Holiday cooking is always on the stressful side, but I’m taking matters into my own hands with a surprising solution that will free up your oven and get your ham to the table in no time: the grill. The low and slow convection roasting of the grill ensures a juicy, moist ham with a browned, crispy exterior. It’ll be the star of your holiday dinner table.
I don’t know about you, but I find holiday cooking to be a little on the stressful side. There’s the frenzied shopping, the last-minute house cleaning and the house full of family (including at least one distant relative who seems to hit the booze early and often). It takes a lot of planning, a smidgen of skill and just a little luck to get the holiday ham and all those side dishes—mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole and warm rolls—to the table at the same time. There always seems to be at least one forlorn dish that gets woefully left behind.
The perfect ham for this cooking method is Omaha Steaks Spiral Sliced Ham. It arrives conveniently cooked and sliced. The bone adds additional flavor and keeps the meat extra tender. It’s already wonderfully glazed with brown sugar and a touch of hickory smoke, but if you want to add a touch of sparkle for the holidays, try my Riesling and Apricot Glaze. You can also use your favorite brand of bone-in whole ham, about 7-8 pounds in size.
A sweet or semi-dry white wine from Germany, Riesling is a natural pairing for savory ham. To make the glaze, reduce your favorite Riesling with shallots and a few springs of fresh rosemary and thyme. When the wine is reduced by half, add apricot preserves and a touch of Dijon mustard. On the grill, the glaze will caramelize, adding a lacquered sheen to the ham and a sweet flavor that balances its salty, smoky taste.
Cooking your ham on the grill has quite a few benefits. You’ll have more space in your oven for all those side dishes, and there will be less mess in your kitchen. Cooking outside will also afford you a few minutes of meditative quiet, away from the holiday frenzy.
Follow these tips for a perfectly grilled holiday ham:
- Prepare your grill for indirect cooking. If you’re using a gas grill, turn on only one burner and leave the others off. With the grill closed, heat to 325 degrees. Place the ham over the unlit burners and monitor the temperature carefully. For a charcoal grill, pile your charcoal on one side of the grill and heat to medium low. Place your ham on the cool side of the grill and cook with the lid on.
- Cook your ham for the same amount of time as you would in the oven, allowing about 10-12 minutes per pound. Your Omaha Steaks Spiral-Sliced Ham will need about 60-72 minutes on the grill.
- When the ham has 10-15 minutes left to cook, brush on your glaze. This will ensure it has time to caramelize and bring a brilliant sheen to your ham.
- For the juiciest ham, allow it to rest 30-45 minutes before serving.
- Omaha Steaks Spiral-Sliced Ham (or 7-8 pound whole, bone-in ham)
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 cup Riesling
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 spring fresh rosemary
- 1 (12 ounce) jar apricot preserves
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Thaw your ham for 24-48 hours in the fridge. About 30 minutes prior to cooking, remove it from the refrigerator and allow it to warm to room temperature.
- Heat a gas or charcoal grill for indirect cooking to 325 degrees.
- Place the whole ham, cut side down, on the cool or unheated part of the grill. Close the lid and cook ham until warmed through, 60-72 minutes. Monitor the grill temperature often to maintain a constant temperature of 325 degrees.
- To prepare the glaze, heat a saucepan over medium heat. Sauté shallot in olive oil until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add Riesling, thyme and rosemary. Cook until wine is reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Lower heat and whisk in preserves and Dijon mustard. Simmer over low heat until thickened, about 5 minutes. Glaze can be made up to a day ahead of time and stored covered in the refrigerator.
- About 10 minutes before ham is done, brush heavily with glaze. Cook an addition 10-15 minutes, until glaze is caramelized and ham is heated through.
- Allow ham to rest 30-45 minutes prior to serving.