Easy Ham Glaze for Easy Baked Ham

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Learn how to make an easy 3 ingredient ham glaze to turn any budget ham into a succulent main dish, perfect for any holiday or special occasion. Get the simple components and directions right here to make the glazed ham of your dreams. Let’s get started!

easy baked ham glaze recipe only 3 ingredients

My 3 Ingredient Ham Glaze Backstory

Years ago, the Oregonian newspaper published a weekly FoodDay section, and I credit it with helping me learn and grow as a young mom cooking for a family. There were recipes for a variety of cooking levels, from beginner to adventurous gourmet. This 3 ingredient ham glaze recipe was adapted from a recipe I found there, with the ingredients and quantities adjusted to better fit our family budget. If you are looking for an easy glazed ham recipe to feed a crowd for a holiday gathering or party without breaking the bank, this recipe is for you.

Equipment Needed for 3 Ingredient Glaze and Baked Ham


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To make this recipe, you will need:

A large roasting pan

Aluminum foil (optional)

A sharp knife

A medium mixing bowl

A pastry brush or barbecue brush for brushing on the glaze

An electric knife (this is the one I have) for slicing the baked, glazed ham (optional, but this makes slicing so much easier)

Ingredients for 3 Ingredient Ham Glaze

3 ingredient ham glaze ingredients

1 10-15 pound smoked ham on the bone (either shank or butt portion will work)

1 cup orange marmalade (or homemade orange rhubarb jam)

2/3 cup Dijon mustard, any variety

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

3 Ingredient Ham Glaze Directions and Baking Instructions for Ham

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and trim outer skin along with excess fat from ham.

Line the bottom of a large roasting pan with foil for easy cleanup later, if you wish.

Place ham (fatty side up) in the roasting pan (with or without a rack) and score with a knife. Make crosshatch incisions about 1/2 inch deep all over the top and sides of the ham (not the flat face cut side). If you look carefully at the picture below, you can see the lines from some of the crosshatch incisions I made.

3 ingredient ham glaze putting ham in oven

Roast for 2 hours. Cover with foil, if desired.

While the ham is roasting, mix the ingredients for the glaze in a medium bowl by combining the marmalade or jam, mustard, and brown sugar in a medium mixing bowl.

When the ham has roasted for 2 hours, remove it from the oven, remove the foil (if used), and brush a generous portion of glaze all over the top, sides, and front of the cut portion.

3 ingredient ham glaze brushing glaze on ham

Return the ham to the oven and cook it for one more hour. Remove the ham from the oven and brush with glaze every 20 minutes (three more times). In the photo above, I am brushing on the glaze for the final time.

Turn the heat up to 350 degrees and cook the ham for 30 more minutes. If you notice that the glaze is darkening too much or starting to look scorched, cover the ham with foil. Some people prefer the dark crust of glaze, so the foil is certainly optional.

3 ingredient ham glaze finished ham

When 30 minutes have passed, remove the ham from the oven and place it on a cutting board. Cover the ham with foil (if desired) and allow it to rest for about 30 minutes.

Carve the ham with an electric knife, if you have one, and serve it warm or at room temperature.

3 ingredient ham glaze sliced ham

4 Ingredient Ham Glaze Variation

Some people like to stud the crosshatch cuts in the ham with whole cloves before baking. While this makes for an attractive presentation when the ham is whole, once the ham is sliced, the cloves get scattered. I have never been a fan of having to pick out the cloves before eating the ham. If you decide you would like to stud your ham with cloves, you will need about 1 tablespoon of them.

Common Ham Glaze Questions

Does ham glaze go on before cooking?

No, the ham glaze in this recipe goes on after the ham has had a chance to bake in the oven for 2 hours unglazed. Since ham glaze generally contains sugar, the glaze goes on later to prevent overcooking and possible scorching.

What can I substitute for ham glaze?

For a ham glaze substitute, you can use the ingredients listed in this recipe. If you don’t have orange marmalade on hand, you can substitute another jam, like orange rhubarb, if you have it.  The brown sugar and dijon mustard listed in this recipe are common ham glaze substitute ingredients. You can also try a mixture of ingredients like honey or maple syrup. 

What is a substitute for orange juice in ham glaze?

In this recipe for easy ham glaze without orange juice, the orange marmalade is a substitute for orange juice, which is a common ham glaze ingredient. If you do not have orange marmalade or orange rhubarb jam as noted above, citrus juices like pineapple juice, apple juice, or even a combination of lemon and lime juices can substitute for the citrus element. Each alternative will bring a slightly different flavor to the glaze. If you use juice instead of jam or marmalade, the consistency of the glaze will change.

Does ham glaze go on before cooking?

In this recipe, the glaze goes on during the middle of the cooking process. It is reapplied periodically during a one-hour time period, then the heat is turned up to allow the glaze to carmelize and form a crust.

What is brown sugar glaze made of?

A brown sugar glaze is typically made from a combination of brown sugar and additional ingredients to enhance flavor. This simple recipe includes just brown sugar, Dijon mustard, and orange marmalade. The specific proportions and additional ingredients can vary based on the desired taste and the recipe you’re using.

Do you cook ham face up or face down?

When cooking ham, it is generally recommended to place it with the flat side down and the fatty portion on top. This allows the fat layer on the outside of the ham to baste the meat as it cooks, keeping it moist and flavorful. Additionally, it helps the ham cook more evenly.

Which is better, the shank or butt portion of a ham?

The choice between the shank and butt portion of a ham depends on personal preference. Both portions offer distinct characteristics:

Shank Portion:

Flavor: Generally considered a bit more flavorful.

Texture: Tends to be more tender and moist.

Butt Portion:

Meatiness: Contains more meat and is often preferred for this reason.

Ease of Carving: Some find the butt portion easier to carve.

Ultimately, it comes down to your taste preferences and specific needs for your recipe. Consider factors like flavor, tenderness, and the amount of meat when making your decision.

Do you bake a ham with foil on or off?

When baking a ham, it’s a common practice to start with the foil on and then remove it for part of the cooking time. This helps to retain moisture during the initial cooking phase. Here’s a basic guideline:

 Start with Foil On:

In this recipe, you can cover the ham with foil for the first part of the cooking time, allowing it to cook in a moist environment.

Remove Foil During the Glazing Process:

For ease of applying the brown sugar, mustard and orange glaze, I remove the foil during the middle part of the cooking process when the glaze is being applied.

Replace the Foil Near the End of Cooking Time:

During the last portion of cooking time, if the glaze is getting too dark, I will often replace the foil. The exterior has already had a chance to caramelize and develop a flavorful crust, and the foil prevents the glaze from scorching.

Keep Foil on During Resting Time:

When the ham is resting, before carving or slicing, I like to have foil on the ham to retain heat.

What do you put in the bottom of a pan when cooking ham?

When cooking ham, you can enhance the flavor and prevent the ham from sticking to the pan by adding a liquid to the bottom of the pan. This is entirely optional, but if you decide to put liquid in the bottom of the roasting pan, common choices include:

Water: Simply adding water to the bottom of the pan can help maintain moisture during cooking.

Broth or Stock: Using chicken or vegetable broth can add flavor to the ham.

Fruit Juices: Citrus juices like orange juice or pineapple juice can complement the flavor of the ham.

How do you cook a ham so it doesn’t dry out?

The cooking method in this glazed ham recipe will help keep the ham from drying out. If you are worried about a dry ham, here are some additional steps you could take to prevent a ham from drying out during cooking:

Use a Meat Thermometer: Cook the ham to the recommended internal temperature (usually around 145°F or 63°C). This ensures it’s safe to eat but still moist.

Cover with Foil: See the foil covering method I use for this recipe, listed above. During the initial part of cooking, cover the ham with foil to retain moisture. Remove the foil during the glazing process to allow the exterior to brown. Replace the foil near the end if needed and keep the foil on when the ham is resting.

Baste with Glaze: Baste the ham with a glaze periodically, as in this recipe. This adds flavor and helps keep the meat moist.

Add Liquid to the Pan: As already addressed, place liquid, such as water, broth, or fruit juice, in the bottom of the pan to create steam and maintain moisture.

Cook at Lower Temperatures: Consider cooking at a slightly lower temperature for a longer time to keep the ham juicy. In this recipe, cooking the ham at 300 degrees for 2 hours helps retain moisture.

3 ingredient ham glaze finished ham

3 Ingredient Ham Glaze for Easy Baking

Learn how to make an easy 3 ingredient ham glaze to turn any budget ham into a succulent main dish, perfect for any holiday or special occasion.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 30
Calories 420 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Large roasting pan
  • Aluminum foil optional
  • 1 Medium mixing bowl
  • 1 Pastry brush or barbecue brush
  • 1 Electric knife optional

Ingredients
  

  • 1 10-15 pound smoked ham on the bone either shank or butt portion will work
  • 1 cup orange marmalade or homemade orange rhubarb jam
  • cup Dijon mustard any variety
  • 1 cup Firmly packed brown sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees and trim outer skin along with excess fat from ham.
  • Line the bottom of a large roasting pan with foil for easy cleanup later, if you wish.
  • Place ham (fatty side up) in the roasting pan (with or without a rack) and score with a knife. Make crosshatch incisions about 1/2 inch deep all over the top and sides of the ham (not the flat face cut side).
  • Roast for 2 hours. Cover with foil, if desired.
  • While the ham is roasting, mix the ingredients for the glaze in a medium bowl by combining the marmalade or jam, mustard, and brown sugar in a medium mixing bowl.
  • When the ham has roasted for 2 hours, remove it from the oven, remove the foil (if used), and brush a generous portion of glaze all over the top, sides, and front of the cut portion.
  • Return the ham to the oven and cook it for one more hour. Remove the ham from the oven and brush with glaze every 20 minutes (three more times).
  • Turn the heat up to 350 degrees and cook the ham for 30 more minutes. If you notice that the glaze is darkening too much or starting to look scorched, cover the ham with foil.
  • When 30 minutes have passed, remove the ham from the oven and place it on a cutting board. Cover the ham with foil (if desired) and allow it to rest for about 30 minutes.
  • Carve the ham with an electric knife, if you have one, and serve it warm or at room temperature.

Notes

The calorie count is based on a half-pound serving.
Keyword dinner, ham

What Goes Well With Baked, Glazed Ham

To make your special baked, glazed ham dinner complete, here are some easy side dish recipes that pair well with this easy meal. You could try making some mashed potatoes in the crock pot ahead of time. You could also roast some red-skinned potatoes along with the ham during its last 30 minutes, then keep the potatoes in the oven to finish them off while the ham is resting. Similarly, you could bake a simple sweet potato casserole alongside the ham during its last stage of cooking. A nice berry mandarin tossed salad would add a light touch to the meal, as would a pear and walnut tossed salad. For dessert, consider serving pea pickin’ cake or a rhubarb blueberry crisp. There are many possibilities. Baked, glazed ham is a versatile main dish that goes well with a variety of delicious options.

Ways to Use Leftover Ham

Now that you have baked your delicious ham, you may have leftovers. Here are some tasty ways to use them. You could make an easy ham and potato casserole in the crock pot. If you are in the mood for a salad, try this refreshing ham, pea and cheddar cheese creation. Put the ham bone to good use in a lentil ham crock pot soup. There are many possibilities for using your precious leftover ham.

More Food Inspiration

Thinking of working this easy 3 ingredient ham glaze recipe into your next dinner party, holiday party, or potluck? It’s always nice to have a plan when it comes to meals or parties. If you’re looking for a way to get more organized with your meal-planning efforts, I’ve got something for you. Free, editable meal planners! The templates can be used over and over, as often as you need them. You can make as many duplicates as you like, and you’ll be able to save old meal plans for future reference. I hope it simplifies things for you.

 

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I hope you enjoy making this easy glazed ham recipe. May all of your baked, glazed ham endeavors meet with great success!

First Name Signature Conclusion

 

 

 

Lisa Mitchell is a wife, mom, and school librarian who likes to create recipes and entertain guests, often using fresh ingredients from her family’s small Pacific Northwest farm. For more delicious, easy recipes, click on over to the Food page.

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4 thoughts on “Easy Ham Glaze for Easy Baked Ham”

  1. 5 stars
    When I’m asked what is my favorite food at the holidays – my answer is always, ham! I absolutely love a delicious easy baked ham glaze recipe! I can’t wait to make this amazing ham glaze recipe with only three ingredients.

    Reply
    • Nice! I hope you enjoy the simplicity of this easy 3 ingredient ham glaze when you next bake a ham.

      Reply
  2. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this easy baked ham recipe. I love that the glaze only has 3 ingredients. The glazed ham turned out very moist and tender.

    Reply
    • Oh, I am so glad. I look forward to making and serving this glazed ham every holiday season.

      Reply

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