Brown Sugar Mustard Glazed Ham is the perfect juicy centrepiece for your Christmas dinner table!
The most perfect sticky glaze is slathered all over this juicy, tender Brown Sugar Mustard Glazed Ham, with crisp edges and an incredible flavour. Don’t even be intimidated by a ham this season, with all the tips and tricks you need right here!
More often than not, most times we as a people try baking a ham for Christmas, they end up dried out on the inside without any flavour and a cause for major anxiety before guests arrive. This would have to be the WORST kind of ham. This is also what happened to me THREE TIMES in the last two weeks before nailing this final ham to share with you all.
So I thought I’d take all the guess work out of how to bake a juicy ham with charred crispy edges and a beautiful sticky glaze.
Also, I now have ham coming out of my ears. Send help.
What is the best ham to buy?
For ultimate flavour and a juicy result, aim for a fully cooked bone-in ham. The best ham we baked during testing is the half leg pictured (shank end of the leg). The other type of ‘half leg’ which is the butt end (shaped like a dome) contains part of the hip bone and is harder to carve. It has less meat, although it’s very tender and flavourful. If you want value for your money, go for the type I have pictured here.
Spiral cut hams seem to be gaining in popularity over in the United States, but unfortunately I can’t comment on them since we don’t have them.
Take The Rind On Or Off?
For some reason, this is the most controversial step — taking the rind off. In testing with the rind still on, I found the rind became chewy and gummy as the ham cooled and tough to eat. Also, the flavours of the glaze stopped at the rind with no flavours seeping into the fleshy part of the ham. For this reason, I suggest trimming the rind off. Fully cooked ham rind DOES NOT crisp. We tried broiling, baking at high heat and deep frying.
When you buy your ham, you’ll notice right underneath the rind there is a gorgeous layer off fat. DON’T trim this away. This fat turns into a beautiful crispy and sticky coating for your glaze and is DIVINE. To show you better, I’ve put together the following EASY steps OR CHECK OUT THE VIDEO BELOW:
- Cut a line through the skin all around the shank end.
- Insert a sharp knife between the rind and fat and run it along to detach both layers.
- Using your fingers, gently separate the rind from the fat. You can insert your hand deeper into the ham to keep detaching it so it’s easier to peel the rind off in Step 4.
- Peel off and discard the rind.
- Run knife cutting into the fat layer about 1/4-inch deep to lightly score diamond pattern all over the surface.
I will shamelessly admit I asked/made my 14 year old daughter get her hands all in this piece if ham before school this week. Literal elbow grease.
Once your ham is in the oven, get started on your glaze.
Baked Ham Glaze
The best glaze for a baked ham contain either honey, brown sugar or maple syrup. The saltiness from the ham and the sweetness for the glaze complement each other so well, that either of those ingredients make for a pretty special glaze.The glaze I went for is a combo of butter (browned butter was AMAZING, but regular melted butter works just as good), brown sugar, honey, Dijon mustard (adding a nice tang to the ham), and crushed garlic cloves. From here you can add in spices like the traditional ground cinnamon and ground cloves, or leave them out. Most recipes call for decorating the ham with whole cloves between each cut. Personally, I didn’t appreciate chewing on the cloves that were wedged in and hidden from sight. However, you can add them if you wish!
My biggest piece of advice is not to simmer the glaze for too long, as you will end up with a hard caramel once it begins to cool, and it’s extremely difficult to slather onto the outside of the ham when glazing. You want to bring it to a gentle simmer and take it off the heat quickly.
I added the pan juices from the ham into the glaze once there were pan juices to use, and WOW! Amazing flavours! My ham wasn’t salty though, so make sure you do some taste testing before adding the juices and add the amount you need to alter the flavour even more.
Glaze and baste and baste and glaze and GO NUTS with it. The more the merrier, and ’tis the season, right?
I wish there was smell-ernet happening right about now, because juicy, tender Brown Sugar Mustard Glazed Ham smells just as good as it looks.
The BEST part is slicing through it like butter, and seeing the juices burst out and run down behind each slice. NO DRY HAM OVER HERE!
Happy Holidays everyone!
Brown Sugar Mustard Glazed Ham Recipe Video
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The most perfect sticky glaze is slathered all over this juicy, tender Brown Sugar Mustard Glazed Ham, with crisp edges and an incredible flavour. Don't even be intimidated by a ham this season, with all the tips and tricks you need right here!
- 8-10 pound (4-5 kg) bone-in fully cooked ham,
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, reduce fat or full fat
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 cloves garlic, smashed
Preheat the oven to 300°F | 150°C and arrange a rack in the lower third. Remove any plastic packaging or netting from the ham. Trim away the rind and discard. Set the ham aside to rest at room temperature for 1-2 hours.
Line a baking tray or dish with several sheets of aluminium foil or parchment paper if you prefer (it will make cleanup a lot easier).
Remove the rind or skin of the ham (refer to steps in post), ensuring you leave the fat on. Using a sharp knife score a 1-inch-wide diamond pattern (don’t cut more than 1/4 inch deep) over the entire ham. Place the ham in the baking tray; pour 1/3 cup of water into the base of the pan and cover the ham with two pieces of foil or parchment paper and bake for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the butter in a small pot or saucepan over medium heat until golden browned. Add in the brown sugar, honey, mustard, cinnamon and cloves, stirring to mix together well until the brown sugar has completely dissolved, (about 2 minutes).
Reduce heat to low and add in the garlic. Allow it to become fragrant, cooking for a further minute or two until the glaze just begins to simmer, then set it aside and let cool to lukewarm (the glaze should be the consistency of room-temperature honey).
After 30 minutes baking time, carefully remove the ham from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 425°F | 220°C. Discard the foil or parchment paper and pour 1/3 of the glaze all over the ham, brushing in between the cuts to evenly cover. Return to the oven and bake uncovered for 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven, brush with another third of the glaze and some of the pan juices, and repeat again after 15 minutes more minutes of baking until a dark golden-brown crust has formed, (about 30 minutes total). For added depth of flavour, mix some of the ham pan juices together with the glaze in the pot which will help keep it runny enough for brushing. If your crust is still pink after there suggested baking time, turn on your broiler (or oven grill), and allow it to broil for 2-5 minutes, while keeping an eye on it so it doesn't burn from the sugar.
Let the ham rest 10-20 minutes before slicing.
If your glaze has been over simmered and begins to thicken between each baste, add some of the pan juices to it and heat it up over low heat until it warms through and is the consistency of warmed honey.
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What side dishes go with ham?
Whether you’re making this for dinner yourself or bringing it to a Holiday gathering, these side dishes will make your crowd even happier!