A whole ham is a holiday favorite for a reason: it’s not that hard to prepare, it feeds a lot of people and it’s loaded with flavor. If you’ve been making it every year, you can totally switch things up by just doing a different glaze. Here are some ham glaze ideas to make your family dinner even better.
A glaze for your ham is a very powerful and delicious way to flavor your holiday main course. And there are so many ridiculously simple ham glaze ideas out there, you almost have no excuse to do the same one over and over again. Well, the one possible excuse is that it’s a very old family recipe and all of your relatives and old ones adore it and it’s something really special. Other than that, variety is completely worth it.
How to glaze the ham
When you’re glazing the ham, first remove all of the skin and most of the fat, but keep a thin layer of fat (about 1/4-inch thick or 0.6 centimeters) on the ham, because it helps keep the moisture in. Then score the meat by cutting through the fat layer in a crosshatch pattern. This keeps the heat of the oven circulating in the ham.
Make sure to know how much your ham weighs, so that you know how much glaze to make. Cook the meat according to your recipe, and make sure to use a brush to spread the glaze on it every 20 minutes of the cook time. You will probably have to glaze about three times.
5 ham glaze ideas for this holiday season
1. Mustard, rosemary, and maple
This is sweet but has an herby and spicy punch. You can make it with maple syrup, use about half a cup, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of your favorite kind of mustard, and one tablespoon of finely chopped fresh rosemary. Mix everything in a small bowl and brush over the ham. This is enough for 12 servings.
2. Pineapple and ginger
Mix about half a cup of pineapple juice and half a teaspoon of ground ginger together with two-thirds of a cup of brown sugar. The lovely glaze brings the fruitiness of the pineapple (which is a classic component of the ham glaze) with the sharp flavor of rooty ginger. You can make this in a few minutes and it works for 12 serving of ham as well.
3. Jam, pepper flakes, Dijon mustard, and bourbon
Mix some half a cup of apricot jam with a quarter of a cup brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of bourbon, a tablespoon of Dijon mustard, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Blend everything together and use this to glaze your ham.
4. Orange and soy
Blend together the juice of one large orange, half a cup of brown sugar, one tablespoon of soy sauce, and one tablespoon of Dijon mustard. The use a brush to glaze this over the ham. This is done in just 5 minutes and is more than enough for your 12 guest-meal.
5. Peach jam and jalapeño
Mix together two cups of peach jam, a quarter of a cup of jalapeño, finely chopped into small pieces, and without seeds, plus one tablespoon of lemon juice, to bring a bit of a zing to your glaze. The spiciness works so well with the sweetness of the peach jam.