Ham Glaze

The perfect glazed ham is tender and juicy on the inside, yet crispy on the outside. And the brown sugar, honey, and dijon mustard glaze make your ham completely delicious!

For many, it is a tradition to make a glazed ham for Christmas dinner! But ham is so easy and delicious we love to make it for Sunday night family meals, or when we have company over! We like to pair with a delicious potato side dish like Hasselback potatoes or au gratin potatoes

Glazed ham recipe on plate

Homemade Ham Glaze

Ham is one of the easiest meat dishes to make because most of them come precooked and you just have to reheat them. But to achieve a truly flavorful ham, you need to add a glaze. And there are so many variations of glazes to choose from! 

Today’s glaze contains brown sugar, pineapple, dijon mustard, honey, cinnamon, and cloves. But you can find glazes that contain maple syrup, bourbon, orange, cherry, Coke/Dr. Pepper and/or cranberries!.

The key to a perfect glaze is to have a combination of sweet, tangy or pungent flavors that will complement the salty flavor of the ham.

Homemade glaze for ham

How to Make Glaze for Ham + How to Cook

Remove the rind
Begin by taking the rind off. Leaving the rind on will prevent your glaze from penetrating the inside of the ham and your ham will not crisp up. But there is a layer of fat underneath the rind, so make sure to only remove the rind and keep the fat. It will help you ham crisp and be more flavorful. 
To remove the rind cut a line through the skin all the around the shank end. Then insert a sharp knife between the rind and layer of fat and run it along to separate the two layers. Then use your fingers to detach the rind and discard it.
Baking the Ham
Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil and place ham in the pan and let it rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Once the rind is removed, score the ham in a diamond pattern and pour ⅓ cup of pineapple juice over the ham. Cover the ham with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees.
To make the glaze begin by browning the butter and then place all the ingredients, plus the remaining ⅓ cup of juice, into a medium saucepan and bring to a low simmer. Reduce the heat and cook for another 3 minutes, then remove from heat. 

Basting the ham

After the ham has baked for 30 minutes remove the ham from the oven and discard the foil. Brush ⅓ of the glaze over the ham and in between the score marks. Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Repeat twice more.

Crisp the edges

After you have basted 3 times, turn the heat up to 425 degrees and bake for 15-20 more minutes. The ham should be crusty (but not burned) and should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Glazing holiday ham

Glazed Ham FAQs

How to keep ham warm? To keep the ham warm before serving, keep it covered in foil.

How long do you bake a pre-cooked ham? Most of the hams at the grocery store are fully cooked city ham. In order to correctly bake them, you need to put it in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 mins per pound of meat. If the ham isn’t fully baked you might need to do 20 minutes per pound of meat. Just beware that country hams come uncooked!!!

The best method for cooking a ham? Score the ham before glazing it, so that the ham soaks up the delicious glaze. 

  1. Baste your ham for the first time and then cover the roasting pan and ham
  2. Then keep the ham covered in foil while baking so that the ham doesn’t dry out while cooking.
  3. Some people suggest that you uncover and baste the ham every 20 minutes and then recover and continue baking it until it’s baked through, about 10-15 minutes per pound

How much glaze per pound of ham? You should prepare to use about 1 cup of glaze per 5-10 pounds of ham.

How much ham per person? You should estimate about ¾ pound per person for bone-in ham and ½ pound per person for boneless ham.

How far ahead can you make this? Most hams that you buy are already pre-cooked, so that already takes a step out of the process for you. I would start the cooking process on the morning of the big dinner! 

In crockpot? To bake a crockpot in a slow cooker you should baste it and keep the crockpot on low for 4-5 hours until its warmed through. Keep basting it throughout the process and try to switch up where you’re directly applying the baste so the flavors spread throughout the ham. You could even rotate the ham so that the flavor spreads evenly. 

Glazed ham recipe

How to Store Glazed Ham + Side Options

Ham can last in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. and it’s super easy to reheat ham in your microwave! You can always freeze your ham for up to 2 months! But my favorite way to use up my leftover ham is to use it in these recipes: 

So get ready to impress with your tender and flavorful ham dinner! Add some of our amazing sides and you will have a feast everyone will enjoy! 

What sides go well with ham?

Ham Glaze Recipe

5 from 6 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 2 hrs 30 mins
Author: Natalie
Print Recipe


  • 7-9 lb. bone-in or boneless fully cooked ham
For the glaze:
  • 2/3 c. apple cider, apple juice, or pineapple juice, divided
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 c. brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. dijon mustard - (sometimes I like to use a tablespoon of grainy dijon and 1/2 tablespoon of regular dijon)
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse kosher sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground cloves


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place rack in lower third of oven (to ensure that the ham is not too close to the heating element). Line a roasting pan with heavy duty aluminum foil. Place ham in the prepared pan and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • To score the ham, use a sharp chef's knife to cut a 1-inch wide (and 1/4-inch deep) diamond pattern over all of the ham. Pour 1/3 cup of the juice into the pan. cover the ham tightly with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan set over medium low heat, add the butter. Brown the butter, then add the brown sugar, remaining 1/3 cup juice, dijon mustard, garlic, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Whisk until smooth. Bring the mixture to a low simmer, then reduce heat to low. Cook for an additional 3 minutes, then remove from the heat.
  • After the 30 minutes of bake time, remove the ham from the oven discard the foil. Brush 1/3 of the glaze over the ham and in between the score marks. Return to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Repeat twice more.
  • Turn the heat up to 425 degrees and bake for 15-20 more minutes. The ham should be crusty (but not burned) and should reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.


  • Try adding 1 tablespoon of orange marmalade or 1 teaspoon of fresh orange zest to the glaze!

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About the Author


Wife, mother, baker and photographer. Recipe developer & author of Life Made Simple. A self-professed peanut butter lover and fond of anything that involves pumpkin, cookie dough, or sprinkles

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  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for all your tips and tricks. I never knew there were country hams and city hams, haha! Looks perfect for the holidays.

  2. 5 stars
    Ham is a Christmas recipe tradition. This glaze is so simple to make and really adds to the flavor of the ham!