Surprise with a smoked Christmas ham in Bradley smoke

Surprise with a smoked Christmas ham in Bradley smoke

Thomas Karlstein

Surely there are few dishes that we Swedes have such a special relationship with as the Christmas ham?


Aqua white mustard:

300 ml apple cider vinegar

10 tablespoons icing sugar

160 g light mustard seeds

4 tablespoons mustard powder

1 dl aqua white

0.5 dl orange juice

4 teaspoons liquid honey

salt & pepper


When can you start enjoying it, should it be boiled or baked, what type of grilling applies? In and at what temperature should it be cooked? Should it be juicy like our usual sandwich spread or run a little longer so that typical Christmas ham flavor comes out? If we manage to agree on the preparation of the Christmas ham, it continues in the next step. What kind of mustard is preferred and on which bread should it be? We all do differently but are equally right. Because that's what's so nice about Christmas ham. There is no right or wrong. There's just everyone's own version of Christmas ham. We don't really know much about the Christmas ham. It is sometimes easier to date dishes such as Karl XII's cabbage dolme, than dishes that can be described as our own.

What is known is that the Christmas ham in its current form was at least on the table at the end of the 19th century. In national romantic Christmas paintings such as those by Jenny Nyström, a large piece of meat did well, showing prosperity and abundance. It must then have been mainly enjoyed by the more well-to-do, while the less wealthy still perhaps ate pig, but not Christmas ham in the way we know it.

Others believe that the Christmas ham has its origins already in the Viking Age. That it would descend from the particularly life-affirming pig Särimner, who was resurrected again just in time for the next guild. Of course the Vikings kept pigs and certainly pork was eaten at major festivals, but Christmas was not celebrated until much later.

But what is a Christmas ham? Christmas ham is not a specific piece, but usually consists of several pieces. As a rule, a large undivided Christmas ham consists of several parts such as inner thigh, outer thigh, roll, shank, roast beef and french fries. This larger original ham is then divided into two, three or four pieces to fit the size of the end consumer. This combination of different piece details and how they are then divided is the explanation why no two Christmas hams are alike. Either in shape or texture. I have understood that many people find it difficult to adopt new ways of cooking something that holds so much emotion.

The Christmas ham is not just food but serves as a symbol of everything that we appreciate about Christmas. It's as if the tradition of the round grilled piece of meat contains a part of the security that we so badly want to feel. How the Christmas ham is prepared is also part of this tradition, which is why it is difficult for many to venture into new ways. Many people seem to experience added value in almost ritually recreating the same Christmas ham year after year. I mean that traditions are important, but don't care much for principles. Not even when it comes to Christmas ham.

For that reason, I, like thousands of Scanians, choose to smoke the Christmas ham. The result is a slowly cooked Christmas ham with a well-balanced smoke flavor. What we associate with Christmas ham is still there, but with a hint of smoke. By the way, smoking is a cooking method with a history that goes back a lot further than that of Christmas ham.

With my smoked Christmas ham, I like to serve a homemade aqua white mustard. I prefer to put the smoked Christmas ham on a levain bread, while I drink a glass of Christmas must so frothy that I grow a moustache.

We at Bradley want to wish you a wonderful Christmas with lots of smoke and hard Bradley packages! Smoked Christmas ham A ready-rimmed Christmas ham of any size alder wood briquettes


Rinse the ham under running cold water. Then wipe off with clean paper. Then put on a wire rack and leave to dry in the fridge for a day. A dry ham gives it a finer color and a more unbitter flavor from the smoke. (If you're in a hurry, you can dry the ham for an hour at 60°C in a convection oven.)

Insert an oven thermometer.

Then smoke the Christmas ham on the grill in the middle of the smoke. Smoke at 70-80°C. Depending on the size, it takes a different amount of time. A ham of approximately 2.5 kg takes approximately 12 hours depending on thickness. We prefer a target temperature in the ham of 68-70°C. For a stronger color, when the ham begins to approach the target temperature, you can raise the heat to 140°C.

When the ham has reached its target temperature, it is taken out and allowed to cool on the bench. (If the outside temperature is between 0-5°C, it is a good idea to let the heat out of the smoker, close the door and then let the ham remain and cool in the smoke. The smoker holds so much smoke aroma that it helps to continue flavoring the ham even while it is cools down.)

Aqua white mustard Method:

Boil vinegar, sugar and mustard powder until it dissolves.

Add the mustard seeds. Let simmer until half the liquid remains.

Put everything in a blender and let it work for a while.

Add aquavit, orange juice and honey.

Run the mixer for another moment on low speed.

Let cool and season with salt and pepper. (If you want a completely alcohol-free mustard, you can let the alcohol simmer in the first step of the recipe. If the mustard then becomes too viscous, you can dilute it with a splash of water in the last step.)


5 Flavour Variety Bisquettes for Bradley Smoker

This variety pack contains 24 each of apple, alder, mesquite, hickory and maple for a variety of flavors.

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