A Simple Glazed Ham Perfect For Your Holiday Table

October 25, 2017

No doubt about it, turkey is the star of Thanksgiving. Whether it’s roasted, smoked, or fried, we dedicate hours and hours (and hours!) to making a picture-perfect bird. But we don’t always have to talk turkey. There’s another protein powerhouse that’s just as tasty. Raise your hand if you’re also looking forward to a spiral of sweet, juicy ham.

One of the challenges of holiday hams is that we’ve come to expect a dish sweet enough for the dessert table. And while a thick brown-sugar crust is addictive, this season, we’d like to keep things simple. Specifically, super simple with Kayb’s glazed ham.

Hog wild for this ham! Photo by Rocky Luten

Instead of whacking you over the head with sugar, Kayb balances the sweetness of dark brown sugar with grainy and ground mustards—plus a healthy splash of bourbon. Feel free to adjust to your tastes: less sugar, more spice, different alcohol (rum is delicious). It’s a seriously flexible formula!

Shop the Story

The key to ham-tastic greatness is basting. To keep the meat moist, brush the drippings over the entire surface of ham. Make sure that you remove the dish from the oven and close the door while basting. You’ll lose heat and increase the cooking time if you try to base with the oven door open.

Do you eat ham at your Thanksgiving meal? Or is it turkey all the time? Let us know your favorite!

Food52’s Automagic Thanksgiving Menu Maker
View Now
Food52’s Automagic Thanksgiving Menu Maker

Did someone say Thanksgiving? Our Automagic Menu Maker is here to help!

View Now

Join the Conversation

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Katie is a food writer and editor who loves cheesy puns and cheesy cheese.


AntoniaJames October 25, 2017
That looks great but I've found that the most effective way to keep a ham like that moist is to wrap it in foil, tightly, No basting required! And, of course, a good long rest before carving.
Cumberland sauce on the side . . . . I make mine with my plum-pinot noir jam instead of red currant jelly if I haven't been able to get red currants that summer. Will be testing it this Christmas with cranberries (though seriously, can we even call it Cumberland sauce?) Elizabeth David recipe, of course.
AntoniaJames October 25, 2017
One key advantage is that you don't end up with bitter pan juices, which inevitably happens when you are doing the basting thing - especially when the glaze is full of sugar. Just look at that pan in the photo with the recipe. Trust me. Those black bits don't taste good, and you certainly don't want to ruin your sauce by adding them.
Oh, and you don't have to scrub those hardened burned sugar bits off the pan, which you can tell by that photo would be no fun. For environmental reasons I'm generally opposed to using aluminum foil and other non-renewable resources even when they can be recycled (which has its own environmental impact), but I make an exception for my holiday hams! ;o)