Super Simple Glazed Ham

By Kayb
December 14, 2009

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: I almost hate to submit this recipe, but after years of trying to do way too much with ham, I finally figured out simpler is better. It can be done without the glaze for serving, but I think that really adds to it.Kayb

Food52 Review: Kayb sticks to a classic sweet glaze, but instead of whacking you over the head with sugar, Kayb balances the sweetness (here, dark brown sugar) with grainy and ground mustards, and a healthy splash of bourbon. We used a boneless cured and smoked and cured ham, and although it didn't have a speck of fat on in, we still scored it—what's a ham without a little checkerboard pattern? - A&MThe Editors

Serves: 8


For cooking ham

  • 1/2 cup whole-grain mustard
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 5-8 pounds half ham, butt portion, can be sliced or not

For sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups ham drippings or stock
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • pinches nutmeg
  • pinches ground cloves
In This Recipe


  1. Score ham in a diamond pattern to 1/4 inch deep (if not sliced). Place ham on rack in roasting pan.
  2. Blend mustard, honey, nutmeg, and cloves.
  3. Using your hands, smear mustard mixture all over surface of ham.
  4. Again using hands, pack brown sugar all over exterior of ham, pressing to be certain it adheres.
  5. Put bourbon in a spray bottle, and mist brown sugar coating to barely moisten. You may not use the entire 1/4 cup.
  6. Bake ham, uncovered, in 300°F oven for 20 minutes per pound.
  7. Strain ham drippings, skim as much fat as you wish, and add ham stock to make 1 1/2 cups. Heat in small saucepan over medium heat to boiling. Add brown sugar and spices; cook until thickened and serve over ham at table. (You can also add a little pineapple juice to this, if you wish.)

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Reviews (24) Questions (0)

24 Reviews

Anna January 6, 2019
Not a fan of cooking ham but this recipe is a keeper. Will do it many more times. Thank you.
daria December 19, 2018
If I take uncooked ham, how long should I bake it? Will it taste as good as yours?
Liz C. December 19, 2018
Do you mean a "fresh ham", as in totally unsmoked? If so, I recommend this method:
daria December 19, 2018
Thank you, Liz!
Author Comment
Kayb December 19, 2018
As long as you're using a good quality cured and smoked ham, it should. I'd probably go up to to 30, maybe 35 minutes per pound. Check the internal temp; I would want 155 or so.
Daniel S. November 19, 2018
Made this recipe today as a dry run for our thanksgiving dinner later this week. This was definitely a step up from the traditional super sweet glaze that we use to make. Followed the recipe, except for two changes as we were cooking two of everything in different ways. This recipe was used in the crock pot on low for @ 6 1/2 hours and I did not have a sprayer, I basted it with 1/2 the bourbon and let the other half in the pot to use later with the glaze. Perfect and juicy, plenty of juice for the glaze, worked out very well..👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻
Liz C. October 8, 2018
And does it need to "rest"?
Liz C. October 8, 2018
Do you put the ham on the rack cut side down?
Author Comment
Kayb October 8, 2018
I generally do, just because it's more stable. And I let it rest about 20 minutes.
Meg C. December 30, 2017
Amazing ham! Served for holiday celebration and it was a hit. Only thing is I bought a bottle of whiskey for 1/4 cup in recipe. Probably should have gotten some from a neighbor. Or we could make this ham a regular.
Leslie December 1, 2017
Simply CAN'T use bourbon. My old alcohol of choice was vodka. So, since my taste buds can't help, what would anyone suggest as a substitute? If the booze is a cooking agent, I could just use vodka. If, instead, it's a flavoring agent, I would like to use something which complements the ham similar to hickory smoking. (I'm old enough to be a purist, no applewood or other new flavorings for me.) I've got great local butchers/meat cutters in the area so I WILL try this recipe. Thanks for Boubon substitute recommendations!
Author Comment
Kayb December 1, 2017
You want some sort of a sweet-tangy taste, and really all you're doing is moistening the brown sugar a little so it'll make a better crust. I think I might try mixing some Coca Cola with a little balsamic vinegar. Or you might try a combo of orange and lemon juice. Truthfully, I don't taste the bourbon at all.
Barb November 6, 2017
How do you get ham stock before you make the ham? Buy a seperate ham bone and make it before hand? I use a bone to make stock to simmer my split pea soup in, but it's not something I keep on hand.
Author Comment
Kayb November 6, 2017
I usually keep frozen stock (ham, chicken, beef) on hand. If not, use however much drippings you have. I cooked a ham yesterday and had only a scant amount of drippings, so had I wanted sauce and not had stock, I would have been out of luck. I put the ham bone on to pressure cook and them simmer all night, and I'm now reducing that stock to freeze in 1 cup portions. Saves room in the freezer, and it's easy enough to add water back to it. I try to reduce by half or more to really concentrate it.
Michelle T. December 27, 2016
Ours took longer to bake, and we skipped the sauce, but the glaze was wonderful and halving the recipe worked perfectly for a 2lb ham.
BadCat December 26, 2013
This was great. The changes I made were to mix all the ingredients together and baste the ham every few minutes until it was done. I'll add a little more brown sugar the next time to make it a bit sweeter. Soooo much better than the standard apricot glaze.
Sadassa_Ulna December 26, 2012
I made this for Christmas and it was a big hit, however I only just realized I did not follow procedure. I mixed all the glaze ingredients in a jar and shook it to mix. I baked two 5 lb. hams for about 30 or 45 minutes before I remembered the glaze. I removed most of the juices in the pan before pouring the glaze over the hams. Then I basted every 30 or 45 minutes after that. My failure to follow directions tufned out to be a success. Thank you!
susie R. December 22, 2012
I have cooked hams for years by just basting them with Coke(no substitutes) for years. Have received raves from family and friends!! those of the family and friends that have tried it sAY THEY WILL COOK HAM NO OTHER WAY. I just start posing coke and basting it about e till done e'very 20 minutes
susie R. December 22, 2012
that should be POURING coke
Nancy D. December 21, 2012
I've made this recipe for years only I use rum. I original recipe is called Nantucket ham but my family calls it "drunk ham".
susie R. December 22, 2012
did not think of using rum.I baste mine with coke but this christmas may combine a little rum with it. Thanks for the idea.
The F. April 9, 2012
I made this for Easter Sunday, using a 6lb smoked ham and let me tell you, it was outstanding. My husband said if he continued to eat it he was going to get meat sweats! It was extremely easy to follow and I had all the ingredients already. I think the only thing I may do differently would reduce the amount of brown sugar in the glaze to an 1/8 cup as I prefer less sweet glazes. This recipe is definitely a keeper! Bravo Kayb!
mtrelaun December 15, 2009
Size of ham?
Author Comment
Kayb December 15, 2009
I generally get a half-ham, butt portion, and it's usually 5-6 pounds. That leaves me a little more mustard rub than I actually need, so I slather it on liberally.