Brown Sugar Glazed Ham

Brown Sugar Glazed Ham is beautifully juicy, seeping with flavor, boasts crispy caramelized edges and the BEST Brown Sugar Glaze you will ever sink your teeth into!  This Baked Ham is the perfect centerpiece for Easter and Christmas!  

This Brown Sugar Glazed Ham Recipe made with brown, sugar, honey, mustard and spices is sweet, smoky and dripping with flavor AND it only takes minutes of hands on prep time!  Whether it’s for Easter, Christmas or just a big family gathering, nothing is easier or more economical for a crowd than a beautifully caramelized baked ham. If you’ve never baked a ham before, don’t be intimidated, I’ve included detailed instructions on everything you need to know about How to Bake a Ham so you are guaranteed a masterfully cooked, incredibly tender, beautiful Brown Sugar Glazed Ham every time!  

up close shot of baked Ham with brown sugar glaze for ham on a white platter

To me, Easter is the first real mark of spring and reminds me of all the reasons we have to be grateful.  (You can read my Easter address I gave after my kidney transplant HERE).  It is a time to gather with family and friends and to reflect on love, hope and new beginnings.  And of course, we do this over food, and at my house, always over Baked Ham like my Cider Maple Glazed Ham and now this Brown Sugar Glazed Ham – only the best of the best for Easter!

There are thousands and thousands of Baked Ham recipes out there but what sets this baked ham recipe apart is the Brown Sugar Glaze for ham.  It creates a crispy-sweet caramelized outside, yet juicy and smoky inside and plain drool worthy deliciousness all over.

This Baked Brown Sugar Glazed Ham post is really long because I want to answer any possible questions, but please don’t be intimidated by baking a ham – it is SO Simple. Hams are sold fully cooked and fully sliced, all the heavy lifting has already been done so all we have to do is smother it in Brown Sugar Glaze and warm it up!

moist Brown Sugar Baked Ham being brushed with brown sugar glaze for ham on a white platter with green leaf garnish

What Kind of Ham Should I Buy?

For or Brown Sugar Glazed Ham, you will want to purchase a fully cooked, bone-in, spiral cut ham.

  • Fully Cooked:  Most hams you find in the grocery store have been soaked in brine and either smoked, baked or boiled before being sold – that means they are already fully cooked and safe to eat cold straight out of the package.   When purchasing your ham, just take care to check the label that it says “Fully Cooked” and not, “Cook before eating.”
  • Bone in:  To achieve the juiciest baked Brown Sugar Glazed Ham, it is important to use a bone-in ham.  As in all meats, hams cooked with the bone are more flavorful and moist.  And bonus, you get the ham bone for fabulous stock, stews and soups!   Bone-in hams also boast superior texture because boneless hams have to be reshaped after the bone is removed so it won’t fall apart when sliced resulting in a bit of a spongy texture.  And last I checked, spongy + ham = no Bueno.
  • Spiral Cut:  Most bone-in hams come spiral cut which means they are pre-sliced in a continuous spiral all the way around the bone resulting in thin slices that easily pull away AKA all the work is done for you!  Now all that’s left is to reheat and make our best ever brown sugar glaze for ham!
juicy baked Ham with brown sugar glaze for ham on a white platter

How Much Ham Should I Buy?

Estimate about ¾ pound of bone-in ham per person.  So, a 10-pound bone-in will serve 13 people.

What temperature should I bake my ham?

Remember we are starting with a fully cooked, ready-to-eat ham, so we are simply reheating a ham that’s already been cooked. For that reason, a lower temperature of 325 degrees F is ideal to not dry out our Brown Sugar Glazed Ham.

up close shot of juicy baked Ham with brown sugar glaze for ham on a white platter

How long do you cook a precooked ham?

We cook our Brown Sugar Glazed Ham to an internal temperature of 140 degrees F, just enough to warm it through, about 10-14 minutes per pound.  We don’t want to overcook our ham or it will be dry (and remember it is safe to eat at any temperature).   Allow approximately two hours for your 8-11-pound Brown Sugar Glazed Ham.

When you take the temperature of the ham, take care to insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat without touching the bone.  Also, limit the amount of times you open the oven and check the temperature to prevent the ham from drying out.

Brown Sugar Glaze for Ham

Baked hams are wonderfully salty and delicious all on their own but can be made extra special with a delectable Glaze.  Ham Glazes add flavor, color, and texture and promote the glorious caramelization of the hams surface.

Glazes for baked hams should be a balance of sweet and tangy and the ham provides the savory salty.  The best glaze for a baked ham contain either honey, brown sugar or maple syrup for the sweet and either mustard, vinegar, or some sort of juice for the tang.  I went with a Brown Sugar Glaze for this ham and it is phenomenal and soooo easy!

This Brown Sugar Glaze is sweet, slightly tangy and boasts layers of subtle flavor from the spices.  Many Glaze recipes don’t contain any other spices but that is like only salting carne asada and expecting it to be out-of-this-world.  Not happening.  If you don’t add seasonings to your glaze, you are missing serious opportunity to add flavor.

Showing how to make Brown Sugar Glaze for Ham by adding brown sugar and honey, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, garlic, onion powder, paprika, sage to a small saucepan

This Brown Sugar Glaze for Ham is a simple whisking of brown sugar, honey, Dijon, yellow mustard, apple cider vinegar, cinnamon and some hand-picked spices and simmering for a minute or so for the brown sugar to dissolve – that’s it!   Most of the spices are ½ teaspoon or less with the exception of the cinnamon so we are creating a tapestry of flavor that is warm, delicate and comforting and not overpowering.

Showing how to make Brown Sugar Glaze for Ham by simmering brown sugar, honey, Dijon mustard, yellow mustard, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and spices together

If you taste the Brown Sugar Glaze by itself, it will taste quite sweet but remember the ham is quite salty.  The saltiness from the baked ham and the sweetness of the Brown Sugar Glaze are taste bud magic.

Just one note about the Brown Sugar Glaze, it will thicken upon standing.  This is easily remedied, just be prepared to reheat it on your stove for 30 seconds or so when it’s time to brush your ham for the second and third time.

Brown Sugar Glazed Ham on a white platter being brushed with brown sugar glaze for ham

How do you cook a precooked ham?

Things You’ll Need

  1. 8-11 pound fully cooked, bone-in spiralized ham
  2. Roasting pan preferably with a rack
  3. Foil
  4. Brown Sugar Glaze
  5. Pastry brush
  6. Thermometer
  7. Oven
  • Remove ham from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours.  This is the same method we use for roasting a turkey, as it allows the ham to cook more evenly without drying out the outside while we wait for the inside to heat though.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and place your oven rack on the lowest level. This allows the center of the ham to remain in the center of the oven while baking, ensuring that it’s cooked evenly.
  • Pour 2 cups water into bottom of roasting pan with a roasting rack. The water steams around the ham creating an even moister ham. If you don’t have a rack, you can just skip this step.
Showing How to Cook a Precooked Ham by pouring water into bottom of roasting pan
  • Whisk Brown Sugar Glaze ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring often, until brown sugar dissolves, about 1-2 minutes.  Set aside.
Showing how to make Brown Sugar Glaze for Ham by adding brown sugar and honey to a small saucepan
  • Roll out 2 large pieces of foil to wrap your ham in, making sure they overlap in the center to create one large piece of foil. Place ham on foil, top/flat side up, and slather about ⅓ of the Brown Sugar Glaze all over your ham, including in between the slices.  To apply the Brown Sugar Glaze to the ham, a pastry brush works beautifully.
Showing how to Cook a Precooked Ham by slathering ham with Brown Sugar Glaze for Ham
  • Tightly wrap Brown Sugar Glazed Ham with foil so it stays nice and juicy.
Showing How to Cook a Precooked Ham by covering it tightly with foil
  • Place the ham FLAT/FACE SIDE DOWN on the roasting rack (or bottom of pan if you don’t have one).  Roasting in this position helps it from drying out.
Showing How to Cook a Precooked Ham by placing foil covered ham in roasting pan on a roasting rack
  • Bake the Brown Sugar Glazed Ham until the center registers 100-110 degrees F, (approx. 10-14 minutes per pound).  Take care to limit the amount of times you open the oven to check the temperature to prevent the ham from drying out.
  • Create gorgeously caramelized shell by removing Browns Sugar Glazed Ham from oven and increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F.  Carefully unwrap ham from foil and discard foil, allowing any accumulating juices in foil to drip back into the pan.  Spoon juices from the bottom of the pan all over ham. Brush ham all over with ⅓ Glaze.  The Brown Sugar Glaze will have thickened so you will need to return it to the stove for approximately 30 seconds to loosen.
Showing how to Cook a Precooked Ham by slathering ham with Brown Sugar Glaze for Ham after ham surface is caramelized
  • Leave ham uncovered to caramelize the surface and bake until the ham reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees F, approximately 20-30 minutes, spooning juices over ham after 10 minutes.  If you want even deeper caramelization, you can broil your ham for a few minutes (watch closely so it doesn’t burn!), but I didn’t find this necessary as the Brown Sugar Glaze caramelizes quickly just from baking at the high heat.
  • Remove Brown Sugar Glazed Ham from oven and spoon juices again all over ham then brush again with Glaze.
Showing how to Cook a Precooked Ham by spooning juices over Brown Sugar Glaze for Ham after ham surface is caramelized
  • Loosely cover baked ham with foil and let covered ham rest 15-25 minutes.  While the ham is baking, juices are forced away from the heat to the middle of the meat.  The resting time allows for the redistribution and reabsorption of the juices throughout the whole ham.  You can even let your ham rest closer to an hour if that fits your schedule better and serve it at room temperature.

Now sit back and relax – because you don’t have to carve your Brown Sugar Glazed Ham!  With minimal prep, you can enjoy this juicy, tender Brown Sugar Glazed Ham as your beautiful Easter centerpiece with its shimmering shell of caramelized brown sugar glaze goodness.

juicy baked Ham with brown sugar glaze for ham on a white platter

LOOKING FOR MORE SIDE DISHES?

And of course, ham is the gift that keeps on giving not only as your star of Easter but it makes fantastic leftover sandwiches, soups, breakfast enchiladas, etc. and the ham bone means the best stock for soups, stews galore.

Brown Sugar Glazed Ham.  From my house to yours, wishing you a very Happy Easter!

WANT TO TRY THIS BROWN SUGAR GLAZED HAM RECIPE?

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©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com

Brown Sugar Glazed Ham on a white platter being brushed with brown sugar glaze for ham

Brown Sugar Glazed Ham

Brown Sugar Glazed Ham is beautifully juicy, seeping with flavor, with crispy caramelized edges and the BEST Brown Sugar Glaze you will ever sink your teeth into – the perfect centerpiece for Easter and Christmas!  This Baked Ham Recipe made with brown, sugar, honey, mustard and spices is sweet, smoky and dripping with flavor AND it only takes minutes of hands on prep time! 
Servings: 10 -15 servings
Total Time: 2 hrs 10 mins
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 2 hrs

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Ingredients

  • 1 (8-11 pounds) bone-in, fully cooked spiral-sliced ham
  • Aluminum foil
  • Roasting pan
  • Thermometer

Brown Sugar Glaze

  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup clover honey
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp EACH onion powder, garlic powder, ground sage, dried parsley, ground nutmeg ground ginger, ground cloves, paprika
  • 1/4 tsp EACH pepper, ancho chili powder

Instructions

  • Remove ham from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Adjust oven rack to lowest position. Pour 2 of cups water into bottom of roasting pan with a roasting rack. (Skip step if you don’t have a roasting rack.)
  • Whisk together all of the Brown Sugar Glaze ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring often, until brown sugar dissolves, about 1-2 minutes. Set aside.
  • Roll out 2 large pieces of foil to wrap your ham in, making sure they overlap in the center. Place ham on foil, flat side up, and brush ham all over with approximately ⅓ of the Glaze, including in between slices. Tightly wrap ham with foil and place ham FLAT/FACE SIDE DOWN on the roasting rack (or bottom of pan).
  • Bake ham at 325 degrees F until the center registers 100-110 degrees F, (approx. 10-14 minutes per pound). Remove ham from oven and increase oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
  • Carefully unwrap ham from foil and discard foil. Spoon juices from the bottom of the pan all over ham. Brush ham all over with ⅓ Glaze (Glaze will have thickened so return to heat to loosen, about 30 seconds).
  • Leave ham uncovered to caramelize surface and bake until the ham reaches an internal temperature of around 140 degrees F, approximately 20-30 minutes, spooning juices over ham every 10 minutes.*** Turn oven to broil for more caramelized edges if desired watching closely so they don’t burn.
  • Remove ham from oven and spoon juices from bottom of pan/foil again all over ham and brush again with Glaze. Loosely cover with foil. Let rest for 15 minutes then spoon more juices over ham and serve with any remaining Glaze (and my husband loves it with a side of Dijon as well).
  • Optional: Serve with Easter or Christmas sides linked below recipe.

Notes

*Yes,  all the spices from the onion powder to the paprika are ½ teaspoon.
**You may substitute chili powder for ancho chili powder if you don’t keep it stocked.
***Take care to insert thermometer into the thickest part of the meat without touching the bone. This temperature is safe as we are just heating the ham – it is already fully cooked. It is better to under “warm” your ham than to overcook it.  Do not overcook your ham or it will be dry.

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61 Comments

  1. Kathy says

    Oh my goodness,
    This ham is beautiful and my house smell glorious. Thank you so
    much. Now I have ham for leftovers too. .

    • Jen says

      You’re so welcome Kathy!

  2. Stephanie says

    I am blown away. my husband and kids Are blown away… I normally just bookmark recipes but this one gets printed and put away in my mom’s recipe binder. it’s that amazing!! OMG it’s the best. My husband said “if I had to choose between steak and this ham I’d chose ham” that’s a major compliment considering he’s a steak man.

    • Jen says

      WOW Stephanie, thanks for making my day! I am thrilled your entire family loved this browns sugar ham so much! You are making me crave it all over again!

  3. Carolyn says

    Made this today for Easter. Absolutely amazing and best ham ever. I used a non-spiral ham and scored it before applying the glaze. This recipe is a keeper. Thank you!
    PS Three to four hours after dinner my house still smells great.

    • Jen says

      Thanks for the glowing review Carolyn! I LOVE hearing this was the “best ham ever!” Happy Easter!

  4. Tanja Couchman says

    I have made this ham on several occasions and everyone absolutely loves it! And the smell is just awesome!

    • Jen says

      Thanks so much Tanja, I love hearing it’s a favorite tradition!

  5. Laura says

    This looks like a great recipe and I am excited to make it for a New Years Eve gathering. A few questions: am I supposed to dump out the water in the roasting pan once I take the ham out of the foil? If I’m reading the recipe correctly it sounds like I am supposed to just let the juices from the foil fall back into the pan, but I’m worried the water will dilute them and then it won’t work out well for basting. I’ve never made a ham in the oven before, so maybe this is okay. Any clarification would be appreciated. Thank you!

    • Jen says

      Hi Laura, you will leave the water in the pan – much of it will evaporate and you actually do need it to dilute the flavors otherwise it will be too salty. Hope this helps!

  6. Ashley C says

    Amazing recipe, I made two hams for thanksgiving they were gone ! I use this every year thank you

    • Jen says

      I love hearing that Ashley, thank you so much!!!

  7. camille says

    Hi, I want to try your recipe this year for Easter. I have sides that will have to be put in the oven. Is it okay to have 2 other sides in the oven with the ham cooking?

    • Jen says

      Hi Camille, that’s not a problem at all! Happy Easter!

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