How to Cook a Smoked Picnic Ham
Baked picnic ham (pork shoulder ham) is one of my favourite types of ham to cook. While it is a different cut of pork than the traditional ham, it generally tastes the same because it has been cured and smoked just like a ham. In the end, it tastes just amazing and a great ham to serve the family.
I cook ham quite often, especially during the cold months of the year when I don’t mind having the oven on for good chunks of the day. Buying a full sized ham is a lot to serve my family, so a picnic ham is ideal! Any time I see the smoked picnic pork shoulder ham on sale, I grab one or two and throw them in the freezer.
Smoked picnic hams are the perfect size for my family. Usually weighing somewhere between 5-8 pounds, these hams usually give my family of 5, two full meals and then I love having the bone to make a pot of soup in my Instant Pot or slow cooker!!
Lay the picnic ham in a roasting dish. I use my large lasagna pottery baking dish. It is the perfect size for the ham. Make sure that you lay it down, fat side up. If there is cheesecloth or anything else that was in the packaging, remove that so only the ham is in the baking dish.
Pour 3/4 cup of water into the baking dish.
How to Cook the Picnic Ham
Cover the roasting pan with foil. Bake the ham in a 350F oven for 1 hour. This loosens up the fat and allows the rind to be pulled off easily.
After baking for 1 hour, take the ham out of the oven and remove the foil. Peel up the rind from the ham and discard. The rind will be hot, so I used tongs. If desired, you can trim some of the fat off the fat cap, but I usually leave most of it on the ham.
Using a sharp knife, cut slits in a cross check pattern. Make sure to go deep enough that you not only cut the fat, but also slice into the meat as well.
I puree the glaze in the blender so that it is smooth. Then I brush it all over the ham, using a BBQ brush to make sure the glaze gets right into the slits of the ham.
I do not pour all the glaze on the ham. Instead I initially brush about 1/3 of the glaze before baking the ham. Then twice, during the baking, I will brush some more of the glaze all over the top of the ham. This gives that ham a wonderful caramelized glaze all over the top and sides of the ham. The flavour is amazing!
Bake the ham for another 2 hours.
After 1 hour, brush the ham with more glaze. About 30 minutes later, brush the ham with glaze one more time. Bake the ham for the remaining 30 minutes.
I let the ham rest for about 5-10 minutes after I take it out of the oven. Then, carve it using a nice long carving knife, making slices of the ham that are about 1/4 inch thick. I like to serve my ham with some dijon or creole mustard. Amazing! As you can see it is very easy for how to cook a picnic ham.
Ham is best served with sides that compliment the smoky and sweet taste of the ham.
Here are a few sides that are just ideal with a baked ham!
- Candied Carrots
- Crock Pot Hash Brown Casserole
- Bacon Cheddar Broccoli Bake
- Classic Homemade Mac and Cheese
- Roasted Acorn Squash
If you want to make something with the ham bone or leftover ham meat, here are a few great recipes!
Great recipes for a ham bone
- Ham and Bean Soup – I have made this soup so many times. Great in a slow cooker, but also very good in an Instant Pot.
- Ukrainian Borscht – I love this beet soup and the ham bone adds a lot of flavour to the broth.
- Crock Pot Split Pea Soup – This is comfort food at its best! I love this soup on a cool fall day!
- Red Beans and Rice Pressure Cooker Recipe – I fell in love with this dish when I went to New Orleans. Great for leftover ham.
How to Cook a Picnic Ham - Smoked Pork Shoulder
- 1 smoked picnic ham (5-8 pounds)
- 2 oranges, peeled
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 cup vinegar
- 1/3 cup honey
- 2 tbsp mustard
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Place picnic ham on a large roasting pan or baking dish, fat side up. Pour 3/4 cup of water into the bottom of the baking dish.
- Cover roasting pan with foil and bake in the oven for 1 hour. This allows the rind to be removed easily.
- Remove the foil and peel the rind off the top of the fat cap. Cut cross check slits into the fat and about 1/2 inch into the meat of the ham.
- Puree remaining ingredients (oranges, brown sugar, vinegar, honey, mustard, cinnamon, salt and cayenne) in a blender to make the glaze. Brush some of the glaze all over the ham, making sure to get into the slits.
- Bake for another 2 hours, uncovered. Brush the glaze after 1 hour cooking time and then again about 30 minutes later. Bake the remaining 30 minutes.
- Once done cooking, the fat should be starting to crisp and the glaze nicely caramelized. Let the ham rest for about 5 minutes before carving.
- Carve the ham into nice sized serving slices. Serve with glazed carrots, potatoes, squash and more!