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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
- Homemade Mac and Cheese Casserole
- Copy Cat Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole Recipe
- The BEST Mashed Potatoes
- Fresh Green Bean Casserole
- Scalloped Potatoes Recipe
- Classic Deviled Eggs Recipe
Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze
- 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.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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Delicious! Followed the recipe and was a big hit for Easter!
This was so good and so simple! Best ham I have ever made. I made two at once and this recipe doubled just fine. Rave reviews. This will be my go-to from here on. Thank you so much!
first baked ham. It was a hit.
moist and tender. The sauces were A+ !
my carving skills was much more challenging than this recipe, a keeper for sure.
The cooking technique was followed and the results were good. I baked it 10 minutes per pound. The mustard in the sauce and glaze, however, turned the edges of the spiral ham yellowish. I prefer a honey brown sugar glaze or brown sugar with a small amount of orange or pineapple juice in the final cooking process.
Hi Kathy, you can adjust the amount of dijon to your liking. I am glad you enjoyed this ham!
I’ve made your recipe before and I absolutely love it! But I got several ham on sale over the holidays and they are not sliced. Any tips on trimming or crosshatching? Thanks
Yum, I love ham (and how easy it is!). I have a post on scoring the outside of the ham here. I hope that helps!
You don’t mention if you cover it back up after putting the glaze on?
The ham is baked uncovered once glazed to get a nice caramelization. Enjoy Dan!
I want to make this ahead and then slice and put in crockpot, can I use the juices for the crockpot??
Yes, you can spoon the juices over the ham in the slow cooker.
So yummy! Loved the glaze
Just the two of us today so I’m doing a small smoked cooked ham. Can I still do the glaze? I’m thinking heat it up until maybe 125 degrees and then put on glaze and bake to 140?
Happy Thanksgiving y’all!!
That should work just fine!
I’ve just started making this ham and it is now my go to recipe. But, I have a question, there is a lot of liquid in the pan after cooking the ham – I have been draining before brushing on the glaze – is that the right thing to do?
Hi Fani, if the liquid is greater than 1/4 inch up the ham then I tend to drain it otherwise the ham doesn’t caramelize quite as well on the bottom.
First time I ever made a ham! I bought the ham from Albertsons and made it for 14 of my friends (around 10 pounder was perfect size with some left over). I was really nervous for how it would turn out but this recipe ended up making a great tasting ham. The ham had slices in it so I made sure to put the pineapple juice/mustard into all the crevices, as well as the glaze later. Thanks for a great recipe! Everyone said it tasted awesome!
The glaze part was confusing. I’m assuming you put another half a cup of pineapple juice in it again for the glaze? Otherwise how does the glaze get into a liquid form?
Hi Christie, in step 2 we combine the dijon with ¼ cup pineapple juice and brush the ham before going in the oven. The glaze then requires an additional ½ cup pineapple juice used in step 4. I hope this helps!
At the final stage after brushing the ham with the glaze, is the ham supposed to be cooked covered or uncovered to reach the caramalized look? Thank you!
The ham is baked uncovered once glazed. Enjoy Jen!
Can I use real maple syrup instead brown sugar
I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure Donna. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!
Hi, I’m planning on making a ham for Thanksgiving (not feeling up to making a turkey) and I wonder if you could tell me how I can tell when the ham is 15 minutes from being done.
It will depend on the size of your ham Beth. You will want to roast for 12-15 minutes per pound, a 9lb ham will take about 2 1/4 hours so you can add the glaze around 2 hours.
You can also check the temperature of the ham. A pre-cooked ham should reach 140°F. So around 130°F or so I would add the glaze. I hope this helps!
I have tried for years to find a baked ham that my husband deemed acceptable. All were too dry. Tonight I took the plunge and tried this recipe. We both agree that this recipe is the best we’ve tried! I used a Smithfield 7lb shank rather than the spiral cut, didn’t trim the fat cap and didn’t score it. Other than that I followed the recipe and it was perfect!! Thanks for sharing this recipe, it will definitely be our go to for baked ham!!
Made this today for Easter. Absolutely amazing. Perfect blend of sweetness and spice, super juicy. Just amazing.