Baked Ham is my kids’ all time favorite meal!  They’d pass up a turkey dinner any day of the week (or any holiday) for ham.

This easy baked ham is moist, tender and delicious inside while the outside is brushed with a brown sugar glaze and caramelized for a hint of sweetness. We serve this baked ham for special occasions (like Easter and Christmas) but it’s simple enough to make any time of year!

Slices of Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze on a plate

I’m not going to lie, I love turkey dinner (mostly I just love stuffing) but I’m kind of outnumbered around here because everyone else votes ham.  While I make Crock Pot Ham quite frequently since it’s so easy, I have to admit I truly love the roasted flavor that comes from making a deliciously glazed baked ham!

Baking a ham is not hard, you just need to watch the temperature to make sure it heats through without over cooking.  Adding a brown sugar glaze to baked ham takes it to the next level without being overly sweet.

How to Bake  a Ham

Most of the time when you purchase ham, it’s been smoked which means it’s cooked.  Be sure to check the package of your ham to see if it says fully cooked (and it should let you know the temperature to cook your ham to).

A fully cooked ham needs to be cooked to 140°F (basically just to heat it) where as a “cook before eating” ham needs to be cooked to 160°F.

When cooking ham, you’ll want to preheat your oven and place the ham cut side down.

Cover the ham in foil and crimp the foil around your roasting pan (I use a 9×13 pan) to seal it. Brush with the brown sugar ham glaze before it finishes baking.

Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze in a dish

How long to Cook a Ham

This recipe uses a bone in ham since bone-in ham produces the best flavor and very tender meat (plus we like to have a leftover ham bone to make our favorite Crock Pot Ham and Bean Soup).

For this recipe a bone-in fully cooked ham cooks for about 12-14 minutes per pound (a 9lb ham will take about 2 1/4 hours).

It is easy to overcook ham so to really make a perfect baked ham, I suggest using a thermometer like this one.

I have one and I simply leave in the ham while it cooks and monitor the temperature for perfect results. (I use if for everything from steaks to perfectly cooked Pork Tenderloin). They cost less than $20 and I think it’s truly a small investment to be able to produce perfect results when cooking (and to never have overcooked meat again)! You should also see a cooking guide on the package of the ham you buy for cooking times but a thermometer is most accurate.

Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze being brushed with glaze

How to make Brown Sugar Glaze for Ham

In this recipe I add my favorite Brown Sugar Glaze for ham using, of course, brown sugar and a bit of pineapple juice (orange juice works great too). The glaze is flavorful without being too sweet and adding a delicious sticky coating to the outside of the ham.

I take the extra step (about 4 minutes of extra time) to thicken the glaze slightly because this makes it adhere to the ham much better.  You can use dark or light brown sugar in this recipe but dark brown sugar has a bit more flavor.

As with anything that is high in sugars, the brown sugar glaze can burn if left too long in the oven so it is just added for the last 15 minutes.

Once the brown sugar glaze is thickened and cooled, the ham is removed from the oven and the heat is cranked up high.  Brush the glaze over the ham and pop it back into the oven.  The high heat will make the most gorgeous golden glaze in just a few minutes!

Before carving your baked ham, let it rest 15 minutes to help keep it perfectly juicy.

Slices of Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze on a plate with a fork

How much ham per person

If you’re using a bone in ham, you’ll want about 3/4 pound of  ham per person and a bit more if you want leftovers (for Ham and Corn Chowder or Cheesy Ham and Potato Casserole). An 8lb ham should feed about 9 people.

What to Serve With Glazed Ham

This beautiful brown sugar ham is most often served at Christmas dinner or Easter dinner at our house! We serve it with our favorite sides for the perfect meal!

Slices of Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze on a plate with a fork
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Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze

Baked ham is moist, tender and delicious inside while the outside is brushed with a brown sugar glaze and caramelized for a hint of sweetness.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings 12 Servings
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  • 1 spiral cut ham with bone-in approx 7-9 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup pineapple juice or orange juice

Brown Sugar Glaze

  • ½ cup pineapple juice or orange juice
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch


  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Combine dijon mustard and pineapple juice. Brush over ham.
  • If your ham has a plastic disk on the bone, this should be removed and discarded. Place the ham, flat side down in a roasting pan, and cover tightly with foil. Roast 12-15 minutes per pound (or according to package directions).
  • Meanwhile, combine glaze ingredients and bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer 2-3 minutes. Cool.
  • 15 minutes before ham is done, remove from the oven and turn the oven up to 425°F.
  • Brush with glaze and return to the oven until the glaze is caramelized and the ham has reached the safe cook temperature.


If you purchase a smoked ham, it has been cooked, be sure to check the package to ensure it says it is "fully cooked". If your ham is fully cooked on the package (as most spiral hams are), it will need to cook to 140°F (basically just to heat it).
5 from 785 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 690 | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 57g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Cholesterol: 164mg | Sodium: 3200mg | Potassium: 795mg | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin C: 1.5mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 2.5mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. Holidays = Hollydays. The best recipe for ham along with everything else I rely on her for to make my holiday meals!5 stars

  2. Question – my ham is not spiral cut, but a 9 lb bone in shank. Do you think that will change cooking time? And should I score the outside maybe? I realize this is outside your recipe scope but these flavors look great and I want to try them!

    1. I would suggest scoring the outside so the glaze can really seep in. A shank should be similar in cooking time (ensure it is smoked or fully cooked on the package), I would recommend a thermometer to be certain.

      1. Thank you!! It is smoked and pre-cooked, I made sure of that. Will let you know how it goes.

  3. I’m excited to try this recipe today. I have one question. It says the ham is to be baked cut side down. When you get to the glazing part do you need to turn it so the sliced part is on top? Or do you just leave it remaining cut side down while glazing?

      1. Thank you so much! It’s so nice of you to respond so quickly to questions.

  4. Just made this tonight and it was so good! The kids loved it and said they enjoyed the hint of sweetness from the glaze. I did have to use orange juice instead of pineapple as it was all I had on hand. I will definitely be making this again!5 stars

  5. For dietary reasons I don’t make ham very often. However, I look forward to making this ham for company on Easter. I’ve always had great success with recipes from this site (oven baked chicken breasts in particular). Since I’ve had varied results with ham in the past, I just wanted to recheck the prep. Do I need to remove the fat from the exterior of the ham before baking? I have a fully cooked spiral ham. Thank you and Happy Easter to all.

    1. You do not need to remove the fat from the ham, it should be ready to unwrap (remove and discard the plastic disk at the bottom if there is one) and bake.

  6. I’m planning on making this recipe for Easter. Other recipes mention baking on a rack cut side down with some water in the pan. Would that work for this s recipe so it’s not sitting in the water? Also, I need my over for sides as well. Can this be made earlier and how long can it sit out?

    1. I haven’t tried it on a rack so I can’t say for sure. This can definitely be made ahead of time and will stay warm, covered with foil for about 45 minutes or so. I actually made this ham yesterday and rested it about 40 minutes. Just before serving, I added the glaze and cooked at 425°F for 15 minutes. It was perfect that way and warmed the ham for serving.

  7. I see some reviews mentioning a lower temp. And my ham package says a lower temp. Is the baking temp correct in the recipe? Thank you! Excited to get mine in the oven.

    1. While some readers may have cooked at a different temperature, I cook the ham at 325°F as per the recipe and it’s perfect every time. Enjoy!

    1. If you were to add the glaze at the beginning, the sugars in the glaze would burn. I boil the glaze to thicken it, this allows it to coat the ham better and then it is added towards the end of cooking so it gets sticky but doesn’t burn.

  8. First time making a ham for the family. I want to make it the day before and then warm it in a slow cooker. Should I glaze the ham and do i keep all the juices to warm the ham in the next day?
    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

    1. Great question, Julie! I would keep the juices or remake the glaze the next day to warm with the ham so it doesn’t dry out when reheating.