Honey Baked Ham baked in a hint of pineapple juice and basted with a deliciously buttery, sticky glaze!
Let the holidays begin with a slice or two of Honey Baked Ham! Juicy and succulent on the inside with crispy, charred, sticky edges. The perfect ham for your Christmas dinner table.
Don’t hold back this season! Bake a honey ham with all the tips and tricks you need right here!
HONEY BAKED HAM
There’s nothing easier than baking a boneless or bone in ham for the holidays. Minimal steps and ingredients makes honey baked ham so enjoyable to prepare…with delicious buttery honey aromas coming out of your kitchen while it bakes!
Homemade baked ham is much better than store bought. You can’t beat having that irresistible sticky glaze to smother all over your baked ham while it bakes, or for serving.
HOW DO YOU MAKE THE BEST BAKED HAM?
For this honey baked ham recipe, you’re going to start by placing your ham in pineapple juice. The acid from the fruit keeps the ham juicy and moist while baking, creating incredible flavours to mix through with the glaze as you baste.
Glaze and baste every 15 minutes until you get the fat rendered and crispy on the outside!
I wish there was smell-ernet happening right about now, because juicy, tender Honey Baked Ham smells just as good as it looks.
TAKE THE RIND 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.
HOW TO REMOVE HAM RIND
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 IRRESISTIBLE.
To show you, I’ve put together the following EASY steps shown in the above collage from our Brown Sugar Mustard Glazed Ham recipe.
- 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.
Once your ham is in the oven, get started on your glaze.
HOW DO YOU MAKE THE BEST 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 from the glaze complement each other so well that either of those ingredients make for a pretty special glaze.
For this honey baked ham, you’re going to use butter, honey and a hint of brown sugar. The acid of the pineapple juice balances out the sweetness from the honey, while the saltiness in the ham provides another layer of flavour.
From here you can add in spices like the traditional ground cinnamon. I don’t normally add whole cloves to the outside of our ham, but for this recipe they work.
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.
The BEST part is slicing through it like butter, and seeing the juices burst out and run down behind each slice.
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!
Honey Baked Ham
- 8-10 pound (4-5 kg) bone-in or boneless fully cooked ham
- 1/3 cup pineapple juice
- 1 cup honey
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup whole cloves
- 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. Insert cloves into the centre of each diamond.
- Place the ham in the baking tray; pour the pineapple juice into the base of the pan and cover the ham with two pieces of foil or parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the butter in a small pot or saucepan over medium heat until golden browned. Add in the honey and brown sugar, stirring to combine until the brown sugar has completely dissolved, (about 2 minutes).
- Reduce heat to low and let simmer to thicken slightly, then set aside and let cool to lukewarm (the glaze should be the consistency of room-temperature honey).
- After 15 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 the 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 10-15 minutes before slicing.