Glazed Baked Ham

Preparing a glazed ham for Easter? Check out these, from the archives. First published 2009. ~Elise

A big baked ham is one of the easiest things to prepare for a holiday celebration. It’s economical, even a half-ham can feed a dozen people with leftovers, and a full ham typically goes on sale the week before Easter bringing the per-person cost down even more. The ham is already cooked, all you have to do is heat it to a serving temperature and if you want, apply a simple glaze.

That said, the first time I tried to make a glazed ham, we did a couple things wrong. We bought an already cut (spiral cut) ham, which may be convenient for cutting, but dries out really easily when heated. We didn’t let the ham rest at room temp before heating, and we insisted on sticking with the ham guideline of an internal temp of 140°. So we ended up with an easy-to-serve ham with half of it (anything not near the center) rather dried out.

Glazed Baked Ham on Simply Recipes

A while back I asked my friend Suzanne to come over and show me how she cooks glazed ham for her family gatherings. We baked two hams, one with Suzanne’s favorite sweet hot honey mustard glaze, and one with an intriguing honey thyme glaze Suzanne found in Gourmet. We scored the hams first in a diamond pattern, applied a glaze, cooked, basted with glaze, and finished browning in the broiler. Both hams turned out beautifully.

The two glazes we used are both honey-based, though you could use other things for a sweetened glaze, pineapple juice, marmalade, maple syrup. Do you have a favorite glazed ham glaze? If so, please let us know about it in the comments.

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Glazed Baked Ham Recipe

  • Prep time: 30 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
  • Yield: Easily serves a dozen, with leftovers.

Most baked ham recipes call for heating the ham to an internal temp of 140°F. But you can heat it to a lower temp, you just want it to be warm enough to eat. The higher the internal temp, the more risk there is of drying out the ham. So the guideline here is 110°F to 120°F, but heat it to a higher temp if you want. Remember, the ham is already cooked, so you're not cooking it here, you're just heating it. If you are working with a partially cooked ham, and not a ready-to-eat ham, follow the cooking directions on the package, most suggest cooking a partially cooked ham to 150°F.

Half hams are either cut from the shank end or from the butt end. The butt end may have more meat, but because of the shape of the bone at that end, is more difficult to cut. The hams pictured here are both from the shank end.

Ingredients

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  • 1/2 ready-to-eat, cooked ham, bone-in, uncut (NOT spiral cut), shank end or butt end, about 9-11 pounds

Sweet Hot Honey Mustard Glaze

  • 3 Tbsp sweet hot honey mustard (or brown mustard with honey)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • About 50 cloves

OR

Honey Thyme Glaze

  • 3 Tbsp melted butter
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme (or 2 teaspoons dry)
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Honey Thyme Glaze adapted from Gourmet

Method

1 Remove the ham from the refrigerator (still wrapped) a couple of hours before you intend to cook it so that it can get closer to room temperature.

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2 Preheat oven to 325°F. Place ham, fattier side up, in a foil-lined roasting pan. Score a diamond pattern in the fat with a sharp knife, about 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch deep, and the parallel lines about 1 1/2-inches apart. Do not score the meat itself, just the fat and any skin. You can score the fat to as deep as where the fat meets the meat. If you want you can first cut off any skin that might still be on the ham, but it isn't necessary.

glazed-ham-2.jpg glazed-ham-3.jpg

3 If using cloves (with the Sweet Honey Mustard Glaze), you can either put them in before applying the glaze or after. They look better if applied after, but it is easier to see the lines in the ham as a guide for placement if you put them in first. Place the cloves in the center of the diamonds to form a nice pattern around the top and sides of the ham. (Some people put the cloves in the intersection points of the scores. Do as you wish. You just want a nice pattern.)

4 Prepare glaze.

If using the sweet honey mustard glaze, mix the mustard with the brown sugar in a small bowl.

If using the honey thyme glaze, mix thyme in with the hot melted butter and let sit for a few minutes. In a small saucepan on high heat, let the cider vinegar reduce down from 1/4 cup to 1 Tbsp, remove from heat. Whisk in the butter and thyme. Add the honey, the brown sugar, and the Worcestershire sauce.

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4 Using a pastry brush, brush whichever glaze you are using over the ham. Only use about third of the glaze (reserve the rest for later in cooking). Try to work the glaze into the scored lines.

5 Place ham in oven. Cook for about 1 1/2 hours (check after 1 hour, will take longer if the ham is not at room temp to begin with), or about 10 minutes per pound, until the internal temperature of the ham is 110°-120° (use a meat thermometer). (Note that the ham is already cooked when you buy it, all you are trying to do is heat it up for eating.) Baste the ham with the glaze a couple of times during the cooking. If you check on the ham and think that the glaze is at risk of getting too browned (like on the way to burnt), you can cover with a piece of foil.

6 When the ham has reached the desired temperature, finish it off in the broiler for a minute or two just to get some nice browning on the top. Take the pan out of the oven and brush the ham all over with pan juices. Cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

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7 To slice a bone-in ham, cut around the bone first. Then use a long, sharp knife to slice off pieces around the bone.

Another way to slice the ham is to make first a slice on wide end to get a flat lying surface. Then stand the ham upright on the wide end and make slices down the side, working around the bone.

Remember to save the ham bone for soup!

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Ham selection and preparation

Glazed Baked Ham

54 Comments

  1. SBShell

    When I bake my ham around the last 1/2 hour I mix orange juice and a couple tablespoons of brown sugar. Pour over the ham. MMMMM good and simple!

  2. Julie

    My favourite ham glaze is simple – equal parts grainy mustard, balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. Paint it on halfway through the cooking time so that it doesn’t burn. Yum!

  3. Stumptown Savoury

    Looks great! I like to use maple syrup and vinegar instead of honey and vinegar. It’s not quite as sweet, but has a great depth of flavor. Some five-spice powder adds an intriguing note.

  4. Sara @ Culinerapy

    Aw, man! Why you gotta do this to me? I’m always seduced by the idea of making a big ol’ gorgeous ham, and then I do, and then I have leftovers for WEEKS and swear off doing hams for fewer than ten people. Sigh. Maybe I should just be sure to invite more people over for Easter.

    You can always send your guests home with some leftover ham! ~Elise

    • Judy

      I like using left-over ham to make split-pea soup or an egg/ham bake – delicious!!

  5. Stacey S

    I love making big hams and if I have too much leftovers (even after I send some home with any guests), I vacuum seal and freeze meal-size portions and the ham bone for future use and I can keep it in the freezer for months.

  6. Julie

    I grew up in a family of hearty eaters that gathered for every holiday. Now my husband I are too far away so I make holiday meals for just the two of us, and he’ll tell you I cook for an army, I just can’t help it! This half hams looks so delicious I’ve never bought one that wasn’t spiral cut, now I have to try it! To the person who posted about having too many leftovers…I usually dice the leftover ham and freeze it in 1 cup portions so I always have it on hand to toss into a soup or casserole for a quick weeknight dinner or a frittata on Sunday morning. Thanks Elise, your recipe ideas are wonderful!

  7. Ann

    My favorite glaze is exactly like the first one — plus a slug of bourbon.

  8. Laurel

    My mom-n-law does a superb ham. The ham comes out juicy and tender. Low and slow is her touch, and the glaze is wicked delicious. The secret is Heinz 57 sauce. Go figure. I don’t really like Heinz 57, but for the ham it works. She mixes the Heinz 57 with a jar of apricot preserves, a little dry mustard, and if she’s in the mood she’ll add some brown sugar. Slowly heat it up and then glaze away. The mom-n-law has got the magic ham touch.

  9. Garrett

    Best tasting hams ever. Used the leftovers for stir-fry, eggs, and sammiches. Plus the glaze for both was awesome, though I enjoyed the hot honey mustard glaze best. =)

  10. Mo So

    Urrrgh, ham. I know I need to make one (the spouse loves them)….

    Easter was always at my aunt’s house, and she had a passel o’ kids, and money was tight. The ham served there was probably the cheapest one possible, and in taste and texture it resembled thick pink wetsuit with artificial smoke flavoring – your teeth squeaked on it as you chewed. I always just ate the pineapple off the outside.

    So, maybe, this year I’ll find a small ham and cook that.

  11. Hélène

    What a beautiful ham. I usually bake mine in beer and add molasses, syrup, mustard. We enjoy it on Easter day.

  12. Wall-dean

    Here is a really great recipe. Ketchup, yellow mustard, pancake syrup, mix it all together and pour over ham,then bake it. Enjoy!! Thank you!

  13. Kandi

    My hubs just loves ham and I cook them often. My favorite one was when I scored a half ham, baked at 225’F for 3 hrs, covered in foil. Then I removed the foil, turned up the oven to 350’F and basted the ham for the next hour with equal parts of orange juice and ginger ale. I found that helped cut down on the saltiness and made a fantasic ham gravy, sweet and savory. Happy Easter, love your web site.

  14. Laura [What I Like]

    Oh that picture made me quite literally gasp! Gorgeous. Out of curiosity, have you ever tried that Coca Cola glaze? I think it’s mixed with molasses or something?

    No I haven’t. Don’t usually have cola in the house. ~Elise

  15. Ryan

    That picture looks great! My favorite glaze consists of apricot preserves with a couple of tablespoons of mustard powder. It’s a nice balance of sweet and savory. I usually heat it on the stovetop and thin it out with some water so it’s easy to apply to the ham.

  16. gail

    Your ham looks gorgeous. I’m making one on Sunday and trying a new glaze recipe…..orange marmalade,brown sugar & horseradish and I think I’ll add a little dijon. The recipe is from Epicurious.
    Have a lovely holiday!

  17. dsx

    Delicious! We’ve had success keeping spiral cut hams juicy by using variations on foil wrapping, turkey bags, or even a crock pot depending on the size. They make for great finger pickings at a brunch or in creating a sandwich platter if you’re doing a picnic/party instead of a sit-down dinner.

  18. Alison -- surefoodsliving.com

    And it’s gluten-free! Some commercial glazes contain wheat starch, and it’s so easy to make your own. Yours looks yummy.

  19. Michelle in NZ

    Over here we usually remove the actual skin (in a whole piece), leaving a generous layer of fat. It is the fat that is scored, decorated and glazed before baking the ham.

    I don’t like hot ham, especially when thickly cut, no matter how good the pork is. Yet thinly sliced and cold is scrummilicious.

    A great glaze makes a good ham splendid. And it is so wonderful when you’re feeding a crowd.

    In New Zealand we can also get a “mutton ham”`- leg of mutton cured and cooked just like a leg of ham. This beautiful meat used to be very cheap but not any more, and it has to be pre-ordered with your butcher.

    Have a great Easter, thank you for the wonderful recipes and ideas on your site. And Happy Cooking always,

    Michelle in Wellington, NZ

  20. Felicia

    I was inspired to pick up a tiny half ham at the supermarket yesterday after reading this post. I mixed together brown sugar, honey, maple syrup and some nice grainy Dijon mustard– the ham came out delicious, and I am looking forward to making sandwiches, quiche, and breakfast scrambles with the left-overs. Thank you for the inspiration!

  21. Alison

    Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe and easy to follow instructions. I had never made a ham that wasn’t already pre-glazed and cut. I used the Honey Thyme recipe and the ham was the best I have ever made. My kids even loved it!

  22. rose

    Yesterday we made the Honey-Thyme Glazed ham. Got a small boneless ham and didn’t score the skin, just glazed it while in the oven several times. SO GOOD. Wonderful flavor – sweet and savory. Thanks for the recipes (and choices!).

  23. Renee

    Ooooo, made this ham for Easter yesterday. Purchased a ham from a local butcher who smokes them himself, so yummy. I used a combination of the Honey-Thyme glaze with the addition of the Heinz 57 sauce as recommended in the reviews. Everyone loved it and I have tons of leftovers for this week. I love your site. Your recipes are wonderful and pictures magnificent. Thanks!

  24. Margaret

    I made my ham with the honey thyme glaze last night for Easter along with your new potato salad receipe. The ham was excellent! I love the thyme taste. I wish I had my flavor injector. Do you ever use one with your ham? I made it from an 11 pound uncooked ham. Good grief. I wish my husband hadn’t picked up an uncooked ham. That is not a fun process. But the flavor was excellent thanks to your receipe! Would you use this receipe on a turkey?

    We wouldn’t use this on a turkey, but that’s only because we are very particular about how we cook our turkey. But if you try it, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise

  25. Karen

    I made the Sweet Hot Honey Glazed Ham for Easter dinner yesterday and it was the BEST ham any of us has had! Thanks for posting such a simple and delicious recipe. My husband said that we need to use it at Christmas also!!

  26. Christen

    My father uses crushed gingersnaps, Jack Daniels whiskey, and dijon mustard as a crust/glaze on his Easter hams. The combination sounds odd, but I have yet to try a ham that comes close in comparison! :)

  27. hthaiwon

    My favorite glaze is from Ina Garten- Mango chutney, loads of garlic, brown sugar, Dijon mustard and orange juice.

  28. Karen in St. Louis

    Although the glazes mentioned above all sound yummy, the only glaze I use any more is a mixture of whole-berry cranberry sauce, brown sugar, a little mustard & ground cloves. I make extra and bake it in a pan the last 1/2 hour of cooking the ham – it is delicious on leftover ham sandwiches! Give it a try & you’ll be hooked, too. Merry Xmas!

  29. Simone

    I made my own glazed ham for the first time this Christmas with a marmelade glaze and we totally loved it! Indeed very easy to do and so tasty. I am for sure gonna try your glazes too. Sound delicious!

  30. D.J.McKiernan

    Your glazes sound yummy, I use a little pineapple juice and brown sugar to make a thick past and spread it all over the ham and then I put pineapple rings all over the past using tooth picks to hold them in place

  31. Melanie

    Thanks so much for this! It was perfect. I used the Thyme glaze and took note of all of your pieces of advice to keep our ham hot and moist and delicious–and it was! My dad had brought us a spiral cut so I was disappointed to read your words against it, but I kept it in mind and lowered the oven temp a bit and kept it tented with foil and it was perfect!

  32. Melissa

    This was my first attempt at cooking a ham and I turned to my trusted Elise for advice. Every recipe I’ve tried on your site is amazing and I give the Honey Thyme glaze recipe 5 stars! The ham has amazing flavor, SO much better than a ‘honey baked’ in my opinion. Thanks for sharing all your fabulous food knowledge!

  33. Valerie

    The last couple of times I’ve made ham, I have basted it with a simple combo of orange marmalade and dijon mustard and it has turned out great – but your recipes, and all the ideas listed above, look wonderful as well! I think it’s kinda hard to mess up ham. . . Although, come to think of it, I cooked it in a crockpot once, a long time ago, and it wasn’t so good!!

  34. MARYBETH

    Hi – I baked my ham on a rack wrapped in parchement paper and foil for about an hour and then made a glazed inspired from 2009 Gourmet magazine. Instead of honey I used a jar of last years Apricot jam mixed with some cider vinegar, about a teaspoon of dried thyme (wish I would have had fresh) and about 1/4 teaspoon worchestershire sauce. Cooked in all down and applied it to the last 1/2 hour of cooking – then I applied a bit more and placed it under the broiler until it was blistered and bubbly. It was an excellent ham!

  35. fran in VA

    Your ham looks yummy!!! The best way I have found to cook a ham is so simple. I always use a butt end and not the shank portion. Score your ham in a diamond pattern. Coat it with light brown sugar, add pineapple rings and cherries in the center of the pineapple ring(attaching with a toothpick). Be sure to add whole cloves in the little diamond points or where you like. Drizzle the pineapple juice over the ham and then add about 2 cups of 7-up to the pan. Cover with foil and bake at 325 degrees – 15 minutes per pound. Every 30 minutes baste with the pineapple / 7-up mixture and more 7-up can be added as necessary. Once done, let cool. Remove the cloves and enjoy. Let me know how you like ham this way……

  36. Cathy

    Impress your friends and family: this is truly the best ham you will ever eat. I was hooked on the spiral cut honey hams from the national chains. Never ever again. You will be amazed by how wonderful this tastes. And it is so easy! We also got our ham from an Amish farm which probably helps to make it even tastier.

  37. Jocelyn

    I made your mother’s recipe for spicy fig and orange microwave jam, but I used blood oranges and dried mission figs instead. I jarred some of it, but for the ham glaze, I added some fresh squeezed orange juice, grainy and smooth dijon mustard, and I heated it and poured it over the ham. It was AMAZING!! Please thank your Mom for being my Easter brunch muse!

  38. Andrea Kearney

    Loved this! Made this ham for Christmas Day, using a humble Mash’s, following recipe exactly. Beautiful presentation and delicious. Thanks Elise for another winner.

  39. Katherine

    I made this ham exactly as instructed (Cook’s half-ham, butt end, about 9.5 pounds) and it was absolutely delicious. I used the Honey Thyme glaze, and it took about 1 hour and 40 minutes to come to 115 degrees. I had it on the counter for 2 hours of “room temperaturizing” before putting it in the oven. Thank you so much for your wonderful website!

  40. Amy

    Made this for Easter, halved the recipe for a smaller ham. A definite crowd pleaser. Yum!

  41. Jan

    I really need some advice and cannot find it on the internet, hoping you could help me. I want to make my ham a couple hours early (as I have alot of things I need to make in the oven and I cannot get everything in at the same time). How can I keep the ham moist and warm, while the other dishes bake in the oven.

    Great question. If others reading have suggestions, please chime in. ~Elise

    • Chris S.

      Three suggestions:

      1) If your crockpot has a VERY low setting, put the roasted, unwrapped ham in that — it holds moisture in, as long as you don’t keep taking the lid off to check on it. You can even turn the cooker off for a while, then on, then off again, to keep the average temperature lower than the manufacturer’s low setting. To avoid burning, it helps to use a rack in the bottom of the cooker. If all else fails, just use cleaned sticks of celery or carrots as a rack to elevate the ham, keeping it off the very hot bottom of the cooker.

      2) Wrap the ham and its platter carefully in tin foil, together, making the package airtight (to avoid moisture loss) and put it on one of those warming plates (Toastess is one of many brands). If it will be there a very long time, try adding something moist when wrapping the packet, such as warmed pineapple rings or warmed peeled oranges, to increase the moisture within the packet.

      3) Make some baked potatoes in tinfoil when you roast the ham. After roasting, wrap the ham platter carefully in tin foil as for #2, INCLUDE the baked potatoes, still in their tinfoil, inside the packet, and then put the whole packet in a warm dry place (such as the cupboard where you kept your roasting pan!).

      Hope these or other ideas work for you. Good luck! :)

  42. kathy

    When I have too many things to bake at one time in the oven I make my ham ahead of time. Slice it and put it in the crock pot/roaster and add some ginger ail to keep the ham from drying out. No complaints from anyone in my family.

  43. KY

    I wonder if I can use a bottle of creamy yogurt honey mustard dressing for the sweet hot honey mustard glaze? I don’t have honey mustard at home, just Dijon mustard. Thanks.

    No, I do not recommend using dressing for the glaze. If you only have mustard, add honey or sugar to it until it is well sweetened. ~Elise

  44. Chris S.

    The tips are great, and both glazes look good — thanks!!!

    My favorite glaze is just mustard (I use Dijon, with or without seeds, instead of honey mustard because the glaze is already so sweet), brown sugar or molasses, and a huge amount of ground cloves (much easier than sticking in all those cloves, and keeps the flavor all over rather than just where they’re stuck). If I’m in a frivolous mood, I stick with the brown sugar instead of molasses (to keep it drier), add a little 100% juice from canned pineapple rings to bring back some moisture, and roast the rings themselves either on top of the ham or in the bottom of the pan. Delish!

    P.S. We’ve had a lot of luck recently with deboned “butterfly” hams, which are very long and rather thin, almost like spareribs except boneless (something like a huge slab of natural bacon, except a different cut of meat). Because these cook very, VERY quickly, we glaze all sides to create a moisture barrier that keeps existing moisture in the ham and still lets us cook long enough for the glaze to caramelize. The end result is absolutely beautiful, delicious, and ever so easy to carve!! And we DO score the meat itself, especially if there’s almost no fat to score — as long as you “repair” the cut with the glaze before cooking, so nothing leaks out, it works well. A fabulous company meal, or a family meal with leftovers for more than a week, and almost no preparation time — sweet!! :)

  45. Pat

    Yes, this looks wonderful, thanks for reminding me of the great taste of a baked ham. It has been ‘Off Radar’ for a while and time to bring it back. :)

  46. barb

    And after this ham is nearly devoured then the leftover goes into a crustless quiche. yummmmmmmmm

  47. Pierre Dufresne

    I find most hams awfully salty. Would it work to, say, boil a fully-cooked ham for an hour to leach out the salt, and then briefly bake/broil it? Or will the ham disintegrate into a pile of mush before reaching the oven?

    • Pam Roberts

      My grandmother always cooked her ham on top of the stove to reduce the saltiness. It is easy and delicious. I use a boneless ham, whole or half. You can still score the ham (or not, as you choose). Attach pineapple rings (in heavy syrup) with toothpicks and stick whole cloves into the ham around and in the centers of the rings. (Or, if you are really in a rush, put the ham into a Dutch oven first, then just pour a can or two of pineapple chunks over the ham and sprinkle ground cloves over it). Then, pour a liter of ginger ale over the ham. Simmer on the stove until heated through. Delicious and not salty at all!

  48. Melissa

    Hi Elise,

    I made Easter dinner at our place for the first time this year, and two of the four dishes I served were right from your site, while a third was inspired by one of your recipes!

    I made the ham with the thyme glaze you have here — holy yummy, Batman!

    I made your scalloped potatoes recipe — a lot of work, but also very yum.

    And I made zucchini with garlic and tomatoes, loosely inspired by your Mom’s recipe for summer squash with tomatoes!

    Dinner was really great. I’ve used your recipes many times, and know that if I’m looking for something in particular, I can always count on your recipes to please! Super resource to have :)

    (Oh, and I also recently made your turkey burger with zucchini, cilantro and mint recipe inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. I LOVE their stuff, and — WOW! My husband said those burgers were “exceptional!” Which they really truly were. SO good!)

    Well, that’s enough praise for now! Thanks for all the great recipes!

    Happy Spring! :)

  49. Mary Costigan

    I saw a recipe on TV for a baked ham, and didn’t exactly remember all of the details, but it called for Orange Marmalade and brown sugar. I got the whole ham to room temperature, scored the top, as they did on TV, and put the cloves in the intersections. Looked beautiful. Turned on the oven to 325 degrees, and here is where I think I should have waited or put aluminum foil over the ham, but I spread the Marmalade over the ham, then sprinkled brown sugar over the tom of the Marmalade. I thought at the time, that maybe I should have waited, but the ham in the oven, without putting aluminum foil in the pan, and set it as directed, to 15 min. per pound. Well, my ham was 18.3 lbs, and when I checked it after two hours, all of the glaze had melted down into the pan and had formed a thick black burnt crust, and the top of the ham didn’t look any better. We check the temp in the ham and it was about 140 degrees. I turned off the oven, and let it sit until almost ready to serve. I now know that I made a lot of mistakes, on trying to remember the procedure from TV. When we went to serve the ham, we just peeled off the fat layer, and it came out fine, it was nice and moist, just not something to take to the table and cut. Some of our guests, loved the burnt fat, it was like jerky. I believe I should have waited until the last 30 minutes, and put the Orange Marmalade on with the brown sugar, then put it under the broiler until brown. I’ll know next time.

  50. Tracy

    I’ve made a lot of baked hams but scoring the ham and adding that honey glaze PLUS not overcooking made this the best ham ever. I cooked an 8 lb bone in shank scored and glazed every 15 minutes with the honey glaze and it was won-der-ful! I cooked at 300 with a bit of liquid in the bottom of my roasting pan for 2 hrs and covered the pan/ham with foil and left in cooling oven for 45 minutes. BEST juiciest ham ever! Used a disposable foil roasting pan because the glaze is sticky. Thank you Elise for sharing this recipe. PS – Have a GREAT hambone left over for soup!

  51. Mike

    You really need to be careful telling people not to heat the ham to 140F because USDA Food Code calls for ANY previously cooked foods to be reheated to a minimum of 140F. So there is a reason the instructions say to reheat to 140F. You can tent with foil to minimize drying out but ALWAYS reheat to 140F

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