The Ultimate Guide to Honey Baked Glazed Ham: A Perfect Holiday Delight

When it comes to holiday meals, few dishes can rival the show-stopping allure of a perfectly glazed ham.

With its sweet, sticky glaze and tender, flavorful meat, honey baked glazed ham is a timeless centerpiece that never fails to impress.

Advertisement

This article will take you through the history of honey baked ham, provide a detailed recipe, offer variations and tips for achieving perfection, and explore the best ways to serve and store this festive favorite.

A Brief History of Honey Baked Ham

The tradition of serving ham during the holidays has deep roots in various cultures around the world.

Advertisement

The practice dates back to ancient times when cured and smoked hams were a practical way to preserve meat through the winter months.

In Europe, particularly in Germany and Scandinavia, ham was often the centerpiece of festive meals, symbolizing abundance and celebration.

Advertisement

The concept of glazing ham with honey or other sweet substances is believed to have originated in the United States in the early 20th century.

The combination of savory ham with a sweet glaze was an instant hit, providing a perfect balance of flavors.

Advertisement

The HoneyBaked Ham Company, founded in 1957 by Harry J. Hoenselaar, popularized the honey glazed ham, making it a staple in American holiday traditions.

Today, honey baked glazed ham is enjoyed worldwide, particularly during Christmas, Easter, and other festive occasions.

Advertisement

Ingredients for Honey Baked Glazed Ham

Creating the perfect honey baked glazed ham requires high-quality ingredients and a bit of patience. Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Ham:

Advertisement

a) 1 fully cooked, bone-in ham (7-10 pounds)

b) Whole cloves (optional, for studding)

Advertisement

For the Glaze:

a) 1 cup honey

Advertisement

b) 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

c) 1/4 cup Dijon mustard

Advertisement

d) 1/4 cup pineapple juice

e) 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Advertisement

f) 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

g) 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Advertisement

h) 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

i) 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Advertisement

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Honey Baked Glazed Ham

1. Prepare the Ham:

a. Preheat your oven to 325°F (165°C).

Advertisement

b. Remove the ham from its packaging and rinse it under cold water. Pat it dry with paper towels.

c. If desired, score the surface of the ham in a diamond pattern using a sharp knife. This not only makes for a beautiful presentation but also allows the glaze to penetrate the meat.

Advertisement

d. Optional: Stud the scored intersections with whole cloves for added flavor and a festive appearance.

2. Make the Glaze:

Advertisement

a. In a medium saucepan, combine the honey, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, pineapple juice, apple cider vinegar, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger, and ground nutmeg.

b. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring frequently until the sugar is dissolved and the glaze is smooth. This should take about 5-7 minutes.

Advertisement

c. Remove the glaze from the heat and set aside.

3. Bake the Ham:

Advertisement

a. Place the ham on a rack in a large roasting pan, flat side down. Add about 1/2 inch of water to the bottom of the pan to keep the ham moist during baking.

b. Cover the ham loosely with aluminum foil and bake in the preheated oven for about 15-18 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 140°F (60°C). This usually takes around 1.5 to 2.5 hours, depending on the size of the ham.

Advertisement

4. Glaze the Ham:

a. During the last 30 minutes of baking, remove the foil and brush the ham generously with the prepared glaze.

Advertisement

b. Return the ham to the oven, uncovered, and continue baking, basting with more glaze every 10 minutes. The glaze should caramelize and form a shiny, sticky coating on the ham.

If the glaze starts to brown too quickly, loosely cover the ham with foil to prevent burning.

Advertisement

5. Rest and Serve:

a. Once the ham reaches an internal temperature of 140°F (60°C), remove it from the oven and let it rest for 15-20 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring a moist and flavorful ham.

Advertisement

b. Carve the ham into thin slices and arrange on a serving platter. Drizzle any remaining glaze over the top.

Variations on Honey Baked Glazed Ham

While the classic honey glaze is a favorite, there are numerous ways to customize the flavor profile of your ham to suit your tastes. Here are a few variations:

Advertisement

1. Maple Glazed Ham:

Substitute maple syrup for honey in the glaze recipe. Add a tablespoon of Dijon mustard and a teaspoon of fresh thyme for a delightful twist.

Advertisement

2. Bourbon Glazed Ham:

Add 1/4 cup of bourbon to the glaze mixture. The bourbon adds a rich, smoky depth of flavor that pairs beautifully with the sweetness of the glaze.

Advertisement

3. Orange Glazed Ham:

Replace the pineapple juice with freshly squeezed orange juice and add the zest of one orange to the glaze. This gives the ham a bright, citrusy flavor.

Advertisement

4. Spiced Apple Glazed Ham:

Substitute apple cider for pineapple juice and add a teaspoon of ground allspice to the glaze. This variation is perfect for autumn gatherings.

Advertisement

5. Mustard and Herb Glazed Ham:

Increase the Dijon mustard to 1/2 cup and add 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh rosemary and thyme to the glaze. This gives the ham a savory, herbaceous kick.

Advertisement

Tips for the Perfect Honey Baked Glazed Ham

Choose the Right Ham: For the best results, select a fully cooked, bone-in ham. The bone adds flavor and helps the meat stay moist during baking.

Score the Ham: Scoring the ham allows the glaze to penetrate deeper into the meat, enhancing the flavor.

Advertisement

Baste Frequently: Regular basting with the glaze during the final stages of baking ensures a beautifully caramelized and flavorful crust.

Use a Meat Thermometer: To avoid overcooking, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The ham is ready when it reaches 140°F (60°C).

Advertisement

Let It Rest: Allowing the ham to rest before carving ensures the juices redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in a moist and tender texture.

Serving Suggestions

Honey baked glazed ham is incredibly versatile and can be served with a variety of side dishes to create a memorable meal. Here are some suggestions:

Advertisement

1. Classic Sides:

Mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes

Advertisement

Green bean casserole

Roasted Brussels sprouts or asparagus

Advertisement

Macaroni and cheese

Cornbread or dinner rolls

Advertisement

2. Fresh Salads:

Mixed greens with a light vinaigrette

Advertisement

Spinach and strawberry salad with balsamic dressing

Waldorf salad with apples, grapes, and walnuts

Advertisement

3. Festive Sides:

Cranberry sauce or chutney

Advertisement

Glazed carrots or parsnips

Scalloped potatoes or au gratin potatoes

Advertisement

Butternut squash soup or bisque

4. Leftover Ideas:

Advertisement

Ham and cheese quiche

Ham and bean soup

Advertisement

Ham sandwiches with honey mustard

Ham and pineapple pizza

Advertisement

Storing and Reheating Honey Baked Glazed Ham

Proper storage and reheating ensure that your honey baked glazed ham remains delicious even after the holiday meal.

Storing:

Advertisement

Allow the ham to cool completely before storing.

Wrap the ham tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container.

Advertisement

Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Reheating:

Advertisement

To reheat in the oven, preheat to 325°F (165°C). Place the ham in a baking dish with a little water or broth and cover with foil.

Heat for 10-15 minutes per pound, or until warmed through.

Advertisement

For quicker reheating, slice the ham and heat individual portions in the microwave.

Place slices on a microwave-safe plate and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave on medium power for 1-2 minutes per slice, or until heated through.

Advertisement

Conclusion

Honey baked glazed ham is more than just a dish; it’s a tradition that brings people together during the holidays.

Its irresistible combination of savory and sweet flavors, tender meat, and beautiful presentation make it a centerpiece worthy of any festive table.

Advertisement

By following the detailed recipe and tips provided in this article, you can create a honey baked glazed ham that will impress your family and friends.

Whether you stick to the classic honey glaze or experiment with variations, this dish is sure to become a cherished part of your holiday celebrations.

Advertisement

Serve it with an array of delicious sides, and don’t forget to enjoy the leftovers in creative and tasty ways.

So, gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and embark on the delicious journey of making the perfect honey baked glazed ham. Happy cooking and happy holidays!

Advertisement

Leave a Comment