Brown Sugar Glazed Ham is a bone-in ham topped and roasted with a sweet, tangy, and spiced brown sugar glaze that creates a caramelized coating. It is so easy to make and perfect for your Christmas dinner menu! Plus, it is just as delicious in all of your leftover ham recipes. I also have an Apricot Honey Glazed Ham you will love!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Ham: For this recipe, I opted for a bone-in ham that was not spiral sliced. This means that you will have to carve it yourself. If using a spiral ham, you may need to adjust the cooking time to avoid overcooking. You could also use a boneless ham, but like using a spiral ham, you may need to adjust the cooking time.
Brown Sugar: Brown sugar is the foundation of this glaze. It gives the glaze its sweetness and the caramelization that forms on the ham during cooking.
Maple Syrup: Look for pure maple syrup. The syrup helps create a glossy finish to the ham. If preferred, you could use honey as a substitute for the maple syrup. It will give the ham a different flavor profile, but it will still be delicious! And you might want to check out my Honey Glazed Ham, too!
Mustard: Dijon mustard gives the glaze a tangy, mildly spicy kick that offsets the sweetness of the sugars. You could substitute yellow mustard if that is what you have on hand. It won’t give the glaze quite the same depth of flavor, but it will still work.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar provides a specific flavor to the glaze. But, you could substitute white wine vinegar or distilled white vinegar.
Spices: Ground cloves and ground cinnamon are added to the glaze to complement the savory ham.
Can I Make The Glaze Ahead Of Time?
Sure! To make the glaze ahead of time, mix the ingredients together in a saucepan. Warm it up, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Then, remove the glaze from the heat and let it cool. Once at room temperature, store the glaze in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will last up to 3-4 days. When ready to use it on the ham, reheat it until it is a pourable consistency.
Basting The Ham While Cooking
The best tool to use for basting the ham while it is cooking is a basting brush (look for one with heat-resistant bristles). I prefer the silicone brush as I find that natural bristle brushes tend to “shed” and leave bristles on my food. If you don’t have a basting brush, you can use a spoon to scoop up the liquid and pour it over your ham. Follow up with a wadded-up paper towel to evenly distribute the liquid. Or, just dip the balled-up paper towel into the liquid and dab it over the ham.
How To Store Leftover Ham
To store leftover brown sugar-glazed ham to use in a variety of recipes, first, let it cool to room temperature. Then, consider slicing or portioning it for easier use and storage (if not already sliced). Finally, store it in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. It is delicious in Ham and Potato Soup!
Can I Freeze Leftover Ham?
Absolutely! If you are not going to use leftover ham within a few days, freeze it for up to 1-2 months in the freezer! Once the cooked ham has cooled to room temperature, portion it and store it in freezer-safe containers. Label and date the packaging.
Defrosting Frozen Ham
When ready to use, practice these safe guidelines for thawing the ham. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there are three ways you can safely defrost (thaw) frozen ham:
In The Refrigerator: The best way to thaw frozen ham is to let it thaw slowly in the refrigerator (4-6 hours per pound).
In Cold Water: A more tedious way would be to thaw ham in cold water. Keep the ham in a plastic bag that is airtight. Submerge the ham in the water, changing out the water every 30 minutes or so. If thawing with cold water, use the ham immediately after it has thawed.
Microwave: If defrosting the frozen ham in the microwave, you also must use it immediately after it has thawed.
Brown Sugar Glazed Ham
- 1 whole (8-9 pounds) ham, bone-in
- ½ cup (100 g) light brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup (79 g) maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- Place the ham on a cutting board. With a sharp knife, score the top of the ham. Begin by making a shallow cut (about ¼ to ½-inch deep) in the fat or skin of the ham. To do this, position your knife where you want to start the cut and gently press down while pulling the knife towards you. The cut should be about 1-2 inches long. Continue making cuts in the fat, spacing them about 1 to 2 inches apart. The cuts should form a diagonal or crisscross pattern, creating a diamond or checkerboard pattern on the ham's surface.
- Place the scored ham in a roasting pan with the scored portion facing up.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, maple syrup, mustard, apple cider vinegar, cloves, and cinnamon. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar is dissolved and the sauce has thickened slightly.
- Pour half the glaze on top of the ham, setting the rest aside to use after the ham is done cooking. Tent the ham loosely with aluminum foil.
- Roast for 2 hours, basting with juices in the pan every 30 minutes.
- A few minutes before removing the ham from the oven, reheat the reserved glaze in the saucepan until heated through (3-5 minutes).
- Remove the roasted ham from the oven. (The internal temperature should read 145°F.) Pour the warm glaze over the roasted ham. Let the ham rest for about 15 minutes before slicing.
Did you make this recipe?
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What the Test Kitchen had to say about this recipe:
Perfect for the holidays! This recipe satisfies all of those cravings you get this time of year:). The recipe is simple and the results are perfection!
This is such a simple, yet flavorful way to prepare a ham. I loved the flavor of the glaze. I can't wait to try it in leftovers!
This was fantastic! I could eat ham anytime already but with the brown sugar glaze, it puts it over the top!
This is a great option for your holiday meals! It's not dry and it has a great flavor!
This ham is everything! It's absolutely appetizing and perfect for holiday gatherings.
This is my favorite way to glaze a ham. I love the sweetness from the sugar and syrup and the tanginess that the mustard and vinegar bring. Super yummy!