If you are looking for a show-stopping main course for your holiday, this Spiral Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze is perfect!
The glaze is made with just 4 ingredients for a perfect brown sugar glaze with honey and warm spices.
This post contains affiliate links.
Easy Ham Glaze
If you are looking for a classic and easy ham glaze, you are in the right place!
This ham with brown sugar glaze only requires 4 ingredients, plus a ham, for a delicious main course centerpiece.
If you make a ham for Easter, Christmas, or Thanksgiving, this is the perfect simple and classic recipe! It is now my go-to Easter ham recipe.
What is special about spiral ham?
Spiral ham is pre-cut with one long, spiral cut in circles around the ham.
I love it because it makes it much easier to cut and carve when serving, plus the thinner layers help get the glaze flavors into the meat.
What is brown sugar glaze made of? – Ingredients Needed
Here is what you need to make this simple ham glaze recipe:
- Brown Sugar
- Ground Cloves (optional)
The cloves bring a warm flavor that you could associate with holiday foods.
Easily skip the cloves if you want the focus to be on the honey and brown sugar instead!
This glaze will be enough for a ham up to
If you are going to use a non-spiral ham, follow the cooking instructions on the package and still put the glaze on only for the last 10-15 minutes.
Cooking will be different because the ham is likely not pre-cooked and therefore needs to cook longer.
What is the serving size for spiral ham?
Plan for about 1/2 pound of meat per person, but this does not include the bone.
A ham around 7-8 pounds would be enough for 12 people.
How to Make Glaze for Ham – Instruction Overview
First get the ham in the oven. Preheat oven to
Put the ham in the roasting pan, large flat side down, with any plastic cap covering the bone removed.
Wrap the ham in tin foil to help trap moisture and heat.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes per pound.
Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Combine the glaze ingredients in a small pot over medium heat.
When simmering (see image below), let cook for 1-2 minutes. Then remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
The sugars will thicken as the glaze cools, and loosen again when exposed to heat.
If it seems to get too thick when cooling, don’t worry, it will thin out when you put it on the warm ham.
For the last 10-15 minutes of cooking, remove the foil from the ham. Baste the ham with your glaze until well covered.
The sugars will caramelize and cook in the oven on the ham. Remove ham from oven and carve when ready to serve.
How to Cut Spiral Ham
The way I like to cut it is first try to cut downward along the bone all the way around.
Then cut vertically down the ham, with the tip of the knife against the bone, until you hit the cutting board. Do this about three times around the ham.
This should result in the ham pulling away from the bone and being cut into slices for easy serving.
What kind of pan do I cook a ham in?
I like to cook mine in a roasting pan. The large size and deep sides make it perfect for holding the ham.
How Long Do I Cook Spiral Ham?
Spiral hams tend to be pre-cooked. Double check that yours is (it should say on the label).
The spiral ham will need to cook for 15 minutes per pound. We are technically heating the ham since it is pre-cooked.
If it is not pre-cooked, follow the package instructions and apply glaze as written in this recipe for the last 10-15 minutes.
Are spiral hams usually fully cooked?
Yes! Which means when it is in the oven, we are more so just warming the ham rather than cooking from raw.
You do want to make sure that the ham is pre-cooked when looking at the label. If not pre-cooked, it will just take longer to bake.
How long should I cook a precooked spiral ham?
You want to cook the ham for 14-15 minutes per pound. This means for an 8 pound ham, it will cook for about two hours.
Ultimately the temperature inside the ham (not touching the bone) should read 140F.
Do you glaze a ham before or after baking?
After. Or at least, the very end of cooking.
Since there is so much sugar in the glaze, if you put it on too early it is going to burn.
But a glaze that has cooked for about 15 minutes will be perfectly thickened and develop caramelized flavors. So only add the glaze when the ham is just about at temperature for the last 10-15 minutes.
Do you cover ham when glazing?
Cover the ham with tin foil when baking, but cook the ham with glaze uncovered.
This will allow the sugars in the glaze to set up, caramelize, and stick to the ham.
- Roasting Pan
- Small Pot
- Basting brush
- Preheat oven to 350°F or per package directions.
- Remove the plastic cap from the bottom of the ham that covers the bone (if it is there). Place the ham large flat side down in a roasting pan.
- Cover the ham in foil.
- Bake the ham in the foil for 14-15 minutes per pound (for an 8 pound ham, this is two hours).
- While the ham is baking, make the glaze. Heat a small pot over medium heat.
- Add the honey, brown sugar, butter, and cloves to the pot. Stir occassionally until the glaze is simmering.
- Once simmering, cook the glaze at a simmer for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.The glaze will thicken as it cools. Do not worry if it starts to look too thick as it will thin out on the warm ham.
- When the ham only has 10-15 minutes left to cook, and the internal temperature has reached 140°F, remove the ham from the oven and remove the foil.
- Baste the ham with the glaze until fully coated.
- Return the ham to the oven, uncovered, and cook the final 10-15 minutes until the glaze is caramelized.
- Remove the ham from the oven and let rest 15 minutes before carving.
- Easily adjust for larger hams by simply cooking the ham for 15 minutes per pound, and adding the glaze for the last 15 minutes. If your ham is over 12 pounds, I would also double the glaze recipe.