The Easy Ham Glaze Recipe That Will Instantly Upgrade Dinner

Don't spend extra money on a glazed ham. Make your own with any baked ham and this easy ham glaze.

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When it comes to holiday celebrations, it’s hard to beat a glazed ham. Hams are big enough to feed the whole family, and still have leftovers. And since it’s already cooked, all you need to do is gently reheat it in the oven. If you’re looking for a picture-perfect centerpiece, you’ll want to finish your ham with an easy ham glaze. It not only flavors the ham with brown sugar, savory mustard and tangy vinegar, but the sugars also caramelize, giving your ham a lightly crispy edge and an appealing finish.

Once you know how easy it is to make a glaze with ingredients you have on hand, you’ll never buy an expensive glazed ham again!

When to Use This Ham Glaze

The glaze goes on for the final 15 to 30 minutes of cook time, so you definitely don’t want to glaze the ham in advance. It’s best to wait until the ham is heated to an internal temperature of 130° F before hitting it with the glaze. That way, the sugars will caramelize beautifully instead of burning.

How to Make Ham Glaze

Ingredients

  • 1 fully cooked bone-in ham (5 to 7 pounds)
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cider vinegar

Yield: About 14 servings

(Psst! We always opt for bone-in ham so we can use the bone to make split pea and ham soup.)

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the ham

To cook the ham, preheat the oven to 325° F and grab a shallow roasting pan or a large casserole dish. Place the ham on a rack and score the surface of the ham with 1/4-inch deep cuts in a diamond pattern. This opens up the outer layer of the ham, allowing the glaze to soak into the meat. For a traditional look, insert whole cloves into each diamond point of the ham.

Cover the ham with a piece of foil and bake for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, until a thermometer reaches 130° F.

Editor’s Tip: If you don’t have a rack for your roasting pan, you can use an oven-safe cooling rack. Better yet, elevate the ham by lining the bottom of the pan with onions, carrots or potatoes. The vegetables will taste great as they cook in the ham drippings!

Step 2: Ready the glaze

While the ham is baking, combine the brown sugar and mustard in a small bowl. Add enough vinegar to create a thick paste. You may not need all the vinegar.

Step 3: Glaze away

Remove the ham from the oven and discard the piece of foil. Spread the glaze over the ham using a high-heat resistant spatula ($26 for a set). The glaze will be thick, but the heat of the ham will help you spread it evenly. Bake the ham, uncovered, for an additional 15 to 30 minutes, until the thermometer reaches 140° F.

How to Make This Recipe Your Own

Our ham glaze recipe is very basic, but it has incredible flavor. Feel free to have some fun with it! You can remove the vinegar and replace it with orange or pineapple juice, or you can increase the mustard to 2 tablespoons and add 1/4 cup of honey to make a honey mustard glaze.

What Else Can You Glaze?

Don’t feel like you have to use this ham glaze recipe for whole hams on special occasions. Brush it on ham steaks before cooking them, or use it to glaze other quick-cooking meats like salmon. You can also use it to glaze vegetables. After cooking the veggies, toss them in the glaze with a little melted butter.

Don’t worry about leftovers! We have plenty of recipes that turn extra ham into a brand-new meal.

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Lindsay D. Mattison
After years of working in professional kitchens, Lindsay traded her knives in for the pen. While she spends most of her time writing these days, she still exercises her culinary muscles on the regular, taking any opportunity to turn local, seasonal ingredients into beautiful meals for her family.