When it is time to think about what to serve for Christmas dinner, the first thing that comes to my mind is always Honey Baked Ham that is made with a delicious ham glaze.
Although some people serve turkey, lamb, or even tamales at their holiday dinner, it has been a long standing family tradition to have ham for dinner at our house.
When I was a child my parents would always order a Honey Baked Ham at the beginning of December. Then a few days before Christmas they would stand in line early in the morning to pick it up.
I was always so excited when my dad would go to slice it before the guests arrived because he always shared a little bite with me. Although he always told me that he was tasting it to make sure it was good enough for those joining us at the dinner table, I knew better.
I mean who can resist a salty bite of ham that has been coated with an amazing sweet glaze. Not to mention that the slight crunch of the glaze that has baked on the outside surface of the ham.
However, for the past several years we have been making our own Honey Baked Ham, right in our own kitchen. That is because we have been very fortunate to receive the gift of a spiralized ham every December.
And that meant that I had to find a way to make the ham taste just as delicious as the store-bought version. With just a few key ingredients, I have come up with the absolute best ham glaze recipe that gives the same sweet flavor that I fell in love with.
And I have to admit that there is something satisfying about turning a traditional, unseasoned ham into something spectacular. Every slice of the ham is drenched in the glaze and each piece is just as delicious as the next.
Once you try this recipe your entire family will be coming back for seconds (or thirds)!
Honey Baked Ham Recipe
*Complete recipe instructions are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article.
serves: 12-15 people
- Spiral-sliced ham, fully cooked (4-5 lbs)
- Apple cider
- Apple cider vinegar
- Light brown sugar
- Coarse ground mustard
More About The Ingredients
Although I recommend using a spiral cut, fully cooked ham, you can use the glaze on a fully cooked whole or half a ham as well. However, because there is no way to get the glaze on the inner surface, the ham won’t have as much added flavor.
2. Apple Cider
Although this time of the year it may be a little harder to find apple cider, the flavor intensity is so much better than if you would use apple juice.
Luckily, apple cider is a little easier to find than it used to be. You can typically find it stocked next to the apple juice at your local grocery store.
However, if you have looked everywhere and can’t seem to find any, substitute 100%, all-natural apple juice that has no added sugar.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
The vinegar is what helps break down the fibers in the ham when baked, making it literally almost melt in your mouth. Don’t skip out on the vinegar!
I promise, you can’t taste the vinegar at all. Especially since the ham has so much sweetness.
4. Brown Sugar
Although we are going to be using honey as the main flavor of the ham glaze, the brown sugar will add both sweetness and caramelization when baked.
Luckily, almost every kitchen is stocked with light brown sugar!
5. Coarse Ground Mustard
Coarse ground mustard is made with slightly ground mustard seeds, red wine, red wine vinegar, and various spices. It pairs perfectly with the sweet ingredients and the salty flavor of the ham itself.
You can find coarse ground mustard with the specialty mustards at the store. If you can’t find it, use stone ground mustard or Dijon mustard in it’s place.
Because honey is the main ingredient in the glaze, without a doubt, use 100% pure honey. Although a bottle of real honey will cost more than the Teddy Bear honey that you find at the grocery, it is well worth it!
Honey never goes bad, so it is a small investment that pays off in the end!
The first step in making your Honey Baked Ham is to make the ham glaze. Start by adding the apple cider, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, and honey in a medium size bowl.
Then mix together until well incorporated and set the bowl aside while you prepare the ham.
Place the cooked spiral ham in a large roasting pan. There is no need to use a roasting rack. Simply place the ham directly on the bottom of the pan.
Once the ham is settled in the pan, use a baster or pastry brush and coat it with half of the glaze. Be sure to spread the glaze not only on the top, but also down the sides, and in between the slices of the ham, as much as you can.
Now carefully place the pan in the preheated oven on the lowest rack. Bake for 60-70 minutes, basting every 15 minutes using the remainder of the cold ham glaze and the drippings from inside the pan.
Be sure to baste between the slices as much as you can so each piece of the Honey Glazed Ham can soak up all that delicious flavor.
If you want the glaze to darken and fully caramelize, turn the oven to broil for the last few minutes of the cooking time. Keep a close eye on the ham at this point to prevent it from becoming too dark.
For my oven it took about 5 minutes for the glaze to bubble and turn a deep golden brown in color. However, all ovens cook at different rates. Not to mention, the height of the ham will also be a factor.
Once the ham is cooked through, carefully remove the pan from the oven and let it rest at least 5 minutes before serving. Slice the ham and drizzle some of the glaze from the bottom of the roasting pan on top.
Mary and Jim
Leftover Ham Recipes
Although you had the chance to enjoy the honey baked ham with your family and friends, you may have some leftovers that you don’t know what to do with. Below are some of my favorite leftover ham recipes.
- Ham Salad Spread
- Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup
- Split Pea and Ham Soup
- Cheesy Potato & Ham Soup
- Ham and Cheese Sliders
- Ham and Corn Chowder
- Instant Pot Ham Casserole
- Ham & Broccoli Rice Casserole
And remember, you can always freeze the leftover ham in an air-tight, sealed container. Just be sure to label the package.
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- 4 lb. ham, fully cooked (4-5 lbs)
- 1 cup apple cider
- 3 TBS apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- ¼ cup coarse ground mustard
- ¼ cup honey
- Position an oven rack in the lowest position in your oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Mix together apple cider, vinegar, brown sugar, mustard, and honey in a bowl.
- Place ham in a large roasting pan and coat with half of the sauce using a baster or brush.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes, basting every 15 minutes using the remainder of the glaze and the hot drippings from inside the pan. Be sure to baste between the spiral slices as much as you can.
- Remove the pan from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
If you want the glaze to darken, turn the oven to broil for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 267Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 97mgSodium: 1480mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 13gProtein: 34g
Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.