Grilled Holiday Honey Ham - A Very Merry Grilled Christmas

The holidays are here, and all the festivities come with it – decorating, shopping, parties, Christmas pageants, wrapping presents, and more. We wish you a Very Merry Grilled Christmas at Summerset Grills, easing your Christmas Day or holiday party menu planning with Grilled Holiday Honey Ham. This is the traditional favorite main dish of Christmastime but prepared in a new way with overnight dry rubs and simple glaze while grilling.

We begin with a 12-14 pound bone-in ham, which provides better flavor and classic presentation. When selecting a city ham, look for one labeled "Ham" or "Ham with Natural Juices." These contain the most ham protein and the least amount of added water, yielding a more flavorful end product. Hams labeled as "Ham, water added" or "Ham and water product" are further diluted with liquid, and while they'll likely deliver a juicy product, they will, unsurprisingly, taste watered down.

The sweet and spicy dry rub combines brown sugar, cumin, ginger, mustard powder, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. The rub is generously applied to the ham and allowed to season and penetrate the ham overnight. Grilling the ham over indirect heat for about 2 hours yields a moist and savory texture. For the last 30 minutes, the honey-butter glaze is added and allowed to caramelize on the outside of the ham. After resting for 30 minutes to allow all the juices to settle and distribute throughout, the ham is ready to serve.  

So turn up the heat on your grill, check off "holiday meal" from your to-do list, and be free to concentrate on what is truly meaningful at Christmas.

Serves 12-16

Grilled Holiday Honey Ham Ingredients

  • 1 (12 to 14-pound) fully-cooked, bone-in ham, preferably shank-end

Dry Rub

  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Grilled Holiday Honey Ham Directions

  1. Trim the ham of any excess fat, leaving 1/4-inch of fat on the ham. With a sharp knife, score the fat on the top of the ham. Place the ham on a large-rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Whisk together the brown sugar, salt, black pepper, cumin, ginger, mustard powder, and cinnamon in a small bowl—reserve one tablespoon of the dry rub mixture for the glaze. Season the ham with the remaining dry rub. Place plastic wrap over the ham and put it in the refrigerator for 8 to 12 hours. Allowing the seasoning to penetrate the ham overnight will give it a fuller flavor.
  3. Preheat your grill to 300 degrees F for indirect heat.
  4. Place the baking sheet with the ham on the grill grates, with the ham flat side down. Cover the grill and let the ham cook for 2 hours.
  5. Heat the butter, thyme, honey, vinegar, and reserved dry rub together in a medium saucepan until the butter melts. Stir together until smooth. Brush the ham with the glaze, cover it with the grill hood, and grill for 30 minutes more, basting it every 10 minutes with the glaze. Remove to a platter, rest for 30 minutes, then carve and serve.

Recipe courtesy of The Neelys at