Super-Simple Glazed Ham

This Super-Simple Glazed Ham is the only ham recipe you will ever need!  The brown sugar crust is sweet but beautifully balanced with grainy and ground mustards and a splash of bourbon.

Make sure you baste this ham to keep it moist and to crisp up the exterior.  I promise you will love this!

I will be honest and say that I have never cooked a ham before.  It just didn’t seem like a priority when there are so many other delicious holiday main courses (think turkey, beef tenderloin, rack of lamb) but this recipe propelled me to do so and I am grateful I did.  You will be too!

To begin, the recipe calls for a half ham, butt portion.  I had no clue what that was so I asked my super-sweet butcher, Paul, to help me.  He explained the difference between the butt portion and the shank.

  • The shank end (or leg portion) sports that classic ham profile, so it’s a good choice for a picture-perfect table. The meat tends to be leaner and it has one long bone, which makes carving easier.
  • The butt end (the top half of the ham) has more tender, fattier meat, lending a richer flavor. However, it does have a T-shaped bone inside that can be tricky to carve around. Don’t worry about that, though, because we have tips on how to carve ham perfectly.

Plan for 3/4 to 1 pound per person.

A semi-boneless ham—where the shank bone is removed, but the leg bone is left in—offers a win-win combination of easier carving without the loss of flavor contributed by the bone.

If convenience is more important to you than presentation and bone-in flavor, boneless ham is always an option. With this type, the bone is removed and the ham is pressed into that familiar oval shape. Boneless ham looks like a solid piece of meat because the added salt breaks down its proteins, causing it to re-form, in a sense. Obviously, this makes for the easiest carving.

Having explained all of this, I stuck with what the recipe calls for, but going forward, I would go for the boneless one as I honestly don’t care that much about presentation and would prefer the ease of carving (hence my Deconstructed Turkey recipe).  As well, I would remove most of the fat cap that’s on the exterior of the ham.  I didn’t know so I left it on, but I’d rather have all that delicious crust right on the skin so I can eat it versus it being on the fat cap and having to throw it away.  I’m just not one of those people that can eat a chunk of fat, no matter how delicious it may be!

To prepare the ham, cut cross-hatches into the skin of the ham.  I like to cut these about 1/2-inch deep and around the majority of the ham.  That way, as you baste the ham, its juices will run into the crevices all over the ham.  Then place the ham on a rack in a large roasting pan.

Make a rub of whole-grain mustard, honey, nutmeg and cloves.  Smear the rub all over the ham.  Then pack the brown sugar all over the rub.

Finally, use a brush to lightly dab the bourbon all over the brown sugar.  You can also use a spray bottle to lightly mist the brown sugar.  You don’t want it so damp that the brown sugar runs off the ham.

Bake the ham for 20 minutes per pound, while basting every 20 minutes or so.  Basting is important to achieve the beautiful color and crispiness.  It’s truly what makes this so delicious!

To make the glaze, skim as much fat as you wish from the drippings left in the pan, and add enough ham, chicken stock or water to make 1 & 1/2 cups (I estimated about 1/4 cup of drippings and adding another 1 & 1/4 cups of liquid). The drippings are very sticky so it’s better to add the additional liquid into the roasting pan and combining as best as you can. Transfer to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the brown sugar, mustard, nutmeg, and cloves and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Serve the glaze at the table over the ham.

I will also admit that because I am a novice ham-maker, I had no clue how to carve this, so you’ll see in my photos that I carved from different sides.  Next time, I would follow the link above in my post on how to carve or just buy a boneless ham!

All said and done, this is one of the most delicious hams I’ve ever eaten.  My honey says it’s better cold and in thicker slices.  I loved it diced up with scrambled eggs and grated cheddar cheese.  As always, you do you!

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Lastly, if you make Super-Simple Glazed Ham, be sure to leave a review down below at the bottom of this page (stars are also appreciated)! Above all, I love to hear from you and always do my best to respond to each and every review. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Looking through the photos of recipes you all have made is one of my favorite things to do!

Super-Simple Glazed Ham

Makes: 8 servings

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Bake Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours & 15 minutes


  • 1 (5- to 8-pound) half ham, butt portion, sliced or not, boneless or bone-in
  • 1/2 cup whole-grain mustard
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup bourbon


  • 1 & 1/2 cups ham drippings and/or ham stock
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 pinch finely grated nutmeg
  • 1 pinch ground cloves


Cook the Ham:

Heat the oven to 300°F. Score the ham in a diamond pattern to ¼- to 1/2- inch deep (if not sliced). Place the ham on a rack in a large roasting pan.

In a small bowl, mix the mustard, honey, nutmeg, and cloves.

Using your hands, smear the mustard mixture all over the surface of the ham. Using your hands again, pack the brown sugar all over the exterior of the ham, pressing to adhere.

Using a spray bottle, lightly mist the brown sugar with the bourbon just to barely moisten (you may not use it all). If you don’t have a spray bottle, gently dab the bourbon on the ham using a brush.

Bake the ham, uncovered and basting occasionally, for 20 minutes per pound.

Make the Glaze:

Strain the ham drippings, skim as much fat as you wish, and add enough ham, chicken stock or water to make 1 & 1/2 cups. Transfer to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the brown sugar, mustard, nutmeg, and cloves and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened. (You can also add a little pineapple juice to this, if you wish.) Serve the glaze at the table over the ham.

Recipe from food52


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