A glazed ham is an impressive main course for any festive occasion. Itís easy to make, and a few tricks can guarantee moist, tender meat and a flavorful, gleaming glaze. Prepare the glaze while the hamís in the oven, and brush it on when the ham is nearly done. Continue to bake the ham for around 15 minutes, or until the glaze is crispy and caramelized. For best results, use a meat thermometer to track the internal temperature and cook your ham to perfection.

EditSimple Brown Sugar Glaze

  • 1 ? cup (265 g) dark brown sugar
  • orange juice, red wine, or cognac

EditBrown Sugar and Soy Sauce Glaze

  • 1 ? cup (265 g) light brown sugar
  • soy sauce
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

EditBourbon, Molasses, and Clove Glaze

  • molasses
  • bourbon
  • Ĺ teaspoon (1 g) ground cloves

EditMaple-Orange Glaze

  • maple syrup
  • orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) unsalted ****er
  • 1 tablespoon (16 g) Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon (2 g) ground black pepper
  • ľ teaspoon (ĺ g) ground cinnamon


EditMaking a Glaze

  1. Prepare the glaze after putting the ham in the oven. Eventually, youíll glaze the ham about 15 to 20 minutes before itís finished cooking. To have the glaze ready in time, start working on it around 45 to 60 minutes before you expect the ham to be done.[1]

    • Quick glazes take mere minutes, and even those that need to be reduced on the stove top take under 15 minutes.

  2. Whisk up a brown sugar glaze if you want a simple, classic option. For the easiest, no-cook option, simply whisk together 1 ? cup (265 g) of dark brown sugar with of orange juice, red wine, or cognac. Mix the ingredients in a small bowl until the sugar has dissolved completely.[2]
  3. Simmer a soy sauce glaze to add savory notes. Alternatively, combine 1 ? cup (265 g) of light brown sugar, of soy sauce, and 2 minced garlic cloves in a small saucepan, then bring the ingredients to a boil over medium heat.[3]

    • Lower the heat once the mixture has reached a boil. Stir it occasionally, and simmer it for 3 to 5 minutes, or until itís thickened slightly. Then turn off the heat, and allow the glaze to cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes before brushing it over the ham.

  4. Combine bourbon, molasses, and cloves for a deep, warm glaze. Whisk together of molasses, of bourbon, and Ĺ teaspoon (1 g) of ground cloves in a small saucepan. Bring the ingredients to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes.[4]

    • Once the mixture has thickened slightly, turn off the heat, and let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes.

  5. Make a maple-orange glaze for a tangy, bright flavor combination. Combine of maple syrup, of orange marmalade, 2 tablespoons (30 g) of unsalted ****er, 1 tablespoon (16 g) of Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon (2 g) of ground black pepper, and ľ teaspoon (ĺ g) of ground cinnamon in a small saucepan. Simmer the mixture over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 10 minutes, or until itís syrupy and has reduced to .[5]

    • Let the glaze cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes before brushing it over the ham. of honey.[6]}}

  6. Try coming up with your own custom glaze. You can find countless recipes for glazes, but coming up with your own glaze is easy. Experiment with ingredients on hand until you've balanced sweet, acidic, and savory flavors. Aim to make between of glaze, and reserve about a third of it to serve at the dinner table.[7]

    • The basic ingredients of a glaze are a sweetener (such as brown sugar or molasses), an acid (such as vinegar or orange juice), and herbs or spices (such as thyme or cloves).

EditApplying the Glaze

  1. Bake a cured or pre-cooked ham covered at . Preheat the oven, remove the ham from its package, and pat it dry. Place the ham in an oven bag, and set it cut-side down on a shallow roasting pan lined with aluminum foil. If you donít have an oven bag, cover the ham loosely with aluminum foil.[8]

    • Plan on baking a cured (pre-cooked) ham for about 10 to 15 minutes per pound (about 22 to 33 minutes per kg), or until it reaches an internal temperature of . If you didnít soak the ham to bring it to room temperature, plan on heating it for an hour longer.. Set the ham in a foil-lined roasting pan, and pour of bourbon, cider, wine, or water over it. Bake it for about 20 minutes per pound (about 44 minutes per kg), or until it reaches an internal temperature of .[9]}}

  2. Remove the ham from the oven 20 minutes before it's finished baking. If youíre reheating a cured ham, take it out of the oven once it reaches an internal temperature of . For a ham soaked in hot water and baked at , that should take about 1 to 1 Ĺ hours.[10]

    • Rest the hot roasting pan on a wire cooling rack. After you take out the ham, raise the oven temperature to .
    • If youíre cooking an uncured ham at , take it out of the oven once itís reached an internal temperature between , or after about 2 hours.[11]

  3. Score the ham if itís not spiral-sliced. Make a series of deep diagonal cuts apart across the top surface of the ham. Then rotate the pan and make diagonal cuts in the other direction to make a grid of diamond shapes. Scoring makes for a great presentation and allows the glaze to penetrate deeper into the meat.[12]

    • Since a spiral-sliced ham is pre-cut, scoring is unnecessary.
    • If desired, press a whole clove into each point where 2 scored lines intersect. Just remember to remove them before you carve and serve the ham. deep cuts across the its surface.[13]}}

  4. Brush the ham with about a third of the glaze. Use a basting brush or a spoon to coat the ham with a portion of the glaze. Be sure to work the glaze into the hamís scored lines or spiral cuts.[14]

    • The sugars in the glaze will caramelize, yielding an attractive, flavorful, and candy-like skin. Glazing the ham too early in the cooking process will lead to a scorched ham, so wait until the last 15 to 20 minutes.

  5. Raise the oven to and continue baking the ham. Return the ham to the oven and continue baking it, uncovered, until the glaze begins to become shiny, crispy, and slightly brown.[15]

    • Raise the temperature when you first remove the ham so the oven has time to heat.

  6. Brush on another third of the glaze after about 10 minutes. Work quickly when you brush on more glaze to prevent the oven temperature from dropping too low. Keep the ham in the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes until the surface is crisp, brown, and caramelized.[16]

    • Be sure to keep a close eye on the ham through the oven window to keep it from burning.

EditServing Your Glazed Ham

  1. Remove the ham from the oven and let it rest. Take the ham out of the oven, transfer it to a carving board, and turn off the oven. Tent it loosely with foil, and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes.[17]

    • While the ham rests, its internal temperature will increase a bit. This means the final serving temperature will be around for a cured ham and for one that was uncooked when you purchased it.
    • For a fresh, uncooked ham, is the recommended safe internal temperature. A cured ham was already cooked, so itís even safe to eat cold.[18]

  2. Make a quick sauce with the rest of the glaze. While the ham rests, whisk 2 to 4 tablespoons of the pan juices with the remaining third of the glaze until youíve thinned it into a sauce.[19]

    • To keep the glaze warm, place the saucepan over a burner set to low heat and stir it occasionally.

  3. Present the ham to your guests before carve it. Garnish the ham with a bouquet of fresh herbs, such as parsley or watercress, and show it off to your guests. Once they've had a chance to admire your handiwork, you can get to carving and serving the ham.[20]Advertisement

  4. Carve the ham into slices. If your ham isnít pre-cut, slice it yourself with a sharp carving or chefís knife. First, remove the cloves, if you inserted any into the scored surface. Cut off a few slices to flatten the thinner side, then turn the ham onto the flat side so it wonít roll as you carve the meatier side.[21]

    • If you look at the cut side, youíll see that the bone is closer to one edge. This is the thinner side, and you want to carve the opposite, meatier side.
    • Slice straight down into the ham until you reach the bone. Make cuts every , then run the knife horizontally along the bone to remove the slices.
    • If you bought a spiral-sliced ham, simply cut along the bone to remove the slices.

  5. Serve the ham slices with your glaze sauce. Transfer the slices, along with your garnishes, to a serving platter. Set a serving fork on the platter, and pour the glaze sauce into a gravy boat. Bring the boat and platter to the table, serve your guests, and invite them to add sauce to their liking.[22]


  • Go with a bone-in, spiral-sliced ham, which are the most flavorful, convenient, readily available options. They take less time to prepare and, since theyíre pre-cut, are easier to carve.[23]
  • If youíre not sure what size ham to buy, allow about per person.
  • Avoid purchasing hams labeled ďwater addedĒ or ďham and water product.Ē These injected solutions dilute the flavor.
  • To reduce cooking time, soak the ham in its original packaging in hot water for 90 minutes. Less time in the oven means less evaporation, which translates to moist, tender meat.[24]
  • Store leftover glazed ham for 7 to 10 days, and enjoy it with fried eggs, in sandwiches, or with leftover side dishes from your holiday meal.[25]

EditThings You'll Need

  • Roasting pan
  • Oven bag (or aluminum foil)
  • Meat thermometer
  • Small saucepan
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoon
  • Whisk
  • Basting brush or spoon
  • Cutting board
  • Chef's knife

EditRelated wikiHows

EditSources and Citations

EditQuick Summary

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