This is the story of cooking a bone-in ham on a Big Green Egg on a cruising sailboat for Christmas. Nothing less, nothing more....except I'm gonna use a lot of words you might think are dirty, but context people!

Ok, let’s go there.  Deez Nuts, Dry Rub, rub the meat, Beaver Brand, Lubricated, Bone-In.  There, I said it all in print and there’s NOTHING dirty except your mind but these words are part of my cooking lexicon…get over it and read the article so I can drop some barbecue knowledge on you.  Read on:

I’ve had to wait on the boat a lot lately for mechanics who promised they were coming but mostly never showed up when they were supposed to…and we always have someone on the boat when we have Quincy Dog on the boat, she’s a large smelly dog who comes with the need for supervision.  So I’ve been on the boat a lot lately.  But now that we’re on our third set of mechanics (hired by the marina) in 3 months but they’re not starting till early January, I’m able to get off the boat and get into town to resume some of my provisioning role! 

 So I was able to go shopping for food in town.  Woooo Hooo I was off the boat.  But my wife assigned our teenage daughter to go food shopping with me as a “guide” to keep me out of trouble and from buying too much, but of course, I’m a great shopper/provisioner.  While there, I decided we would do a bone-in ham for Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner, doing the actual work on Christmas Eve so I could relax (and write) on Christmas.  At nearly 8 pounds, the ham turned out to be a perfect size for the Egg, as it was nearly too big to fit but definitely large enough to feed the family with lots leftover for another day.

Most hams are considered cooked already (cured) but I wanted to get a great smoke on ours and used a dry rub to start then a glaze to finish to keep the ham from drying out.*  I would be cooking the ham slowly, on the Green Egg using an indirect cooking method with my heat between 225 – 250 degrees, for approx 3 hours and 30 minutes.  This calculation is done by taking the total weight (8) pounds X 25 minutes per pound then dividing by 60.  I wanted the ham to finish with an internal temperature of approx 140 degrees but I was ok with just a bit more on the ends of the ham and just a bit less on the thickest part of the inside of the ham near the bone, as I also knew that once I took the ham off the grill I would be resting it for about 15 minutes which would influence temperature.  As mentioned above, I would be using a dry rub to start with and I would end with a glaze, both of which I made from scratch.

Here’s my approx recipes:

To keep my dry rub on the meat, I first slather it in olive oil or mustard.  On this day I chose to use mustard and I LOVE using Beaver Brand.  But, the only Beaver I could find on the boat for this cook was Beaver Brand Coney Island Hot Dog Mustard…which I gladly used and slathered on the meat like crazy.  Trust me, it works fine and you will not taste it when the cooking is done.  In this case, the mustard simply acts as a glue for the dry rub, totally keeping it in place of the cooking.  After about two hours on the Egg, we add a quick layer of orange or apple juice, then later start adding the glaze.*  It works.

Dry Rub: 

Dry Garlic, Chili Pepper Flakes and Deez Nuts Honey Pecan BBQ Rub (as the main ingredient, cause I was a bit lazy on this day).  I also put a handful of dry rosemary on the meat after I finished dry rubbing the meat.

Glaze: 

This glaze is a hodgepodge of things I had around the galley that I threw together, came out a bit too tangy but worked well to keep the meat lubricated.

Dry garlic, hot sauce, liberal amount of tequila, Worcestershire sauce, a bit of corn starch and lots of tomato catchup as the base.  Blend all that together to get a slightly thicker sauce that can be called a glaze.

Get It Cooked:

Prep the Green Egg to cook indirect at approx 225-250 degrees.  Dry rub the meat and prep the glaze.  Cook the meat over a drip pan indirect for approx 3 hours and 30 minutes.  When it gets to approx 125 degrees inside and starts to look dry on the outside, start glazing it.*  When it gets to 140-145 degrees inside, take the meat off and tent it with tin foil for 15 minutes.  Cut the ham, GRUB.

Bone-In Ham with my dry rub already mixed, rosemary and Beaver Mustard in the background.
Dry Rub and Rosemary on the ham. 
Prepping the Big Green Egg. For this cook, I used oak for smoke flavor. The Oak is a bit lighter than other smoking wood..and was what I could find in the lockers as we clear the boat.
The Egg in the indirect configuration, but I added the drip pan under the grill so I could cook the ham on top of the grill to get smoke all over it instead of just sides and top.
Bone-In Ham just added to the grill and ready to cook.
Bone-In Ham glamour shot, just after I did the last glaze and pulled it off the Egg to cover the meat for approx 15 minutes.
After approx 20 minutes we pulled the tin foil off the meat and we’re ready to cut and serve.

After the 20 minutes under the foil, the ham came out nearly perfect and ready to cut.  I found in cutting it that the ends were a bit dry and the meat closest to the middle/the bone was very moist, but still hot and perfect.  The mustard could not be tasted and the glaze turned out to be a bit too tangy when tried alone but provided a perfect zest having been applied to the whole ham multiple times.  This ham fed the entire family and left enough over for a whole second meal.  And I know that cooking it on my own Big Green Egg on my own boat was waaaay more fun than eating a Christmas Eve meal in a restaurant. 

Again, a HUGE thank you to the Big Green Egg Company for sending us Green Egg Swag, we LOVED it.

LF2SF loves to cook on the Big Green Egg on their cruising sailboat (which is in Panama) and has no direct affiliation with the BGE company.  We cook most of our meals on our own boat in our own kitchen and save money by not eating out very much, enjoying our time on our boat while we can.

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* Anywhere I put the asterisk it means I probably found inspiration from someone else.  In this case, it was the great cooks at www.bonappeteach.com.  Thanks for the inspiration-

2 Responses

  1. Yummy. Could smell it cooking so slowly. Sounds like a fun prep. Happy new year. 2023 will be a great year even if we don’t like uneven numbers. Love to u all.

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