removable, aluminum ash catcher
  • Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl Retain heat, and won’t rust or peel
  • Use the lid hook to avoid placing the lid on the ground while grilling
  • Dampers allow you to easily control the temperature inside your grill
  • 3D interactive assembly instructions for this product are available through the free BILT app.
3
Char-Griller E1515 Patio Pro Charcoal Grill, Black

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

Char-Griller E1515 Patio Pro Charcoal Grill, Black

  • CHARCOAL GRILL - Barrel style BBQ Grill with heavy duty steel construction and powder coating finish, the perfect grilling solution for small decks, backyards, and patios
  • LARGE COOKING AREA - 250 square inch total cooking area delivers exceptional taste and charcoal flavor
  • BARBECUE GRILL FEATURES - Thick Cast Iron Cooking Grates, Bottom Storage Rack, Heavy-Duty Steel Construction, Side Air Vent, Stay Cool Wood Handle, Wheels for Easy Mobility, and Side Shelf Workstation with Barbecue Tool Storage Hooks
  • EASY TO ASSEMBLE & CLEAN - Assembles easily and quickly cleans up after use with the Easy Dump Ash Pan
4
Royal Gourmet CC1830 30 Barrel Charcoal Grill with Side Table, 627 Square Inches, Outdoor Backyard, Patio and Parties, Black

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

Royal Gourmet CC1830 30 Barrel Charcoal Grill with Side Table, 627 Square Inches, Outdoor Backyard, Patio and Parties, Black

  • 627 Smoking Space: 443 sq. in. porcelain-enameled steel wire cooking grates with 184 sq. in. chrome-plated steel wire warming rack offer enough space to cook.
  • Heat Control: Close the side air vent completely that cuts off the oxygen flow to help extinguish coals and adjust the smoke stack for extra heat control.
  • Adjustable Fire Grates: 2-level height-adjustable fire pan ensures more controlled cooking and holds up to 6 lbs. of coal.
  • Temperature Monitor: Lid-mounted thermometer gauge helps check heat fluctuations for confident grilling.
5
Royal Gourmet CD1824M 24-Inch Charcoal Grill, BBQ Smoker with Handle and Folding Table, Perfect for Outdoor Patio, Garden and Backyard Grilling, Black, Medium

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

Royal Gourmet CD1824M 24-Inch Charcoal Grill, BBQ Smoker with Handle and Folding Table, Perfect for Outdoor Patio, Garden and Backyard Grilling, Black, Medium

  • Spacious Cooking Area: 384 sq. in. porcelain-enameled steel wire cooking grates and 106 sq. in. stainless steel warming rack provide a total of 490 sq. in. cooking space respectively, serving up to 10 people.
  • Height-adjustable Charcoal Pan: The crank handle controls the distance between the charcoal pan and food for fine-tuning temperature and regulating heat. The charcoal pan holds charcoal up to 4.5 lb. for each use.
  • Convenient Access Door: Front charcoal access door with heat-resistant spring handle provides more convenience for adding charcoal and controls heat loss to a minimum during cooking.
  • Built-in Thermometer Gauge: The lid-mounted thermometer indicates the temperature changes precisely in real-time.
  • Air Flow: Two adjustable air vents control air circulation to enhance sufficient burning of charcoal for efficient smoking.
6
Royal Gourmet Barrel Charcoal Grill with Front Storage Basket, Backyard BBQ Party and Outdoor Cooking Grill on Clearance Prime with Wheels, Black, CC1830T

Rating is 4.5 out of 5

Royal Gourmet Barrel Charcoal Grill with Front Storage Basket, Backyard BBQ Party and Outdoor Cooking Grill on Clearance Prime with Wheels, Black, CC1830T

  • Additional Cooking Options: The charcoal grill can meet your versatile cooking demands by slow smoking or grilling ribs, veggies, lobster tails, or other preferred ingredients.
  • Ample Cooking Area: To accommodate 23 hamburgers at once, there are 443 sq. in. porcelain-enameled steel wire cooking grates and a 184 sq. in. chrome-plated steel wire warming rack as a secondary heating area.
  • Impressive Storage: Store seasonings in the front basket, hang some cooking utensils on the integrated hooks, place plates and other food on the side tables, and meanwhile put your charcoal on the bottom storage shelf.
  • Adjustable Charcoal Pan: Easily control the distance between food and fire with the lifting handle to regulate cooking temperature, which also saves fuel in the meantime.
  • Heat Control: Customize your desired temperature by twisting the air damper and smoke stack, thus getting the best cooking results.
7
Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch, Black

Rating is 4.4 out of 5

Weber Original Kettle Premium Charcoal Grill, 22-Inch, Black

  • Holds up to 13 burgers made with a Weber burger press; Built-in lid thermometer. Rust-resistant aluminum dampers
  • One-Touch cleaning system with high-capacity ash catcher provides hassle-free ash cleanup
  • Porcelain-enameled lid and bowl retain heat, and won’t rust or peel
  • Use the lid hook to avoid placing the lid on the ground while grilling
  • Cooking grate is hinged for easily adding charcoal while grilling
8
Royal Gourmet CC1830S 30" BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker | 811 Square Inch cooking surface, Outdoor for Camping | Black

Rating is 4.3 out of 5

Royal Gourmet CC1830S 30" BBQ Charcoal Grill and Offset Smoker | 811 Square Inch cooking surface, Outdoor for Camping | Black

  • 811 Square Inches: Includes 443 sq. in. porcelain-enameled steel wire cooking grates, 184 sq. in. chrome-plated warming rack and 184 sq. in. offset smoker.
  • Tasty Smoke Flavors: The offset smoker is firmly attached to grill to ensure good circulation of heat and smoke. Easy to open side door to add charcoal and remove ashes; air vent stokes fire instantly.
  • Adjustable Pan: 2-level height-adjustable charcoal pan creates better heat control and holds up to 4.4 lbs. of coal.
  • Temperature Monitor: Lid-mounted thermometer gauge helps check and monitor the cooking temperature and you can cook with great confidence.
9
Dyna-Glo DGN576SNC-D X-Large Premium Dual Chamber Charcoal Grill

Rating is 4.2 out of 5

Dyna-Glo DGN576SNC-D X-Large Premium Dual Chamber Charcoal Grill

  • Removable firebox divider for single or dual cooking zone
  • Primary cooking area is 576 square inches
  • Secondary cooking area is 240 square inches
10
Royal Gourmet CC1830W 30 Barrel Charcoal Grill with Side Table, 627 Square Inches, Outdoor Backyard, Patio and Parties, Black

Rating is 4.1 out of 5

Royal Gourmet CC1830W 30 Barrel Charcoal Grill with Side Table, 627 Square Inches, Outdoor Backyard, Patio and Parties, Black

  • Spacious Cooking Area: Includes 443 sq. in. porcelain-enameled steel wire cooking grates, 184 sq. in. chrome-plated steel wire warming rack, and 184 sq. in. offset smoker.
  • Offset Smoker: Use the side fire box to get tasty and authentic smoky flavors in the main chamber. Smoking, grilling, or searing all will be your choices.
  • Adjustable Charcoal Pan: 2-level height-adjustable charcoal pan ensures better heat control and holds up to 4.4 lb. of coal.


How can I add a smoky flavor to the ham on a charcoal grill?

To add a smoky flavor to ham on a charcoal grill, you can follow these steps:

  1. Prepare the charcoal grill: Start by preparing the grill for indirect grilling. Arrange the charcoal in a two-zone fire, with the coals piled on one side of the grill and leaving the other side empty. This setup creates a hot zone for searing the ham and a cooler zone for slow cooking and smoking.
  2. Soak wood chips: Soak a handful of wood chips (such as hickory, apple, or mesquite) in water for about 30 minutes. This helps prevent them from burning too quickly and provides a steadier smoke.
  3. Preheat the grill: Light the charcoal and let it burn until the coals are mostly covered in white ash. This indicates that they are hot and ready for cooking.
  4. Sear the ham: Place the ham directly over the hot side of the grill and sear it for a few minutes on each side. This will help develop a nice crust and seal in the flavors.
  5. Move to indirect heat: After searing, move the ham to the cooler side of the grill, away from the direct heat. If your grill has a lid, close it to create a convection effect. Adjust the vents (if available) to maintain a steady temperature around 225-250°F (107-121°C).
  6. Add wood chips: Sprinkle some of the soaked wood chips directly onto the hot coals. This will create smoke that will infuse the ham with a smoky flavor as it cooks. If using a gas grill, you can place the soaked wood chips in a foil packet with a few holes poked on top and place it directly on the burners.
  7. Cook low and slow: Continue cooking the ham on the indirect heat side, occasionally adding more soaked wood chips to maintain the smoke. The total cooking time will depend on the size and type of ham, but it is typically around 15-20 minutes per pound (0.5 kg) of ham.
  8. Monitor temperature: Use an instant-read thermometer to ensure the ham reaches the desired internal temperature. For fully-cooked hams, aim for an internal temperature of 140°F (60°C). If using a thermometer with alarm function, you can set it to beep when the ham reaches the desired temperature.
  9. Rest and serve: Once cooked, remove the ham from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. This allows the juices to redistribute and the flavors to settle.


By following these steps, you can achieve a delicious, smoky flavor on your ham cooked on a charcoal grill.


Should I wrap the ham in foil while it's on the grill?

Yes, wrapping the ham in foil while grilling can help to keep it moist and prevent it from drying out. The foil acts as a barrier, trapping the heat and steam inside, resulting in a tender and juicy ham.


Should I trim excess fat from the ham before grilling?

Trimming excess fat from a ham before grilling is a personal preference. Some people prefer to leave the fat on to enhance flavor and moisture during cooking, while others choose to trim it off for health or dietary reasons. It is important to note that leaving some fat on the ham can add flavor and prevent it from drying out, but excessive fat may cause flare-ups on the grill. Consider your preferences and dietary needs before deciding whether or not to trim the excess fat.

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