This 3-Ingredient Glaze Makes Ham 100 Times Better

Take your baked ham up a notch.

<p>Simply Recipes / Getty Images</p>

Simply Recipes / Getty Images

I come from a holiday ham household. You knew it was one of two holidays when the honey-baked ham came out: Christmas or Easter. Whether we were having a big family brunch with hashbrown casserole and biscuits or a sit-down dinner, the ham was always there, right in the middle of the table. Sometimes we’d even have a ham alongside the turkey at Thanksgiving (overkill) or would have two kinds of ham, honey-baked and country ham (a Southern must, definitely overkill).

All this to say I have a lot of ham experience under my belt. I’ve eaten countless slices and made quite a few myself. I supposedly wished for ham for Christmas when I was nearly two years old, received it on Christmas morning, and was pleased.

One thing I’ve learned along the way is you don’t need to do much to a good ham to make it great—a simple glaze is all you need to turn it into a show-stopping main dish.

The word glaze might make you shrink back a bit in anticipation of a long list of ingredients and boiling sugar, but I turn to this three-ingredient glaze time and time again. It adds a layer of sweet, tangy flavor to the outside and gives it a beautiful sheen. It never lets me down and it won’t let you down, either.

The Glaze Work for Any Kind of Ham

Well, any kind of baked ham will work! Bone-in, boneless, spiral-cut, you name it. You can even use this glaze on a partially cooked or uncooked ham—just follow the package instructions then add the glaze at the end of cooking.

Note that this recipe makes enough glaze for a roughly 10 to 15-pound ham, so if your ham is larger you might want to scale it up a bit.

<p>Simply Recipes / Lori Rice</p>

Simply Recipes / Lori Rice

How To Make My 3-Ingredient Ham Glaze

For a 10 to 15-pound ham, you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

  • 1/3 cup water, pineapple juice, or orange juice

  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

To make the glaze, combine the brown sugar, water or other liquid, mustard, and ground cloves in a small saucepan. Stir together over medium heat until all of the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has come up to a simmer. Let simmer for one minute, then turn off the heat and set aside to cool a bit.


You can make the glaze while the ham is heating up in the oven.

To use the glaze, first heat the ham according to the package instructions, tightly wrapped in aluminum foil. Once it is almost warmed through—this will likely be after at least two hours of baking—remove the foil and brush the entire outside with the glaze. Return to the oven, and baste a couple more times every 20 minutes.

For a glossier exterior, briefly broil the ham just until the glaze bubbling and shiny. Let sit for a few minutes before serving.

A Note on the Liquid

You’ll see a lot of recipes call for pineapple juice, orange juice, or even cola in the glaze. I don’t find that they make a ton of difference in the flavor—it’s just 1/3 a cup, after all. The brown sugar and mustard do the heavy lifting here.

That being said, you can swap out the water for a number of flavorful liquids. Pineapple, orange, or apple juice are obvious choices. For a tangy glaze, swap half or more of the water for apple cider vinegar. Beer, soda (like Coke), or even spiced rum work nicely, too.

<p>Simply Recipes / Lori Rice</p>

Simply Recipes / Lori Rice

Read the original article on Simply Recipes.