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.

How to Cook a Smoked Picnic Ham Pork Shoulder

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!!

How to Cook a Smoked Picnic Ham Pork Shoulder

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.

How to Cook a Smoked Picnic Ham Pork Shoulder

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.

How to Cook a Smoked Picnic Ham Pork Shoulder

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.

How to Cook a Smoked Picnic Ham Pork Shoulder

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!

How to Cook a Smoked Picnic Ham Pork Shoulder

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.

How to Cook a Smoked Picnic Ham Pork Shoulder

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!

How to Cook a Smoked Picnic Ham Pork Shoulder

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

How to Cook a Picnic Ham - Smoked Pork Shoulder

How to Cook a Smoked Picnic Ham Pork Shoulder
4.74 out of 5
19 reviews
Simple directions for how to bake a picnic ham in the oven. This brown sugar and orange glaze is perfect for smoked picnic pork shoulder!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 12


  • 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!



Did you try this recipe?

Leave a comment and let me know how it turned out. Or, take a picture to share on Instagram and tag me @theblackpeppercorn.

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  • What a great recipe I am going to use it right now thanks for taking such great time to not only put up a great recipe but recommended side dishes and great hamesrty recipes to use the left overs

    • Reply
  • Perfect recipe. Not sure what the negative comments are about. Just use some common sense as of course cooking times may vary slightly depending on size and fat wont crisp up if it’s covered for the latter part ! Those comments/issues have nothing to do with the quality of the actual recipe. lol

    • Reply
  • I tried the recipe with a little twist. Half a can of Pepsi poured in after first hr. Omg soooooo good.

    • Reply
  • Hi Steve, my ham didn’t come with a glaze pack (any other time it does…lol) can I do the top the same and just baste it with its on juices? I understand it won’t have the sweetness, I’m ok with that.

    • Reply
    • If you make the glaze in this recipe and brush it on, you can do this instead of the glaze pack that you sometimes get when you buy ham. I hope that is what you meant. 🙂

      • What kind of mustard did you use? And will it alter it a lot to not use Cheyenne? I don’t handle spices well.

        • Reply
        • I just used regular mustard. No, omitting the cayenne would not alter the flavour much. Enjoy!

  • Do you need to use white vinegar or apple cider or does it matter?

    • I use white vinegar personally. Other kinds will work but some of the stronger vinegars may alter the flavour a little bit.

    • Discard the rind?! Are you nuts? The rind is like manna from heaven. Crisp it up, crumble, then sprinkle over salad, cooked vegetables, mashed or scalloped potatoes, rice, etc.!

      • Reply
  • I love picnic hams. My mom used to boil it but i don’t know how long. Any ideas?

    • Reply
    • Not sure. I have never boiled a ham before.

  • So I love this recipe, however I am wondering if this will be good and the same temperature for a 10.96 lb Smoked Pork Shoulder Picnic, which is what I am cooking in the oven for the first time. I know I may need to increse the time, due to the size. Please let me know your recommendations.

    • Reply
    • The brand of the Smoked Pork Shoulder Picnic is a Smithfield. I looked at their recipe to cook this, however, yours looks so much better. I hope I will be able to make his work, I am cooking this now. We will see!!

      • Reply
      • Sorry I did not see this until after the holiday. I hope it turned out well for you! I would love to hear!!

  • My first time ever baking a ham. The recipie was easy to follow and absolutely amazing. Everyone loved it including myself and next to no leftovers (kinda sad cuz I wanted some for myself). Thanks!

    • Reply
    • So glad your first time baking a ham turned out well!!

  • I tried your version instead of boiling it like the package says and it followed every step perfectly..I had no oranges so used a really good marmalade (Robinson) I always have and cut back a bit on the sugar and everyone loved it thank you for a great new way to cook our favorite ham…will defiantly try your soup recipes now…:::))))

    • Reply
    • Glad it turned out well. I love that marmalade as well. I hope you enjoy the soups as well.

  • This recipe worked out great! I received raves during xmas eve dinner! Thank you for the wonderful recipe – – – the glaze was spot on!

    • Reply
    • Awesome!! Glad you all enjoyed it! Have a wonderful Christmas tomorrow

  • What about cooking this ham in an instant pot. Has anyone tried it?

    • Reply
    • I haven’t tried it yet in mine yet so I am not sure. If you try it I would love for you to share how it turns out.

  • Does it make a difference what kind of oranges? I only have mandarins on hand.

    • Reply
    • I don’t imagine it would affect flavour too much. Might want to add more mandarins since they are smaller than a typical orange

      • Used this recipe but extended the times. 30 more minutes before removing the rind. Also cooked for an additional 45 minutes in a Dutch oven (large ham). Turned out perfectly thanks for a great recipe

        • Reply
        • Thanks for sharing your findings! Glad you enjoyed the ham.

  • I just cooked my first ham. I followed your instructions to a tee and it was a real success! We all enjoyed! It’s a keeper!

    • Reply
    • Can I use 7up and mustard for the glaze on this kind of ham ?

      • Reply
      • I have used this as well and it turns out great!

  • I’m a little confused about how the orange is used in this recipe, I’ve read it several times and still don’t understand. Is it placed in the blender whole or am I suppose to juice it first? I’m really looking forward to trying this recipe for Christmas dinner. Thank you

    • Reply
    • Yes, I put the peeled oranges in the blender to purée. I find that the pulp helps to thicken the glaze so it sticks to the ham a bit better.

  • Hello was just looking at your ham recipe. I have a Olymel smoked pork picnic shoulder ham. Do you know the brand? Can I cook this ham the same as you did with this ham recipe? Thanks

    • Reply
    • Hey! I do know the brand but don’t know specifically about the ham. As long as the ham has been fully cooked while it was smoked it should be fine to use this recipe. Typically when a picnic ham is smoked it is fully cooked. It is the ones that have been cured and are still technically fresh hams that still need to be cooked.

      • thanks Steve just printed off your recipe and noticed your reply thanks so much Yes the ham is smoked so the cooking just fully heats the meat and lets the glaze penetrate the meat? looking forward to enjoying this!

        • Reply
  • I had it in for an hour at 350F and it did not look remotely cooked enough and I could not peel the rind off easily, it looked like it wasn’t in long enough. Do I turn up the heat? My ham is 8lbs.

    • Reply
    • If you want you could maybe turn it up to 375 and leave it in a little longer. The rind should be able to come off fairly easily. Is the ham that you got a smoked ham? Just want to make sure that it’s not a fresh ham.

      • Do you think the oranges could be substituted for pinapple? Picky eater on my hands! Thank you!

        • Reply
        • Sure! I bet it would turn out great with pineapple. My kids used to be picky eaters as well but it would have been the pineapple they would not have liked. Lol. Hope it turns out well for you!!

          • doing pineapple right now.grew up on that..tasty as #@%!&*$

  • How do I make the glaze? What is the vinegar, mustard, pepper for the seasoning for the ham?

    • Reply
    • In step 5 it shows how to make the glaze. Puree the ingredients in a blender until smooth and brush on the ham.

      • Thank you

        • Reply
      • This maybe a stupid question, but is the mustard powdered or liquid?

        • Reply
        • I use liquid mustard from a squeeze bottle. Not a stupid question at all!

  • Thanks for this post. I’ve always wondered about making a picnic shoulder and this article has convinced me. I’ll come back and post my results 🙂

    • Reply
    • You never came back. Did it catch fire?

      • Reply
      • Does cooking the ham for 3 hours sufficient to making it fork tender?

        • Reply
        • Well, I am not sure that I would say this is ‘fork tender’. It does not fall apart like pulled pork. But, if the slice is not too thick, you could probably break a piece of ham off the slice with the side of the fork. Not sure if that is what you mean.

  • I don’t have any oranges on hand, can I use orange juice?

    • Reply
    • Sure thing! Orange juice would work just fine

      • How much orange juice would you use?

        • Reply
        • I would use maybe a cup or so. You would not need to blend it either – just whisk in a bowl. It will be runnier than using oranges but will taste close to the same in flavour.

  • I part 6 do you put it back in the oven uncovered or covered. I have it in a roasting pan with a lid. I’m guessing no lid

    • Reply
    • No, leave it uncovered for part 6 in the recipe. I edited that part of the recipe to make it clear.

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