Baked Ham

Baked ham is a classic centerpiece for festive gatherings and special occasions. With its savory, succulent flavor and a sweet glaze that caramelizes to perfection, it’s a dish that’s sure to impress your guests. Baking a ham may seem daunting, but with the right techniques, it’s a straightforward process that delivers outstanding results. In this recipe, we’ll guide you through creating your own baked ham, ensuring that it’s tender, flavorful, and ready to take center stage at your next celebration.


For the Baked Ham:

  • 1 bone-in ham (6-8 pounds)
  • Whole cloves (optional, for garnish)
  • 1 cup water

For the Ham Glaze:

  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice (from canned pineapple slices, if using)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

For Garnish (Optional):

  • Pineapple slices
  • Maraschino cherries


Step 1: Prepare the Ham

  1. Preheat your oven to 325°F (160°C).
  2. If your ham has a thick rind, use a sharp knife to score it in a crisscross pattern, creating diamond-shaped cuts about 1 inch apart. This helps the glaze penetrate and flavor the ham.
  3. If desired, insert whole cloves into the centers of the diamond shapes for added flavor and presentation.

Step 2: Place Ham in the Roasting Pan

  1. Place the ham in a roasting pan, flat side down. If the ham doesn’t fit easily, you can trim it to fit the pan.
  2. Pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of the roasting pan. This helps keep the ham moist during baking.

Step 3: Bake the Ham

  1. Cover the ham with aluminum foil and bake it in the preheated oven. The general rule is to bake for about 15-20 minutes per pound, but consult the packaging or your butcher’s recommendations for precise cooking times.
  2. During baking, occasionally baste the ham with the pan juices to keep it moist and flavorful.

Step 4: Prepare the Ham Glaze

  1. While the ham is baking, prepare the glaze. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, honey, Dijon mustard, pineapple juice, and ground cloves.
  2. Stir the glaze mixture until the sugar has completely dissolved and the sauce has thickened slightly. This should take about 5-7 minutes.

Step 5: Glaze the Ham

  1. About 30 minutes before the ham is done, remove it from the oven and uncover it.
  2. Brush a generous amount of the prepared glaze over the ham, making sure to get it into the scored cuts.
  3. Return the ham to the oven, uncovered, and continue baking.

Step 6: Check Doneness

  1. To ensure the ham is thoroughly cooked, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. It should reach at least 140°F (60°C) for safe consumption.

Step 7: Garnish and Serve

  1. Once the ham is done, remove it from the oven and let it rest for about 15 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute and ensures a moist and flavorful result.
  2. If desired, garnish the baked ham with pineapple slices and maraschino cherries for a festive touch.
  3. Carve and serve your succulent baked ham as the star of your special meal.


Baked ham is a timeless classic that brings savory and succulent flavors to your table. With the right preparation and a delectable glaze, you can create a show-stopping centerpiece for any special occasion. Whether you’re celebrating a holiday, hosting a gathering, or simply indulging in a special meal, baked ham is a dish that’s bound to delight your taste buds and leave your guests asking for seconds.

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