A delicious brown sugar ham glaze can make all the difference from a boring dry ham!
I originally made this ham with brown sugar glaze back during Easter. Pretty much every year we’ll have a nice spiral ham dinner with colcannon and homemade yeast rolls. But, I think ham is awesome enough to have year round instead of just at Easter and the holidays. It’s even wonderful grilled!
I love being able to get spiral hams at such great prices around Easter and the holidays and will often get an extra one or 2 to stick in the freezer as they are certainly cheaper than the ready-made ones you can buy at places like HoneyBaked Hams, as tasty as they may be. I have to say though, with a good glaze a home-cooked ham can be just as good, if not better!
While I know many like to go to the trouble of all the cloves or pineapple with cherries bells and whistles, which certainly look beautiful, I just like a simple glaze that’s slightly sweet and spiced. Even though many hams now come with a glaze packet, I like making my own. Shocker, I know. 😉 Another benefit I have found to ham glazes is that they can really help for those times we inevitably over-cook at least part of the ham. Just store any dry parts wrapped up in the leftover glaze, then when ready to re-heat, transfer the ham with glaze into a baking dish, adding just a touch of water if it’s really thick, cover with foil and bake. This essentially fuses the wonderful glaze flavors into the ham while the steam will provide a moisture buff, resulting in delicious leftover ham that you’d never realize was originally dry! Not that I would know from experience or anything… 😉
Brown Sugar Ham Glaze
This is our favorite brown sugar ham glaze recipe. It’s sticky and sweet from the brown sugar and honey, while the vinegar provides a bit of tang and the flavor notes end with a slight spice. While you can also cover the ham with the glaze and whole cloves or pineapples and cherries, I think the sheen from the glaze itself makes the ham look gorgeous. This glaze would be great on all sorts of ham types, but we always get spiral and make sure to get the glaze down in between the slices. So, if you have a ham that isn’t sliced, I’d suggest at least scoring it a bit so the glaze can seep down and really help flavor the meat. I’ve also made up the glaze and thickened slightly over low heat when cooking ham steaks for dinner. When baking a ham, make sure you have a large enough pan to hold the large ham and glaze. I like using a roasting pan lined with a few layers of foil for easy clean up. On to the Brown Sugar Ham Glaze recipe!
- 1 cup (packed) brown sugar, I always use light, but dark would result in a bit richer flavor
- 2 Tablespoons flour
- ½ teaspoon mustard (powdered or prepared)
- ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves (skip if you're putting on whole cloves)
- 3 Tablespoons vinegar
- ¼ cup honey
- 1-3+ Tablespoons water
- Whisk together brown sugar, flour, mustard, spices, vinegar and honey until thoroughly combined.
- Thin out as desired with water, keeping in mind that glaze will thicken while cooking. If you thin it out too much, you can pour it into a pot over medium to medium-high and reduce until it thickens, stirring often.
- Spread the glaze over the ham before putting it into the oven, being sure to get the glaze in between the slices or scores. I like to put the glaze on the ham, cover the pan with the ham in it loosely in foil so it won't burn, and then take the foil off the last 20 minutes or so, basting with juices in the pan as needed.
I hope you enjoyed this Brown Sugar Ham Glaze Recipe – be sure to check out our other recipes!