Every Easter and Christmas, my mom topped her ham with a Pineapple Brown Sugar Ham Glaze. I can’t imagine eating holiday ham any other way! After baking ham for years, I’m going to share a few tips for the perfect holiday baked ham.
The holidays would not be the same without my Mom’s ham and Pineapple Brown Sugar Ham Glaze. Every Thanksgiving we had roasted turkey, and every Christmas Mom served ham. I love the sweet and slightly sticky glaze and the way it compliments the flavor of the ham. This glaze is easy to put together, it requires a pan, whisk and about 5 minutes. Your 8 year old can whisk this together for you while you watch!
Ham is best served with a baked on glaze. Oh, and about the glaze packet inside of the package of ham? Toss that directly into the garbage, and gather the ingredients for Pineapple Brown Sugar Ham Glaze. In a few minutes, you’ll have the best and most simple glaze ready to pour on your ham! Mom used to place pineapple rings on the ham using toothpicks to secure the pineapple, I skip that step, but if you like pineapple pinned to your ham, pin away!
Tips for the Best Spiral Baked Bone-In Ham:
- I like to purchase bone-in ham for baking. Back in the day, my mom always bought a ham shaped like a large egg. A ham with a bone-in insures your ham is a real ham, not a pressed together piece of pig and pig “parts”. I often purchase my ham at Costco or my local grocery store. Bone-in hams have the best flavor!
- Let the ham sit on the counter for at least an hour before baking. I like to take it out 1 1/2 hours ahead of baking time. This is an important step! If you take the ham directly from the fridge to oven, it will need an additional hour in the oven to heat completely, which tends to lead to a drier ham. I cannot stress this tip enough.
- Turn oven on for at least 30 minutes before placing ham in oven.
- Using clean hands, fan out the spiral cut pieces a bit, this will help the ham heat up more evenly and also absorb the delicious glaze!
- Bake at two different temperatures for most juicy meat! First, at a low temperature to heat up while sealed tightly with foil.
- Second bake, for an hour without glaze, covered, then glaze and remove the foil covering so the glaze has a chance to caramelize just a bit!
- Use the heaviest pan you have, or if you’re using a disposable aluminum pan, place a jelly roll pan or cookie sheet underneath to ensure your ham doesn’t get scorched on the bottom.
Pineapple Brown Sugar Ham Glaze
- 1 (3-7) pound cooked, sliced, bone-in ham
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1 teaspoon prepared mustard yellow or Dijon smooth
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Take ham out of refrigerator, completely unwrap packaging and discard. If there is a piece of plastic over the end of the bone (bone guard), discard.
Let ham sit on counter for 1-1 1/2 hours in a heavy baking pan before baking.
Thirty minutes before baking, place rack on lower 1/3 of oven and turn oven to 275 degrees.
When ready to bake, place 1/2 cup water in bottom of pan, cover ham with foil and tightly seal edges of foil to pan.
Bake for 10 minutes per pound.
Gather glaze ingredients while ham is baking, whisk together in a pan and cook over low heat until sugar is dissolved or the glaze is bubbly (about 3-5 minutes). Set aside until ready to brush onto ham.
When ham is heated, remove ham from oven and turn heat to 400 degrees.
Remove foil from ham and discard any liquid left in pan by spooning out or using a bulb baster.
Brush or spoon glaze over ham and return to oven for 10-15 minutes or just until glaze is bubbling a bit. When removed from oven, brush additional glaze on ham.
- Before discarding packaging, look to see how many total pounds of ham in package, so you can bake accordingly.
- The ham may be cooked either cut side down, or with the cut side exposed. If cooking on the side, use toothpicks to help keep end piece from separating and drying out. Remove toothpicks before serving.
- Important to remember the ham is already cooked, you are simply warming the ham and glazing before serving.