Glazed Ham Recipe

This glazed ham recipe relies on brown sugar, pineapple, marmalade, and mustard for its centerpiece-worthy good looks and classic baked ham taste.

Glazed Ham Recipe

Plonk this brown sugar glazed ham amid all the other lovelies on your holiday table as your centerpiece and then simply step back, listen to the gasps and oohs and aahs, accept your accolades, and watch it disappear. The innate ham-iness is the baked ham’s dominant flavor, but the hints of pineapple, marmalade, and mustard certainly don’t do it any wrong. This recipe has been updated. It was originally published March 25, 2015.Renee Schettler Rossi

How To Choose A Ham

Let’s be honest, shall we? It can be intimidating to step up to the butcher counter and be confronted with countless different types of ham. Spiral-sliced. Smoked. Cured. Uncured. With natural juices. Water added. It’s enough to make you want to just walk away and order Chinese for Christmas dinner.

Here’s the thing. You can’t go that wrong. Most hams that you find shrink-wrapped at the supermarket are already cooked. Which means they just require warming through. And that in turn means almost anything you buy will get the job done without making anyone sick. Which is a pretty darn good place to start. As for the rest of the words on the package, once you grasp a command of them, they simply help you discern what you want or don’t want in the ham if you’re sorta picky about what you put on your table. Here’s what you need to know:

Ham. Ham With Natural Juices. Ham With Water Added. Ham and Water Product.
Ideally, you want to buy “ham.” Not “ham with natural juices.” Not “ham with water added.” And definitely not “ham and water product.” These are the different phrases you’re going to encounter as you look at supermarket hams. Opt for ham whenever you can. The rest just add water and, in most instances, salt. This adversely affects the taste and texture of the ham. It also has an unpleasant affect on your pocketbook as you’re essentially paying for additives, not ham.

Many hams come already sliced, which is typically referred to as “spiral-sliced” on packaging. Spiral-sliced often refers to bone-in hams, which tend to retain more flavor and moisture than boneless hams, which sometimes tend to take on a little something of a processed ham look and feel. There’s a slightly higher tendency for a spiral-sliced bone-in ham to dry out in the oven before serving than a bone-in ham that’s not already sliced. The trade-off is the spiral-sliced is a nice thing if you’re terrified of the spectacle of you standing in front of guests trying to gracefully hack your way around the bone come carving time. Up to you.

Most supermarket hams have been smoked, which imbues the meat with a subtle or not-so-subtle flavor. Take a look at the label to see what kind of wood chips were used. Hickory is going to impart a more pronounced and bolder smokiness than applewood.

If you’re holding a printout of this recipe for glazed ham in your hand as you stand at the butcher counter, then you want to purchase a ham that doesn’t already come slathered or injected or glazed with honey or maple. Reason being you don’t want the flavors of the recipe that you’re going to slather all over the outside of the ham competing with the flavor that’s already been injected into the ham. You also don’t want to double up on the glazes and injections because that could get pretty darn sweet.

How Big A Ham To Buy
Figure about 1/2 pound per person. Slightly more if it’s a bone-in ham. Slightly less if it’s a boneless ham. And, natch, allow for more if you’re big into leftovers.

Glazed Ham Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 2 H, 30 M
  • Serves 8 to 12


  • One 4 1/2-pound (2-kilogram) smoked boneless ham
  • 3 heaping tablespoons marmalade (smooth, not chunky)
  • 2 tablespoons pineapple juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 heaping tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
  • 2. Place the ham, skin-side up, on a wire rack placed in a large roasting pan. Pour enough water into the pan to reach a depth of 1 inch (3 centimeters). Cover the ham and pan tightly with foil and crimp the edges to ensure that no steam escapes. Slide the shiny metal behemoth into the oven and roast for 2 hours.
  • 3. Meanwhile, combine the marmalade, pineapple juice, honey, brown sugar, and mustard in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until thickened, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • 4. Remove the ham and pan from the oven. Crank the oven temperature to 400°F (200°C). While the oven preheats, take a careful look at your ham. If the skin hasn’t already been removed, you’ll need to do that with a sharp knife, being careful to leave a thin layer of fat. [Editor’s Note: Chances are, if you bought your ham in the U.S., the skin will have been removed.] Using the tip of your sharp knife, carefully cut a crisscross pattern in the fat. The ham will be quite hot so be careful.
  • 5. Brush some of the marmalade glaze over the ham. Return the ham and pan to the oven and roast, uncovered and brushing with the glaze every 10 minutes, until the surface of the ham is brown and crisp, about 30 minutes more. Remove the ham and pan from the oven and let rest for a few minutes. Thinly slice the ham and serve warm or at room temperature.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Trudy Ngo-Brown

Dec 16, 2015

I made this glazed ham over the holidays, but it's a recipe that's easy enough to do for a nice weekend dinner. There was very minimal prep, and most of the time spent was hands-free while the ham baked—who doesn't love that?! This was so simple to pull together and provided plenty of leftovers for our small family. I used orange marmalade and juice from some canned pineapple for the glaze. I left the ham in the foil for 2 hours as directed, but I took it out after 20 minutes of basting, as I was using the convection setting on my oven, and the ham seemed plenty brown at that point.

Testers Choice
Sofia Reino

Dec 16, 2015

This was the first time I actually made a glazed ham from scratch. Everyone loved the recipe. We decided to do it for Christmas dinner. The recipe is extremely easy to make and requires just a few ingredients. I was worried it wouldn't be enough glaze, but as I brushed the ham throughout the baking time, I realized it was the perfect amount. The glaze wasn't as sweet as those you buy commercially. The orange flavor was pretty prominent, more so than the pineapple juice. (The marmalade I used was an orange one that wasn't too sweet.) We were 8 total and still had some leftover ham. I think this ham would easily feed 10 to 12 people.

  1. Bev says:

    Would be interested in information on that particular ham. Where purchased. Brand. Mail order. Looks like it would be a good ham. No one does old style. Or perhaps it is the different hogs today. In my dreams I remember holiday & Sunday hams of my youth. Who thought she would ever say a sentence like I just did?! If anyone knows of a lovely bone-in ham, tell.

    I am not, one bit, a fan of slideshows. I rarely deal with them. Life is short. Too many other things to do. Thank you.

    Recently found your site. I am still here. :)

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Bev, we’re so glad you happened upon our site and stayed. Welcome. As for the ham, I’m with you on the hams of yesteryear. I’ve queried the publisher of the book in the hopes they have a trail of where the food stylist acquired props for the photos, but haven’t heard back yet. I’m afraid much of this publisher’s content is done in Britain, which probably explains the Old World charm and sensibility of that ham. I’ll let you know if I receive a response. In the meantime, I’ve asked some home cooks I know and trust if they have a source for hams and will let you know what I learn. As for slideshows, I understand and have noted that, thanks for letting us know. Trick is, many readers like the compilation of recipes on a single topic. Kindly just ignore the slideshows and don’t hold them against us. Again, welcome!

  2. Rod says:

    The smoked Smithfield Ham from Sam’s club is an excellent choice.

    I must add, that I am not a fan of the slideshows and never use them they take to long to load and play on my IPad. I would rather see a list with a link that I can go to if I wish.

    Like your site, though.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Many thanks for the insights, Rod. Greatly appreciate them. As for the slideshow, we often have a list of links for the same content as a slideshow–in fact, the list of links is always longer than the slideshow on the same topic so offers more recipes. For example, here’s a list of links for Easter recipes: If there are any other topics you’d like to see recipes for, let me know and I’ll be happy to list your options. Lovely rest of the week to you.

  3. E says:

    I made this ham for our Christmas dinner, it came out great. I used a 9 lb-plus spiral sliced ham, fed 10 people (most had seconds) and still had half the ham left over. (Yay leftovers!) After reading the ingredients in the glaze I thought it might have been cloyingly sweet but it was actually spot-on and a really nice accompaniment to the flavor of the ham. And it’s such a low-hassle recipe, it left a lot of time to enjoy the company of family while dinner was in the oven.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      That ham is awesome, isn’t it, E? [Editor’s Note: Everyone, E is my husband and he insisted on making this ham for Christmas dinner. And I’m so glad he did.] Also, everyone, if you opted for bone-in ham, the ham bone makes terrific stock. Just add ample water to cover, simmer with your usual stock aromatics, and pull it off the heat after an hour or two. Not certain exactly what we’ll do with ours yet. I may want to make a simple brothy ham and potato soup. I suspect E will want to do something sturdier, like maybe split pea soup. Can’t go wrong either way.

  4. JulieD says:

    Hi there! I just wanted to share that I made this over the holidays for friends…and everyone freaked out about how good it was…asking me where I bought the ham! I told them it’s this recipe!! (Because I bought an $11 ham.) We didn’t have pineapple juice but I had leftover (canned) pineapple chunks in the fridge so I blended it up in my blender and used it even though it was chunky in place of the pineapple juice. It turned out awesome!

    Seriously, loved this recipe because I have never really been a fan of sliced holiday ham…but now I am…and this will be my go to recipe! I always cut up a bunch and divide into baggies and freeze them to make ham fried rice with. So I’m looking forward to using it in other recipes! And for the first time (because of this recipe) can say I’m looking forward to making one of these hams again! :)

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Terrific, JulieD, thanks so much! Lovely to hear that you have a new holiday tradition! And you know, coincidentally, I had almost the exact same experience as you. My husband made this and I’m not crazy about ham but everyone raved about it. My brother even asked if you could take some leftovers home, so I packed him some but I was stingy because I wanted more for us. Leftovers have never flown out of a fridge as fast as this ham. It’s definitely a keeper.

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