The Best Ham Glaze
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Recipe courtesy of Emily Weinberger for Food Network Kitchen

The Best Ham Glaze

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 4 hr (includes resting and cooling times)
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 10 to 12 servings
A perfectly glazed ham is often the centerpiece of many holiday celebrations, including Easter and Christmas. Guests swoon over the juicy, savory slices on their plate. The most beautiful ham will have a tangy, sticky-sweet and shiny glaze. After tinkering with many ingredients, we landed on a knock-your-socks-off combination that includes brown sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon and cloves for sweet, warm and slightly smoky notes. Dijon and a splash of apple cider vinegar add tang and zip while soy sauce gives it a great depth of flavor. Rounding out the glaze with brightness are the zest and juice of an orange. We hoped to only brush the ham once during baking, but test after test proved that glazing two more times during the last 30 minutes in the oven brings out the best flavors and creates the most magical sheen.



  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Let the ham sit at room temperature for 30 minutes and trim off any skin. If your ham is not a spiral-cut ham, use a sharp paring knife to score through the fat in a diagonal crosshatch pattern without cutting through to the meat.
  2. Place the ham, flat side down, on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Pour 1 cup water into the pan. Bake until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the ham registers 130 degrees F, about 2 hours 30 minutes (about 15 minutes per pound—reduce the time to 10 minutes per pound for a spiral-cut ham).
  3. Meanwhile, make the glaze: Whisk the brown sugar, maple syrup, soy sauce, orange zest and juice, Dijon, vinegar, cinnamon, cloves, onion powder and a few grinds of black pepper in a medium saucepan until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally, then reduce the heat to low and simmer until the glaze has thickened and reduced by half (you should have 1 cup glaze), 20 to 25 minutes. Set aside until the ham is ready.
  4. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Brush half of the glaze over the ham. If the water in the bottom of the pan has evaporated, add 1 cup water. Return the ham to the oven and roast for 30 minutes, brushing with the remaining glaze every 10 minutes (two more times) before returning to the oven.
  5. Let the ham cool for 15 minutes before thinly slicing.