This Smoked Cherry Bourbon Glazed Ham recipe will bring your holiday ham to the next level. 

Your taste buds will explode when you try this great recipe. Smoked ham coated in a sweet glaze made out of tart cherries and bourbon.

Be sure to give this recipe a try the next time you’re looking to upgrade your holiday meal!

Ingredients you will need

Meat: Fully cooked ham

Binder: Yellow mustard

Seasoning: Your favorite pork dry rub

Glaze: Tart cherry juice, cherry preserves, naval orange, brown sugar, bourbon, dijon mustard, balsamic glaze, minced garlic

ingredients for cherry bourbon glazed ham
Photos from this recipe are from Brittany Scott (Instagram: @the_salted_bite)

What kind of ham should I use?

There are benefits to both a spiral cut ham and bone in ham. It ultimate depends on how much time you have and if you plan on doing anything with the ham leftovers. If you like to make leftover soup when having ham, a bone-in ham is the right choice for you. 

Be sure to check out my full Holiday Dinner Guide where I talk about different ways to cook both ham and turkey for your holiday meals. If you do not have a smoker for this recipe, you can easily bake ham in the oven. 

turkey vs ham

What size ham do I need?

The recommended serving size of ham to have per person is, 1/2 pound for bone in ham and 1/3 pound for boneless ham.

Below is a guide on how many pounds of ham you will need for your party.

4-8 people you need a 2-4 pounds of bone in ham.

8-11 people, you need 4-6 pounds of bone in ham. 

11-13 people, you need 6-8 pounds of bone in ham.

16-19 people, you need 8-10 pounds of bone in ham.

bone in ham

How to make Smoked Cherry Bourbon Glazed ham

Preparing the smoked ham

Preheat your smoker to 250° F using cherry wood for a sweet, smoky flavor profile. 

Remove the ham from the fridge, allowing it to warm up at room temperature. Place it on a wire rack with a large roasting pan underneath to catch any pan drippings.  

spiral ham

Apply a yellow mustard binder on the outside of the ham. This will help the seasoning stick/adhere to the ham as it cooks.

yellow mustard on ham

Next, generously season the outside of the spiral ham with your favorite bbq rub. Two of my favorites are Mayor of Rub Town and Sweet Preacher from Fire and Smoke Society.

seasoned ham

If you are cooking a half ham, score the outside of the ham with an even scoring depth, in a diamond pattern prior to applying the binder and seasoning. This will allow the seasoning to reach deeper into the ham.

Insert the MEATER Plus into the deepest part of the ham to track the internal temperature of your ham during the cook. Place ham on the smoker then let it smoke at 250° F for 3 hours.

Making the cherry bourbon glaze

While the ham cooks, assemble the cherry glaze. In a small saucepan, combine: 2 cups tart cherry juice, 1 cup preserves, juice from 2 oranges, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup bourbon, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, 3 cloves minced garlic and 1 tbsp of balsamic glaze. 

glaze ingredients

Place the pot over medium heat and cook it for about 10 minutes until it starts to thicken. Stir the glaze every couple of minutes to ensure it is thoroughly mixed.

Glazing the ham

The last hour, apply the cherry bourbon glaze to the outside of the ham with a brush every 15 minutes.

cherry bourbon glaze on ham

Each time you reapply the ham glaze, it should begin to tack up and become sticky on the ham. 

Cherry Bourbon Glazed Ham on smoker

Remove the Cherry Bourbon Ham from smoker once the internal temperature of the ham reaches 145 degrees f. Place the ham on a cutting board and let it rest for 20 minutes before slicing it from the bone.

Serve the delicious smoked ham warm with your favorite sides then enjoy! You can also serve some extra glaze in a small bowl and 

What sides should I serve with my Cherry Bourbon Glazed Ham?

​As important as the main dish is, side dishes are one of my favorite things to make! Below are a couple of my favorite side dishes to serve up this holiday season.

Smoked Mac & Cheese – Mac & cheese is one of the most icon side dishes around. My smoked version of this recipe will quickly become the only way you’ll ever want to eat it again.

Bacon Balsamic Brussels Sprouts – Bacon makes everything better, and that includes brussels sprouts! These delicious vegetables are served with crispy bacon, gooey dates topped with a balsamic glaze reduction for the best bite around.

What should I do with leftover ham?

There are many great things to do with leftover ham, which is why I always buy a bigger ham than I need. Below are a couple of my favorite things to make with my leftovers. 

Raspberry Jalapeño Ham Sliders – Sweet, spicy, cheesy and loaded with delicious smoked ham. This is the easy meal you need to make after serving up your holiday meal. 

Monte Cristo – This sandwich has smoked ham, turkey and cheese, then it’s coated in an egg wash and cooking in a skillet. Top it with some powdered sugar then dip it in some Raspberry Jam for the perfect sweet and salty bite!

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Cherry Bourbon Glazed Ham

Cherry bourbon glazed ham

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5 from 1 review

Ham is a super popular to serve during the holidays. Be sure to try this sweet and smoky cherry bourbon ham to impress guests at your next big gathering!

  • Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
  • Yield: 15 servings 1x


  • 10 pound bone in spiral ham
  • 1 tbsp yellow mustard
  • 3 tbsp BBQ rub

For the glaze

  • 2 cups tart cherry juice
  • 1 cup of cherry preserves
  • Juice from 2 naval oranges 
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp balsamic glaze
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic


  1. Use a yellow mustard binder and season the outside of your ham with your favorite bbq rub.
  2. Insert MEATER Plus then smoke the ham at 250F for 3 hours.
  3. Create cherry bourbon glaze by combining all ingredients into a sauce pan: 2 cups tart cherry juice, 1 cup cherry preserves, juice from 2 oranges, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup bourbon, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, 3 cloves minced garlic and 1 tbsp balsamic glaze.
  4. Cook down over medium heat for about 10 minutes until it starts to thicken.
  5. Glaze the ham every 15 minutes the last hour.
  6. Remove the glazed ham from smoker once the internal temperature reaches 145° F then carve it up.


This is the notes field

  • Author: Nick Nesgoda
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Smoking
  • Cuisine: American

1 Comment

  1. Definitely going to use this recipe again for Easter! The glaze has a bunch of flavor, and an easy recipe. It was a favorite at the table!

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