The Ultimate Guide to Baking the Perfect Ham


Are you ready to elevate your cooking game and impress your guests with a show-stopping centerpiece? Look no further than the timeless classic – baked ham. Whether you’re hosting a holiday feast or a casual dinner party, this mouthwatering recipe is sure to delight everyone at the table. With simple ingredients and easy-to-follow steps, you’ll master the art of baking the perfect ham in no time. Let’s dive in!

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– 1 bone-in ham (8-10 pounds)
– 1 cup brown sugar
– 1/2 cup honey
– 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
– 1/4 cup pineapple juice
– 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
– 1 teaspoon ground cloves
– 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


1. **Preheat the Oven:** Start by preheating your oven to 325°F (165°C). This ensures even cooking and a beautifully caramelized exterior.

2. **Prepare the Glaze:** In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the brown sugar, honey, Dijon mustard, pineapple juice, apple cider vinegar, ground cloves, and ground cinnamon. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

3. **Prepare the Ham:** Place the ham, flat side down, in a large roasting pan. If the ham has a thick layer of skin, you can score it in a diamond pattern for a decorative touch.

4. **Glaze the Ham:** Using a basting brush, generously coat the ham with the prepared glaze, making sure to cover every inch. The sweet and savory flavors of the glaze will infuse the ham with irresistible taste and aroma.

5. **Bake to Perfection:** Cover the ham loosely with aluminum foil and transfer it to the preheated oven. Bake for approximately 15-18 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 140°F (60°C). Baste the ham with the glaze every 30 minutes to keep it moist and flavorful.

6. **Rest and Serve:** Once the ham is fully cooked, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in tender, juicy slices of ham. Arrange the slices on a platter and serve alongside your favorite sides.

Tips for Success

– Choose a high-quality ham for the best results. A bone-in ham will impart extra flavor and juiciness.
– Don’t rush the glazing process. Take your time to ensure every inch of the ham is coated for maximum flavor.
– Feel free to customize the glaze to suit your taste preferences. Add a splash of bourbon for a hint of richness or some crushed red pepper flakes for a touch of heat.
– Leftover ham is incredibly versatile and can be used in sandwiches, salads, soups, and more. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to a week.

With this foolproof recipe, you’ll become a master of baked ham in no time. Whether it’s a special occasion or just a cozy family dinner, this delicious dish is guaranteed to bring joy to your table. So, gather your ingredients, preheat your oven, and get ready to savor the irresistible flavors of homemade baked ham. Cheers to good food and great company!