Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze


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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
5 from 287 votes
Review Recipe

Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Servings 12 Servings
Author Holly Nilsson
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.

Ingredients

  • 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

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Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325°F.
  • Combine dijon mustard and pineapple juice. Brush over ham.
  • Place 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.

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.)

Keyword baked ham, brown sugar glaze, glazed ham
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly

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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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Comments

  1. This was a wonderful recipe. It is my favorite ham I’ve eaten. I will certainly make this recipe again, but not until next Easter. Once a year ham is enough for me!5 stars

  2. Can I make this ham in an electric roasting pan? If so, what would you recommend for the cooking process?

    1. I’ve not made this recipe in an electric roasting pan. Maybe other readers have some ideas. Make sure that your ham comes to the correct temperature. 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. You may want to pop it into the oven at the end to get the nice carmelization.

  3. Hello, I cannot find a spiral ham in my small town. How would I adjust this recipe for a bone in shank portion. Looking forward to making this Sunday.

    1. This would cook at the same temperature as directed in the recipe. 325°F for 12-15 minutes per pound (or according to package directions). If you are not using a spiral ham, I would suggest scoring the outside of the ham (I usually do a diamond pattern). Enjoy Taryn!

  4. Hi, a bit confused (not unusual with me and cooking;), early in the description it says, “When cooking ham, you’ll want to preheat your oven and place the ham cut side down. Brush with the brown sugar ham glaze before baking.”
    Later in the recipe it says to brush with pineapple & Dijon mixture and then do the brown sugar glaze 15 mins before it’s done. I assume the actual recipe instructions are correct?
    Thanks, looking forward to trying!

    1. Sorry for the confusion Cindy, the actual recipe is correct as written. Adding the glaze too early can cause it to burn so I add it at the end. Enjoy the recipe!

      1. Perfect! Thanks so much for the clarification! I figured that was the case but I’m such a bad cook I don’t usually trust my intuition, haha! Will let you know how it turns out!

      2. So, you do brush on the mustard and pineapple juice right away and then the brown sugar glaze the last 15 minutes??

    1. This would cook at the same temperature as directed in the recipe. 325°F for 12-15 minutes per pound (or according to package directions).

  5. Hi! I am thinking to make this recipe for New Years eve. My ham is 9.84 pounds hormel spiral sliced bone in (naturally hardwood smoked) . May I know how long i will cooked my ham ? And which is better pineator orange juice? Or Can i use apple jelly instead? Your soonest response greatly appreciated. Thanking you in advance.

    1. If it’s a fully cooked ham, it 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. For this recipe a bone-in fully cooked ham cooks for about 12-14 minutes per pound (your ham will take about 2 1/2 hours). Check it early with a meat thermometer to make sure it doesn’t overcook and dry out.

      Pineapple juice, orange juice, or apple jelly would all work well.

      1. I have a 4.932 kg Hickory Smoked bone in ham. No meat thermometer. How long to bake?

      2. It is estimated that a bone-in fully cooked ham cooks for about 12-14 minutes per pound so your ham would need between 2hrs 10 minutes and 2 hrs 30 minutes. Ensure your ham says fully cooked on the package. This can vary slightly based on shape, you’ll want to check it a bit early to ensure it doesn’t overcook.

  6. What is the calculation to ascertain when there is 15 minutes of cooking time left if you are using a meat thermometer? Seems as though it would depend on the size of the ham.

  7. Amazing recipe, first time getting my Christmas Ham right. It was so tender and that glaze was everything. Thank you sooo much!!5 stars

  8. Awesome the BEST ham I’ve ever tasted.
    It melts in your mouth. My husband loved it! It was so easy to make.
    The glaze was Great!!5 stars

  9. Hi! I’ve never cooked a ham before and I purchased a boneless fully cooked shank ham. About 7 lbs. How long would you suggest cooking per pound when it is boneless? Thanks!!

    1. A boneless ham would likely need about 18-20 minutes per pound. If should reach 140°F since it’s fully cooked you’re just heating it. You’ll want to check it a little bit early to ensure it doesn’t overcook.

  10. Hi Holly! I will be trying this recipe for Christmas and can’t wait!
    When I tried to click on your suggested meat thermometer, Amazon wouldn’t load it. Would you mind sharing the name brand or model number? I am in desperate need of a good thermometer. Thank you!

  11. Hi, I’m new to making ham lol. I have a boneless ham, so the only thing I would need to adjust is the cooking time?

    1. Depending on size you may need a bit less glaze but yes, you will need to adjust the cooking time (less time).

    1. I haven’t tried yellow mustard in this glaze. It will change the flavor slightly but it should still work. Let us know how it works out for you!

  12. Hi Holly. Comparing recipes and I noticed you posted another version that calls for baking the ham uncovered at only 250-degrees (as opposed to covered at 325 in this one). The other also omits the suggestion to increase temp to 425 for the final glazing. Just curious about which method you prefer…and any other differences to expect in the final product that might guide which of the two methods to follow? Much thanks for any insight!

    1. As long as you ensure the ham finishes at about 140°F, either will be equally moist (this is for smoked ham). Cooking beyond that temperature will cause it to dry out. You can use either method (I use both depending on how much time I have and what else is going in the oven).

  13. Thanks for sharing this amazing ham mustard recipe with all of us. I really like this recipe. One of the best ham recipe i have ever tried. 5 stars