This Dr Pepper glazed ham calls for a spiraled ham to be brushed with Dr Pepper, brown sugar, orange juice, and Dijon mustard. The ham absorbs the spice characteristics of the soda to become absolutely delicious. Don’t knock it till you try it.
The editors of Cook’s Country magazine explain that this glazed ham recipe, like so many of the best things in life, was the creation of a resourceful mother. Although we confess that the inclusion of Dr Pepper may seem a tad odd, its sweetness in tandem with its spices and the tangy mustard in the glaze lends the resulting ham a beguiling tang that folks at your table are gonna ask for again and again—so much so that you may not save it only for special occasions.–Renee Schettler
Is it necessary to glaze ham?
We’re not going to tell you to just toss a ham in the oven and pray for the best. We wouldn’t have suggested this recipe if boring ham was our modus operandi and so, yes—you should definitely glaze your ham. Not only does it add another layer of sticky sweet, tangy flavor, a glaze gives you even more. A slick of glaze will add moisture so you have extra insurance for succulence. And no one has ever complained about gorgeous texture and shine—especially when you place that lovely ham on the table to the adoration of your guests.
Dr Pepper Glazed Ham
- plastic oven bag or aluminum foil
- One (7- to 10-pound) spiral-sliced, bone-in half ham preferably shank end
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup Dr Pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Remove the ham from the packaging and discard the plastic disk that covers the bone. Place the ham in the plastic oven bag, tie the bag shut, and trim the excess plastic. Set the ham, cut-side down, in a roasting pan or 13-by 9-inch baking dish and cut 4 slits in the top of the bag. (Alternatively, if you don't have an oven bag, place the ham, cut-side down, in the roasting pan or baking dish and wrap the ham and pan tightly with foil.) Let the ham rest at room temperature for 1 1/2 hours.
- Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 250°F (120°C).
- Bake the ham until the center registers 100°F (37°C) on an instant-read thermometer, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, depending on the size of the ham. (Figure about 14 minutes per pound if using a plastic oven bag, about 17 minutes per pound if using foil.)
- While the ham bakes, bring the sugar, Dr Pepper, orange juice, and mustard to a simmer in a medium saucepan and cook until syrupy and reduced to 3/4 cup, about 8 minutes.
- Remove the ham from the oven and roll back the sides of the bag or the foil to expose the meat. Carefully tip out the juices that have collected in the pan into your sink. Brush the ham liberally with the Dr Pepper glaze and return it to the oven, uncovered, until the glaze becomes sticky, about 30 minutes. (Check the ham occasionally and if it appears to be browning too much, tent it with a piece of foil.)
- Remove the ham from the oven and brush it again with the Dr Pepper glaze. Tent the ham loosely with foil and let it rest for 30 to 40 minutes before slicing and serving.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
This is a very easy ham to pull together. The oven bag works like a charm and keeps things from getting really messy. The glaze is simple to make, but has great depth of flavor. It really makes the ham. There is just enough sweetness to make you want more, but it isn’t sticky sweet. There’s almost a hint of a maple syrup quality to it, and the balance between sweet and smoky is really satisfying. This ham would be great for any occasion. Watch the glaze when it first begins to sizzle, as it foams and can boil over in an instant.
My hub is quite the connoisseur of all things pig, and his eyebrows shot up as high as I’ve ever seen them go as I assembled the ingredients for the glaze. Surprisingly, we both really liked the beguilingly sweet glaze. The whole thing is a cinch to make–you essentially warm a ham in a slow oven and then slather it with a slightly sticky glaze during the last few minutes. The temperature of the oven is so low, I’d say the ham’d hold well in case guests are late or some other unforeseen but unavoidable delay pushes back dinnertime.
But what I appreciate most about the ham is the glaze, which imparts a relatively complex sweetness to the salty ham without fighting with the smokey interior. It had a lilt reminiscent of maybe maple, maybe molasses. We were both really taken by how the seemingly bizarre ingredients melded really nicely. Hub suggested perhaps a touch more orange juice in the glaze, although bear in mind I used freshly squeezed, not from a carton, which probably has a lot to do with it.
Best yet, it’s just as good cold as hot. (As I type, hub is in the kitchen, standing at the counter, slicing and eating cold ham.) If I were serving to guests, I’d probably thinly slice an unpeeled orange or a couple clementines and intersperse them among the ham slices on a platter. And I’d defintely save those pan juices to pass on the side.
When I got a spiral-cut ham to fix for our Easter dinner, I remembered this recipe and I knew I had to try it. I’m so happy that I did. I got rave reviews from all my family. My dad, who rarely gives out compliments on food, kept going back for more and said it was really good. That’s high praise from him.
Like Renee, I used fresh-squeezed orange juice, but I’m sure if store-bought is all you have on hand, it would still be delicious. I put the drippings from the bottom of the pan in a bowl and some of us added a little drizzle over our ham on our plate. My niece even put a little on her mashed potatoes and said it was great. This was a nice change from our usual brown sugar and pineapple ham. I think I’ll be making this one again.
Originally published August 28, 2009