BBQ&A: How To Make Barbecue Ham

Learn how to make barbecue ham with mouthwatering flavors like brown sugar, garlic, paprika, and of course, bourbon.

Matt: Oh my god.

Robby: I'm gonna need to go down to one knee, I think for a second here. Hey everybody, I'm Robby Melvin

Test Kitchen Director at Southern Living Magazine. I'm here with Chef Matt Bolus from the 404 Kitchen in Nashville, Tennessee. We're gonna have some fun with this ham.

Matt: We're gonna barbecue a ham.

Robby: Excellent.

BBQ&A Barbecue Ham
Southern Living

Step 1: Skin

Matt: It's precooked. Think about the ham you get for the holidays. It's been lightly smoked, we're gonna smoke it some more, we're gonna season it some more and then we're gonna eat it.

Robby: Excellent. Now Matt, I've been to 404, the old 404.

Matt: The old 404!

Robby: In Nashville, which is an incredible meal. I love how small and intimate that space was. You guys have upgraded.

Matt: We took over a spot that was right across the street. We've got more seating, we've got some private dining, we've got a whiskey bar that is just insane downstairs, called Gertie's.

Robby: Gertie's?

Matt: About 500 different selections. The back side doesn't have skin really, you can see--

Robby: Oh ya, that's the good stuff.

Matt: That's just meat. And we're just gonna score this.

Step 2: Score

Matt: See that? We're not looking to get too deep.

Robby: I see. That's just enough to get all the spices, the sugars, even let some of that fat render down into the meat.

Matt: So I've brought some barrel staves.

Robby: Bourbon barrels?

Bourbon barrel.

Robby: K.

Matt: And you can see where the whiskey got to.

Robby: Right.

Matt: Right? It's like a whiskey rainbow.

Robby: Can you imagine if that was such a thing? Would there be a pot of gold at the end of that? Or just a pot of like, delicious brown?

Matt: Yeah I was just gonna say, pot of brown.

Robby: And I've always been a big fan on all things culinary when you can utilize one thing for another thing. You okay there?

Matt: I'm good.

Robby: I smelled some arm hair.

Matt: Oh you 100% smell arm hair.

Step 3: Rub

Robby: So we got our spice rub, but the thing that I'm noticing the most is the aromas already coming off the Egg. I mean, I feel like I'm smelling those barrel pieces you put in there.

Matt: My go-to is whiskey anyway. Bourbon or rye. So what goes good with that? Ham does, and then you know, getting into the spices, brown sugar will, garlic will, the paprika we use has actually been smoked with bourbon staves, bourbon barrel staves.

Robby: Oh fantastic. My take from this is that they're kind of meant to be together anyway.

Matt: They are, they're ancient lovers.

Robby: Ya, they really are.

Matt: So lots of brown sugar.

Robby: Lots of brown sugar.

Matt: Salt, pepper, I just kind of eyeball. Cinnamon.

Robby: I love that. I remember being at this talk with Chris Lilly, local barbecue guy around here, who's gone on to great success. He's always talked about having that one particular spice. In this case, I think it's the cinnamon. This one thing you got going on in there, that the eater's gonna be going, "Man, what is that?" What is the ideal temperature for what you're doing here?

Matt: 325 to 350. 'Cause then, it's cooked. You're not trying to cook it through. What you're trying to do is heat it through. More of a time game now. We're just gonna sit around.

Robby: Sit around and hang out, tell stories.

Step 4: Stories

Robby: Speaking of stories, one thing that's interested me about your story is that your culinary education was in London.

Matt: The great thing was the international base of students. I was one of four Americans over there, and the deal was if you came over, you cooked a dish from where you were from. So I remember I had my mom ship over a bunch of grits.

Robby: Nice. Of course.

Matt: You know, nobody over there had ever heard of it. We had to find like Velveeta and stuff like that to make these baked garlic cheese grits. This is either gonna be a huge hit, or this is gonna be a nothing. I mean, it was empty. People just crushed the dish.

Robby: I'm sure they did.

Step 5: Season

Robby: Give it the burp. I kind of love my role here, I'm just sort of hanging back, away from the heat and smoke. I gotta get in here too, I can't just stand on the sidelines and watch this.

Matt: K, I'm actually gonna turn this, right.

Robby: Want to hit that?

Matt: Ya. I'll hold it.

Robby: Are we gonna hit this again with the vinegar too?

Matt: Ya, we can do that. I'm all seasoned up.

Robby: See, barbecuing brings people together. Look at us. Two guys out here working as a team.

Matt: That's right.

Robby: We're gonna hug it out as soon as this thing comes off. Here we go.

Robbie: Yeah. In about 10 minutes or so, we'll spray it, season it, turn it, then we're done.

Step 6: Eat

Robby: Alright, this is the big unveiling.

Matt: The final unveiling.

Robby: Oh man, I'm just gonna hug it. Can I just hug it?

Matt: I wouldn't right now.

Robby: See some of the scruff from the grill, which is good. Oh-oh-oh.

Matt: There you go.

Robby: Thank you, chef.

Matt: Man.

Robby: Oh my god. I'm gonna need to go down to one knee, I think, for a second here. So this is amazing, I mean I can't wait to continue eating this.

Matt: Yeah, I wanna continue eating this.

Robby: Chef Matt Bolus, thank you for being here with us.

Matt: No, thank you.

Robby: Don't get burnt by this raging Egg behind us.

Matt: Right.

Robby: Visit Matt at the 404 Kitchen in Nashville, Tennessee. Let's eat.

Matt: Let's eat.

Robby: It's just killer, yes.

Matt: Maybe we'll share it, maybe we won't.

Robby: Maybe we won't. You have the knife, we could fend people off.

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