This Ham Glaze adds the most beautifully delicious sticky exterior to any baked ham recipe!

For a beautifully sweet-salty flavor, this ham glaze recipe needs just a few minutes and a handful of ingredients.

The Best Ham Glaze on ham

Ham Glaze Tips

A ham glaze is really easy to make and adds the most delicious flavor to a roast ham.

Score the ham: For the best results, score the ham or thin skin on top to allow the glaze to get into the meat, especially if you aren’t using a spiral ham. Spiral cut hams don’t need scoring as the glaze seeps between the slices naturally.

Remove the rind if needed: Most store-bought hams come without the rind. If your ham has a tough, thick, leathery rind, remove it, as it won’t soften during cooking. Look for a fat layer underneath, and if it’s present, you can score it for better results.

Ingredients for ham glaze

How To Make A Glaze For Ham

The ham glaze below needs just a handful of ingredients.

  • Sweet: The caramelization of the sugars creates a delicious, sticky exterior. This recipe uses brown sugar, but you can replace it with honey, melted apricot jam, or apple jelly.
  • Tangy: I most often use orange or pineapple juice. You can also replace it with apple juice.
  • Spices: I always add Dijon mustard to ham with a pinch of clove or ginger.

When to Glaze the Ham?

Glaze the ham about 20-30 minutes before it’s done cooking (when it reaches about 115 to 120°F on a meat thermometer) to avoid burning the sugars. Use a brush to generously apply the glaze on the outside, and you can repeat the basting for extra flavor.

Glazing a ham with a brush

Did your family enjoy this homemade Ham Glaze? Leave us a rating and a comment below!

Glazed ham on a wooden cutting board
4.99 from 235 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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The Best Ham Glaze (Easy)

Give your ham a flavor boost with this 5-ingredient ham glaze!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Servings 1 cup of glaze
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  • 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 is based on 1 tablespoon of ham glaze.
Unused glaze can be stored in the fridge in a covered container for up to 4 days. Stir before using again.
4.99 from 235 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 38 | Carbohydrates: 9g | Sodium: 23mg | Potassium: 22mg | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Vitamin C: 1.9mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.1mg

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

Course Dressing, Sauce
Cuisine American
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brushing The Best Ham Glaze on ham and close up of ham with a title
close up of The Best Ham Glaze on ham with writing
brushing The Best Ham Glaze on ham with writing


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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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4.99 from 235 votes (226 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating


  1. Delicious. It really spruced up the plain ham I got from Costco. I don’t usually write reviews, but this was so delicious I felt it warranted a review.5 stars

  2. So feeling a little dense here, did I miss something…first time cooking a ham , and for soon to be in-lawn no less (yeah what was I thinking) and want to get it right. You said most stores remove the skin/rind, then you say if not to take it off, then you say to score it….is there a skin and a rind?

    1. Apologies for the confusion Tina; most hams do have the thick leathery rind removed. If the outer layer is thin, it likely doesn’t need to be removed, just scored. A spiral ham does not need to be scored. I hope that helps.

  3. This was the juiciest ham I’ve ever made; thank you! I subbed apple juice, like another commenter, because it’s what we had, and used a little less sugar. Omitted the cloves. Added chipotle garlic seasoning and black pepper for some heat. Baked in the Foodi for 15 minutes (1.6 lb), stopped halfway to brush again. <35 stars

    1. Hi Lily, I have only made this recipe as written but you could try substituting for horseradish or possibly Worcestershire. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!

  4. Love the glaze, so easy to put together, especially when you have a crowd coming. It’s well be my go to recipe from now on.4 stars

  5. Great recipe but why does everyone feel the need to tell the entire history of everything before just getting to the recipe. Do your monolog at the end if you have to, stop holding people prisoner to your life story.5 stars

    1. There’s no life story included with this recipe Jack, just stuff about the recipe itself. That being said, you can use the “JUMP TO RECIPE” button I’ve included at the top of every page to get right to the recipe.

    2. I rather enjoy reading the origins and heritage stories. Albeit, I’m a bit of a nerd, so learning about other cultures intrigued me. Thanks for the recipe, and cooking is about the love Sir. I find it very relaxing, my wheelhouse…

    3. You are looking for a recipe of other people because you can’t possibly make your own, yet here you are instead of appreciating it is being ungrateful. Your entitlement does not work anywhere. Better yet make your own recipe.

    4. Wow Jack, how rude are you? Just a nasty thing to say. Someone is sharing a nice recipe with you, how did you get to that?

    5. Jack, maybe you are responding to the wrong recipe?? There wasn’t any entire-history of a food written here, just a few descriptive and instructive paragraphs (that you don’t even have to read if you don’t want to), so no worries. And, just like all recipes online these days, this recipe has a “Jump to recipe” button at the very top of the page that you can click on that, well, jumps to the recipe if you don’t have time to quickly read the information before it. They’re pretty nifty actually in times of need. For whatever recipe blog you were actually referring to to, maybe give the “jump to recipe” option a try. It takes 1 second and then you’re on your way. Happy trails friend, and bon appetit!

  6. I thought this was super easy and very good…I actually substituted apple juice instead of the other juices because that’s what I had on hand.3 stars

  7. Thanks for the recipe. I needed one on the fly. You gave the exact recipe, where others where frustrating. because they included the whole ham preparation jumbled together. So a very good, clear easy to make choice. Thanks

  8. Made this glaze on-the-fly for a ham steak. Used pineapple juice, agave syrup, stadium mustard, a shake of garlic powder and and corn starch for thickening . Poured over the hot ham steak in the frypan and let it thicken. It was great.5 stars

  9. I tried this brown sugar glaze recipe of yours and I used Balsamic Vinegar, It is delicious!

  10. made this for the first time on Thanksgiving. My 15 year old daughter is very picky. She loves the glazed ham and asks for it all the time.

      1. My husband likes cold ham and doesn’t like the way baked ham changes texture. Can I purchase a fully cooked ham and glaze it and either cook it at a really high temperature or broil it only? Any suggestion?

      2. Hi Candy, if the package says that you can eat the ham without cooking it, I see no reason why you couldn’t do that! The outside would start to warm. If you broil it, please watch it very carefully. It can burn quickly.