Ham Glaze adds the most beautifully delicious sticky exterior! Nothing creates a more festive table for a special gathering of family and friends than a steaming platter of copycat honey baked ham, glistening with a gorgeous, caramelized glaze. If ham roast is on your dinner menu, you’ll definitely need to know how to make a quick ham glaze.
This easy ham glaze produces a perfectly heavenly sweet-salty flavor combination that will make for an unforgettable dinner. Besides being a delicious complement to the meat, brown sugar glaze for ham also functions to lock in moisture, ensuring every plate holds a juicy slice of meat.
A Quick Ham Glaze
Making a glaze for ham is quick and effortless, requiring just a whisk, and a few ingredients. This recipe calls for orange juice, brown sugar, Dijon mustard and some warm spices. The combination produces a tanginess and depth of flavor that will enhance your entire meal. If you don’t have orange juice you can substitute pineapple juice with great results!
To get the most out of your orange or pineapple glaze for ham, prepare the ham for roasting beforehand. If the ham has a layer of fat or thin skin on top, it can be scored so the glaze can get into the meat (read how to score a ham here). The glaze will seep into these cracks, providing even more caramelized flavor as it bakes. A spiral cut ham does not need to be scored, as the glaze will seep between the slices a little bit.
Usually grocery store hams nowadays come with the rind removed. If your ham has a rind that is very thick and leathery (sold as a rind-on ham) this should be removed as it will be tough, even after cooking. Under this tough skin will be a fat layer that can be scored. You will know if the ham has this layer as it looks very thick and leather-like (the ham in these images does not have a rind).
Traditionally, the center of each diamond is studded with a whole clove. Clove is a strong spice, and can easily overpower, so a tiny pinch added to the glaze is enough for us! For a flavor boost, you can apply a layer of pineapple rounds to the surface. Roasted pineapple is delicious with ham, and also holds the glaze well.
How To Make A Glaze For Ham
A ham glaze needs a few different parts:
- Sweet: The caramelization of the sugars is what adds the sticky exterior we love so much. This can be in the form of brown sugar, honey, jam etc.
- Tangy: Orange juice, pineapple juice, cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar all add great flavor!
- Spices: Garlic, cloves/cinnamon, mustard, rosemary
Simply stir the ingredients together. While some recipes have you boil/thicken the glaze, I don’t find it necessary. You certainly can do that if you’d like a thicker glaze but I find adding a couple of coats of glaze adds just enough without being too thick or sweet.
When Do You Glaze a Ham? About 20-30 minutes before the ham is done (any sooner and you can risk burning the sugars in the glaze). Generously apply the glaze to the outside of the ham with a brush (you can repeat a few times if you’d like more glaze).
The next time you’re making a ham roast, but sure you make it extra special by making this brown sugar glaze for ham.
Our Favorite Ham Recipes
- Copycat Honey Baked Ham (with Video)
- How to Cook a Spiral Ham
- Crock Pot Ham (Video)
- Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze
- Ham Bone Soup (Slow Cooker)
The Best Ham Glaze (Easy)
- ⅔ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup orange juice or pineapple juice
- 2-3 tablespoons dijon mustard or grainy mustard
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- pinch ground cloves
- Whisk all ingredients together.
- Brush over a spiral cut or scored ham about 20-30 minutes before the ham is done.
- If desired, brush extra overtop and broil to make the glaze golden.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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