Brine the ham
OMG Smoked Root Beer Ham is so good, it only takes some time and extra effort for best tasting ham. The key is brine a bone-in ham with A&W root beer overnight. In this brine add mustard, worchesrshire sauce and brown sugar to a 2 liter bottle of A&W root beer. Note do not use diet root beer it doesn’t work, because of the sweetener used in making diet soda. A good long soak overnight builds flavors. Do not add extra salt the ham has plenty salt already added.
Smoking the ham
Slow smoking the marinated root beer ham using a drip pan. Fill the drip pan with a quart of marinate with some apple juice. Choosing the right pairing of wood chips will help give a great mild smoky profile finish. My favorite mild smoking chips is apple wood. These chips never come off to strong of smoked flavor profile. The Green Egg does a wonderful job of keeping smoke circulation around the ham. The trick is keeping heat as low as possible without charcoal going out. Keeping the temperature around 250°F works out best. All dampers are just about closed off. Second trick is soaking wood chips with water in a ziplock bag for a good hour. Using a half of ham it takes about 3 cups chips. Adding a hand full of chips every 20 to 30 minutes. I smoked half of a ham for about 4 to 5 hours to internal temperature reaching 150°F. It’s all about the glazeWhile the ham is smoking it’s time to make the glaze. I used the root beer marinate to make this glaze. By using a heavy duty sauce pan and reducing marinate into a thick syrup. Don’t try to rush reduction, just keep cooking at a good slow boil. When the bubbles become very large the syrup is just about ready. Don’t get fooled as the syrup cools, the glaze will get thick. Reducing the syrup too long will become too caramelized and that can have too strong of a burnt taste. Pour syrup glaze into a bowl
Brush glaze onto ham about half way into smoking process, the internal temperature of ham around 100°F. Every 20 to 30 minutes brush on some glaze and and more wood chips to coals. When the ham is finished it will have shiny glaze and golden color. Be sure to save the remainder of glaze to drizzle over ham as it is served. OMG it so good. My all time favorite is Swedish Buns with Smoked Root Beer Ham and Cranberry Jam.