Warm spices like cinnamon and ginger combined with honey, brown sugar, pineapple juice and dijon mustard create an irresistibly flavorful and succulent honey baked ham. Perfect for a holiday family dinner, whether it be Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter or Sunday supper, this is going to be a huge hit and may become a family tradition.
In this post, you'll learn how to bake a perfect ham! This recipe is one of my favorite ways to cook ham not only because it's super delicious, but it's also crazy simple to make… and did I mention, the leftovers are great for using in other ham recipes too!
I hope you enjoy this recipe! ❤️ If you give it a try, please let me know how it turned out for you in the comments section at the bottom of the page or share a pic of your om noms on Instagram and tag @dishesanddustbunnies! ❤️
What Ingredients are used to make Honey Glazed Ham?
Ham and honey are the stars of this ham recipe however there are a few other key ingredients that are used to get the flavoring just right. These are the core recipe ingredients:
- A ham is basically a cut of pork that has been cured, smoked and then finally cooked.
- Any kind of honey you prefer will work as a glaze for ham
- Brown sugar interacts very favorably with the honey. Golden brown sugar is perfect and works better than granulated sugar. Dark brown sugar can also be used for a richer flavor.
- Pineapple or orange juice are used to tenderize the meat as well as proving a sweeter flavor than honey and sugar alone. You can alternatively use cranberry juice as well.
- Ground ginger, ground cloves or whole cloves.
- Dijon mustard and cinnamon.
What Kind of Ham Should I Buy for a Honey Baked Ham?
It's essential to buy a bone-in spiral cut ham to create the most succulently delicious and flavorful baked ham. Bone in ham will help to keep the ham moist and succulent as it cooks and prevents it from drying out, while the thin slices of spiral sliced ham allow for the honey glaze and flavorings to sink right down and absorb into the meat. Bone in spiral ham is preferred to boneless ham for this recipe.
The precut slices on the ham also make carving and serving easy! Carve lengthwise close to the bone, and the deliciously glazed ham slices will easily come off for serving.
Another great reason to use a spiral but ham is that they are most often found in stores pre-cooked, so all you have to do is flavor it and heat it! Easy and delicious!
How Much Ham Should I Buy?
An 8 lb ham should be enough for about 8-10 servings. It would be best if you estimated that each person would have roughly 3/4 lb each.
I always recommend having extra, though, just in case… but also for the delicious leftovers! 😋
Do you glaze ham before or after cooking?
The answer is both! You first glaze ham before cooking, and then again after cooking. This provides a deep, rich flavor and a beautifully caramelized crust.
How Long Should I Cook or Heat a Precooked Ham?
A precooked 8-10 lb ham should be cooked for about 2 hours 30 minutes in a 350°F oven – this is long enough to allow the meat to soak up the flavors of the glaze, to be heated through and become extra yummy!
How to Cook a Honey Baked Ham – Overview
You can find the full recipe details, including ingredient amounts and the full instructions in the recipe card at the bottom of this post, but first, here's a quick overview of how to make your own baked honey glazed ham!
Making a baked honey ham is super simple really! If you haven't cooked one before, you'll wonder why you waited all this time! 😂
Delicious doesn't have to mean complicated! Basically, all you have to do is heat up the ingredients for the brown sugar honey glaze in a saucepan and combine using a whisk. Once the glaze has thickened up a little and the spices and other ingredients are well combined, it's ready to pour over your ham. 😋
Before you bake ham be sure to pat it dry with a paper towel to remove any excess moisture on the surface – this will also help the glaze stick better to it. Place ham in a roasting pan or baking pan or other similar cooking vessel, pour about 3/4 of the glaze over top, cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for about 2 1/2 hours.
In the last 20 minutes or so of cooking time, pour the remaining honey glaze over the ham. Turn on the broiler for a few minutes to make the top nice and irresistibly golden.
How do you make honey glaze thicker?
If you want to thicken your honey glaze, you can add a little cornstarch to it. Just mix together a teaspoon of cornstarch with an equal amount of water and stir it into the glaze. This will help to thicken it up so that it clings better to the ham.
Another optional way to thicken your honey glaze is to cook the glaze separately on the stovetop until it reduces and becomes more concentrated. This will take some time, so keep checking by eye to see if it reaches the thickness that you prefer. Stir it occasionally (not constantly) and cook the glaze over low heat until the glaze thickens and reaches the desired consistency.
Once you have your honey glaze thickened up, simply brush it all over the ham. Be sure to evenly coat the ham so that every bite is full of sweet, sticky goodness! You can then either bake the ham immediately or let it sit for a bit so that the glaze has a chance to set.
How do you cook a ham so it doesn't dry out?
There are a few methods you can use to prevent your ham from drying out while cooking it. The easiest thing is to use a bone in ham as it'll produce moister results than using a boneless ham.
In addition, you can brine the ham in salt water for two hours before cooking it. You can also keep the meat moist and tender by brining the ham in apple cider or pineapple juice. This option is more work and not necessary to the core recipe in this post, but if you want to you can try it.
A less time consuming option is to wrap the ham in foil before baking it and keep it covered while cooking which will help keep the moisture inside. In the last 20 minutes of cooking, remove the ham from the oven and take off the foil covering. Coat the ham with the remaining glaze and cook uncovered for the last 20 minutes.
These further steps to prevent the ham from drying out shouldn't really be necessary as the honey glaze used in the recipe will help stop the ham from becoming super dry.
How to use Leftover Ham
Below are some super easy ways to use up leftover ham.
- Add to scrambled eggs or omelettes
- Simple ham and cheese sandwiches with mustard (sharp cheddar is oooh so yummy in this!)
- Add to fried rice
- Use leftover ham in place of chicken in Chicken Pot Pie – this is such a delicious way to use leftovers! 😋
- Add leftover ham and sharp cheddar cheese to homemade biscuits!
- Use as a topping for pizza
- Use as a topping for loaded potatoes
- Add to soup
ex. leftover ham works great in place of chicken in my recipe for Chunky Chicken & Corn Chowder with Bacon
How Long is Leftover Ham Good for?
Leftover baked ham, when stored in the refrigerator, should be good for 3-4 days. If you'd like to use it after that, I recommend freezing it.
Can I freeze Honey Glazed Ham leftovers?
Yes, leftover ham stores well in the freezer! 👍
Please be sure to place any leftover ham in a well-sealed and airtight container or baggie for best results before freezing. When properly stored, cooked frozen ham should keep for 3 – 4 months.
Honey Glazed Ham Recipe Variations
There are so many ways you can change up this recipe to suit your own personal tastes. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
Spicier Version – Add cayenne pepper or black pepper to the glaze. You could also try using hot honey instead of regular honey. Topping it all off with spicy mustard will give a hot tang too.
More Savory Ham – Lower the amount of honey and brown sugar from the glaze and mix in a little more Dijon or stone ground mustard. Add some soy sauce, and a little bit of rosemary, sage, and thyme for a more savory ham glaze.
Sweeter Ham – Add a quarter cup or more of maple syrup to the honey glaze if you want to make your ham even sweeter. Add some chopped pineapple or cherries for a fruity sweet glaze. The additional sweetness of the maple syrup will compliment the flavorings of the brown sugar very well. For a different flavor, you can substitute maple syrup for honey or use both!
Pecans – Pecans go super well with both cinnamon and honey which are base ingredients for the glaze. Adding some roughly chopped pecans to your glaze will also give an additional complex texture to your meal.
Pumpkin Pie Spice – You can replace the ginger, cloves and cinnamon with pumpkin pie spice if you like!
Different types of Honey in the Glaze – You can use any variety of honey you like, but here are some tasty variations you can try: Clover Honey, Wildflower Honey, and Orange Blossom Honey.
Chopped Herbs – Rosemary, thyme and sage all would add an aromatic freshness.
What to Serve with Baked Honey Glazed Ham
There are so many different and delicious side dish options that go well with this holiday meal. You can find a few of my favorite options below:
- Old Fashioned Scalloped Potatoes – This is my favorite! 😋
- Easy Oven Roasted Potatoes – nice and crispy
- Whipped sweet potatoes – Sweet potatoes are a great option for a side dish because they are packed with nutrients. When they are whipped, they become light and fluffy, making them the perfect complement to the rich flavor of ham.
- Corn Fritters
- Creamy Potato Salad with Bacon
- Classic Coleslaw
- Baked Pub Style Potato Wedges
- Country Cornbread
- Homemade rolls – you can use my homemade bread recipe and form them into rolls
- Steamed green beans – Green beans are a traditional side dish that goes well with just about any main course. They are a bit more neutral in flavor, so they won't compete with the ham. Plus, they add a pop of color to the plate.
- Broccoli or Asparagus
- Baked homemade mac and cheese
- Green Bean Casserole – I'm working on a recipe for this so please stay tuned! 😊
- Mashed potatoes
- Baked beans
- Rissoto or another “sticky” rice dish
- 8 to 10lb bone-in spiral-sliced ham
- 1 cup brown sugar – I used golden brown sugar, but any variety will be great
- 1/2 cup pineapple or orange juice
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 tbsps dijon mustard
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp ground cloves
Prepare the Honey Brown Sugar Glaze
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine all ingredients for the glaze using a whisk. As the glaze heats, stir consistently to ensure spices are well incorporated. Continue heating and stirring until the glaze thickens up a bit and to your liking.
- Once the glaze is ready, remove from heat and set aside until ready to use with your ham. If the mixture thickens up a bit before you get a chance to put it on the ham, you can gently heat it back up over low heat.
How to Prepare Baked Honey Glazed Ham
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Remove any excess moisture from the ham by patting it with paper towel. This will allow the glaze to stick better to the ham! 😊
- Place the ham in a roasting pan or similar oven-proof pan. For this recipe, I used my large heavy-bottomed stainless steel frying pan – it works just as well as a roasting pan. 😊
- Evenly pour about 3/4 worth of the prepared honey glaze over the ham and cover tightly with aluminum foil.
- Bake the ham for about 2 1/2 hours. In the last 20 minutes of cooking, remove the ham from the oven and coat with the remaining reserved glaze.
Raise the heat to 425°F and return the ham to the oven uncovered to cook for the last 20 minutes.
- Allow the ham to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
If you'd like the top crisper and more golden, be sure to spoon some of the glaze from the bottom of the dish over the top of your ham, and then turn on the broiler setting of your oven for a few minutes. Make sure to keep a close eye on your ham and remove it once it's browned to your liking.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours 30 min
- Category: Main
- Method: Oven