Smoked Ham Might Never Look The Same After Seeing This Viral TikTok

Smoked ham, often drenched in some type of sticky-sweet glaze, is a staple on many holiday tables. After all, sometimes you just need an alternative to the classic turkey as your protein-packed centerpiece (or, you just want double the meat options — no judgment here!). However, a recent video posted on TikTok may just have any smoked ham lovers considering an alternative — and could perhaps have some smoked ham haters, vegan, or vegetarians switching sides to try out a fascinating take on this classic dish. The secret? The main ingredient actually isn't ham at all — it's watermelon.

TikTok user @jeremyjacobowitz shared a short clip in which they showed off a watermelon smoked ham, and the short yet intriguing video received over 11 million views (via Honey Kitchen). The exterior of the watermelon is scored just like the exterior of a ham typically is, with a blackened crust that looks exactly like what you want from your smoked meats. In the clip, a person transfers the large smoked fruit from a skillet to a cutting board and even goes so far as to carve it into thick slices, the same way you would serve a ham. Not only do you get that signature charred exterior characteristic of so many meat dishes, but the watermelon itself has also been soaked and brined to impart certain flavors. According to captions that pop up in the clip, the end result is a unique dish that is sweet yet smoky and salty.

An innovative take on a protein-packed classic

It is believed that the dish was created by New York chef Will Horowitz in 2018 and shared on his restaurant's Instagram page (via Honey Kitchen). It's certainly not a quick dish to whip up — according to Horowitz, the watermelon is brined for up to four days, and then smoked for five hours in order to create the deceptive dish. In fact, he has revealed that he can only make a maximum of two per night, meaning demand is high for this vegan comfort fare (via Eater).

Fans of the Netflix cooking competition show "Crazy Delicious" might also recognize this unique item as one that wowed judge Heston Blumenthal and his fellow judges (via Reality Titbit). In episode four of that particular series, one of the contestants, a home cook, created a smoked watermelon as well. However, he utilized a spicy jerk sauce to bring in some of the Caribbean flavors he loved and remembered from his childhood, whereas Horowitz went for a tamari and herb blend for a more traditional savory flavor. Whichever flavor profile you prefer, you can certainly try out this recipe at home if you're feeling a bit adventurous and want to introduce some innovative dishes to your grilling repertoire.