This baked ham is coated in a homemade brown sugar and mustard glaze and cooked at a low temperature and followed by a final burst of high heat to caramelize the surface, resulting in a moist, tender ham. Perfect for Easter, Christmas, or any other weekend meal.
Baked ham is one of those dishes that gets a reputation for being difficult to make, but nothing could be further from the truth. I’m not sure where it started, but I’m pretty sure it started with people trying to market pre-cooked or pre-sliced hams because anything that’s pre-cooked makes you think it must be a difficult dish to make.
In this recipe, you will learn how easy it is to make your own baked ham and how sweet and flavorful it will be, in my opinion, far superior to pre-cooked hams. With a little effort, you can have a beautiful ham for your family to admire, and while some may think you bought it that way, you can brag that you made it from scratch.
Table of Contents
Why you will love this Glazed Ham
- Gorgeous Holiday Centerpiece When this is placed on your dinner table, it looks impressive between the diamond pattern and the gorgeous glaze glistening over the top of the ham. Your guests will be in awe.
- Delicious Recipe I love ham with a glaze, but this recipe with the combination of Dijon mustard, honey, brown sugar, and spices is my favorite way to dress a ham.
How to Choose a Ham
There are quite a few options when it comes to buying your holiday ham and a few questions to consider.
Are you wanting a bone-in or boneless one?
I like to use bone-in ham because it will give you better flavor and I find you have a nicer texture. Boneless is nice because you don’t have to worry about cutting around the bone but I find the texture is a little spongy but is more appealing when you’re trying to cut nice slices for the dinner table.
Shank end or Butt end?
The butt end of the pork is the upper part of the ham and tends to be more tender and has more flavor but also includes the hip bone usually making it a struggle to cut around.
The shank end is the lower part of the ham and has a straight bone making it much easier to carve.
Smoked or fresh?
Most hams will come fully cooked and will just require being heated all the way through and an added glaze. When it comes to smoke vs cured it’s really a personal preference. I personally like the flavor of the smoke.
Choices of ham
- Whole ham
- Half ham
- Spiral cut
- Bone in
- Fully cooked or partially cooked or uncooked
I prefer unsliced bone-in-half ham for this recipe and most holiday occasions, and if I have a choice, I prefer the shank end.
Ingredients for Baked Ham
- Bone-In Ham
- Brown Sugar
- Dijon Mustard
- Dijon Mustard
- Apple Cider
- Corn Starch
- Pineapple Juice
How do you make Brown Sugar Glaze
- Butter place butter into a saucepan until melted
- Mix together pineapple juice and cornstarch until you have a slurry this is used to thicken your sauce
- Add in remaining ingredients and cook for 5- 7 minutes or until it has started to thicken.
- Cool allow the glaze to cook and then brush or pour over the ham in a roasting pan.
How to make Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze
For this recipe, I’m using already-cooked ham. The process here is to try and thoroughly warm the ham to the center and create a nice brown sugar mustard crust on the outside.
- Flat Side-down Lay the ham down on an aluminum foil-rimmed baking pan. so that when you place the glaze on the ham, the entire exterior has a good coating.
- Score the ham starting from one end close to the bottom, and cut about 1/3 of an inch into the ham in a line. Repeat making lines 1 inch apart on the ham. Then you want to turn the ham and repeat diagonally from one side to the other.
- Glaze pour or brush the brown sugar glaze over the ham
- Bake the ham at a medium to low temperature
- Serve slice with a sharp knife and serve with your holiday meal.
Tips for the perfect glaze for the ham
- You can use fresh or canned pineapple juice; they both work well for this recipe.
- I’ve made this recipe using both dark and light brown sugar. The light brown sugar will give you a light brown sugar flavor, while the dark brown sugar has a stronger molasses flavor. Both will give you excellent results.
- Use freshly ground nutmeg if you can, it really does have the best flavor.
- The homemade glaze will work for both bone-in and boneless ham. If you’re using a boneless ham, you want to score the outside first.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to cook a ham in the oven?
Fully cooked ham needs to reach 140°F, which will take about 10-14 minutes per pound, which will generally take around 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 hours.
When should I put the brown sugar glaze on my ham?
What I recommend is the basting approach: after the first hour of cooking, baste the ham with 1/3 of the glaze, then allow it to cook for another hour and baste again. You should do this three times during the total cook time.
What size ham do I need?
For this recipe, you will want to find a 10-pound bone-in ham. For the best result with this recipe, you will want to get as close as possible to the recommended cook time and ingredient amounts.
How to Store Leftover ham
Ham can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container. You can also freeze the ham, which will keep it for up to 3 months. I have found the best way to reheat the leftovers is to heat them in the drippings or water on the stovetop or oven.
What to serve with baked ham?
Simple Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Mustard Glaze
- 10-14 lbs bone-in ham
- ½ cup butter melted
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup honey
- ⅓ cup Dijon mustard
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground clove
- ½ cup pineapple juice
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Score the ham with cuts one inch apart and 1/4 inch deep. Do this in two directions creating a grid pattern over the entire surface of the ham.
- Place the ham, flat side down, in a roasting pan. Pour 3 cups of water into the pan. Cover with foil. The ham should cook for about 12 minutes per pound.
- After 1 hour, prepare the glaze. Add the brown sugar, honey, dijon mustard, butter, apple cider vinegar, garlic, cinnamon, and ginger to a saucepan over medium heat. Once it starts bubbling, turn down the heat to low and continue cooking for a couple more minutes. The glaze may seem runny at first, but that’s okay. It will thicken up as it sits
- Remove the ham from the oven and spread ⅓ of the glaze over the ham and return to the oven without the foil. Continue cooking for another hour.
- Remove the foil and turn the oven up to 375°F. Brush half of the remaining glaze all over the ham. Bake an additional 20-30 minutes until the internal temperature reaches 130°F.
- Remove the ham from the oven again, and spread another ⅓ of the glaze over the ham. Cook for the remaining time based on the weight of your ham.
- Remove the ham from the oven and spread the remaining glaze over the ham.
- Let the ham rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.