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Go Ahead, Glaze a Ham (You'll Thank Us)

December 11, 2013

Let’s cut to the chase: Glazed hams are way easier to make than you think. 

Yeah, they require a bit of attention—as do all good things—but a little basting is a small price to pay for a whole lot of awesome.

Most recipes suggest starting with a fully-cooked or cured ham (a nice weight off the cook’s shoulders). That’s where it gets fun: you can glaze a ham with pretty much anything syrupy and sweet, from molasses to marmalade to freakin’ Cherry Coke. 

The payoff is a lovely, moist ham with a sugary crust that is straight up divine.

Below are a few recipes that caught our (ham-crazed) eyes. Go forth and glaze!

1. Brandied Ham

Photo credit: Everyday Food

Brandy or bourbon + grainy mustard = awesome, pretty much every time. This recipe is no exception. 


  • 1 1/2 cups packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup brandy or bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons grainy mustard
  • 1 bone-in half ham (about 6 pounds), fully cooked

In a small saucepan, combine sugar, brandy, and mustard. Bring to a boil over medium; cook until glaze is thick and syrupy, 3 minutes. (To store, refrigerate, up to 2 days. Reheat before using.)

Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Using a sharp knife, cut off hard rind from ham (if any); score the fat in a diamond pattern. Place ham, cut side down, in a roasting pan or on a rimmed baking sheet and cover tightly with foil. Bake until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part reads 145, 1 1/2 hours.

Brush ham generously with glaze, making sure to coat all exposed areas. Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake, uncovered, until glaze is sticky and ham is browned, about 35 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

2. Glazed Ham with Apricot-Mustard Sauce

Photo credit: Everyday Food

Stone fruits and pork products—two great flavors that taste great together.


  • 7 pounds (about half of a bone-in) cured smoked ham, (butt end), room temperature
  • 2 cups apricot jam
  • 1/4 cup mustard powder
  • Butter for aluminum foil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees, with rack in lowest position. Line a large roasting pan with aluminum foil; place roasting rack in pan.

With a sharp knife, trim fat, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick layer. Lightly score fat in a diamond pattern (do not cut into meat). Place ham, fat side up, on rack; roast 1 hour.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine jam and mustard (they can be mixed and refrigerated up to 1 day ahead). Transfer 1/2 cup mixture to a small bowl to glaze ham. Set aside saucepan with remaining mixture.

After 1 hour, brush ham with glaze. Repeat every 15 minutes until brown and shiny, and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part, avoiding bone, registers 130 degrees, about 1 hour more (if glaze starts to burn, tent ham with buttered foil). Discard unused glaze. Remove ham from oven; cover loosely with buttered foil to keep warm. Temperature will then rise another 5 to 10 degrees.

Bring jam mixture in saucepan to a boil. Serve with sauce.

3. Baked Ham with Marmalade-Horseradish Glaze

Photo credit: Epicurious

The traditional clove-studded ham makes you feel like a classy cook. A mix of sweet marmalade, brown sugar, orange juice, and eye-opening horseradish keeps things interesting. 


  • 1 18-pound fully cooked bone-in smoked ham, room temperature
  • 48 (about) whole cloves
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/4 cup prepared cream style horseradish
  • 1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 2 cups fresh orange juice

Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 325°F. Place ham on rack set in large roasting pan. Using sharp knife, score ham in diamond pattern. Press 1 clove into center of each diamond. Pour 4 cups water into roasting pan. Roast ham 1 hour 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend marmalade, horseradish, and sugar in medium bowl.

Remove ham from oven. Transfer ham to baking sheet. Discard pan juices. Return ham to roasting pan. Add orange juice to roasting pan. Brush top of ham with 1/3 of marmalade glaze. Bake ham 10 minutes. Baste with orange juice in pan, then brush with half of remaining glaze. Bake ham 10 minutes. Baste with orange juice in pan and brush with remaining glaze. Roast ham until heated through, basting every 5 minutes, about 20 minutes longer. Let ham rest 15 minutes. Transfer to platter. Serve ham hot, warm, or at room temperature.

4. Smoked Ham with Pomegranate Molasses, Black Pepper, and Mustard Glaze

Photo credit: Food52

Pomegranate is one of those flavors you’d never think of using with a ham, but boy, does it work. 


  • 1/2 bone-in smoked ham, 5-6 lbs.
  • 3/4 cups pomegranate molasses
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, plus extra for serving
  • 2 tablespoons whiskey
  • 1 tablespoon ground whole black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Cornichons

Let ham come to room temperature 1 hour before cooking. Preheat oven to 325 F.

Make the glaze: Combine pomegranate molasses, 1/4 cup mustard, whiskey, pepper, allspice and salt in a bowl and mix to blend well.

Place ham, fat side up, in a foil lined roasting pan. Score fat in a cross-hatch pattern at 1-2” intervals without incising the meat.

Generously baste the ham with the glaze. Bake in oven, basting occasionally, until internal temperature of the ham is 120 F. (about 10 minutes per pound.) The ham should be deep golden brown and crusty at this time. If not, increase heat to 450 F. and continue to bake for a few minutes, while keeping an eye on the ham so it doesn’t burn.

Remove from oven and transfer to cutting board. Let rest 20 minutes before carving.

Transfer remaining basting sauce to a small saucepan and simmer briefly, brushing down the sides, to heat through and burn off alcohol.

Slice ham and serve with Dijon mustard, cornichons and basting sauce as condiments on the side.

5. Cherry Coke Ham

Photo credit: The Coca-Cola Company

There are so many fun Cherry Coke–baked ham recipes flying around that we couldn’t choose which one we liked best. We’ll let you decide: Not only does this Serious Eats recipe look downright darling, even The Coca-Cola Company’s recipe (courtesy of one Ms. Darlene Woods of Essexville, MI) looks great. We’ve also heard good things about this recipe from sultry cooking goddess Nigella Lawson. 

The lesson here: It’s always good to glaze.