Cranberry Glazed Ham

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Ready for some holiday ham? Glazed ham is probably one of the easiest, festive, and cost effective roasts one can serve for a large gathering. The ham is already cooked when you buy it, so all you really have to do is heat it and glaze it. For this cranberry glazed ham, we are making a cranberry glaze with jellied cranberry sauce, orange juice, and whole grain mustard.

It’s sweet and tart, and with hints of orange and bursts of mustard. A perfect taste combination for ham!

Cranberry Glazed Ham

When you are buying a ham, you have a couple choices to make. “Spiral cut” means the ham is already pre sliced around the bone, making it easier when it comes time to serving. We are using a spiral cut ham for this recipe, but you could easily use a non-pre-cut ham.

Hams are sold as halves. The ham halves come in either the upper rear leg cut—the “butt” or sirloin, or the lower leg cut—the “shank” end. The “butt” half includes the hip joint bones which can be a little awkward to cut around, but is a little fattier and thus a little more flavorful.

The “shank” cut has just one straight bone, and slightly leaner meat. If you are at the market trying to figure out which is which, the “butt” cut will have a more rounded end to it, while the “shank” cut will be more tapered with a more pointed end.

Look for a ham without added water, or with just natural juices. These hams will be the most flavorful.

Cranberry Glazed Ham Recipe

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves many

We tested a couple different jellied cranberry sauces for this recipe and found we liked Ocean Spray brand the best.

If using a non-pre-sliced ham, score the outside skin and fat in a diamond pattern as described in our glazed baked ham with honey mustard recipe.

Ingredients

Glaze:

  • 1/2 of a 14-ounce can of jellied cranberry sauce
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 strips of orange zest
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp whole grain mustard

Ham:

  • 1/2 spiral-cut ham (about 9 pounds, plus or minus), bone-in, natural juices or no added water

Method

1 Let ham sit at room temp: Let the ham sit at room temp for a couple of hours before cooking. This will help the ham heat more evenly in the oven with less risk of the outside edges drying out.

2 Heat the ham: Wrap the ham tightly in aluminum foil, place in a roasting pan, and heat in a 275°F oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours (depending on the size of the ham, could be less or more time), until the internal temperature is 100°F. (It's already cooked, you're just heating it.)

3 Make the glaze: Place the jellied cranberry sauce in a small saucepan on low heat. Whisk in the orange juice and brown sugar until the brown sugar is dissolved. Add the strips of orange zest. Heat until bubbly and whisk until smooth. Then remove from heat, take out the orange strips, and stir in the mustard.

4 Glaze the ham: When the ham is ready, remove from oven. Open up the foil and paint the ham with half of the glaze. Keep the ham uncovered and return to the oven, bake at 425°F for 10 minutes.

cranberry-glazed-ham-method-3

5 Glaze again and broil: Remove from oven and baste with the remaining glaze. Return to the oven on the lowest rack, and broil for 5 to 10 minutes (at least 6 inches away from the heating element) until the glaze is lightly browned and caramelized.

6 Cut around the bone: Transfer ham to a serving dish. Use a paring knife to cut around the bone to separate the spiral cut slices from the bone. If you want pour some of the remaining pan juices over the ham. (Great flavor!)

Make sure to save the bone for ham soup!

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Links:

Pork cuts: A Visual Guide from Cooks Illustrated

Glazed Baked Ham with Honey Mustard or Honey Thyme Glaze - here on Simply Recipes

Baked Ham with Brown Sugar Glaze from Spicy Perspective

Ham 101: What to Know Before Buying a Ham from Kitchen Parade

Cranberry Glazed Ham

One Comment

  1. Kathy Mader

    Your ham looks perfect. Is there a particular brand you love to buy?

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