Honey Glazed Ham


This is my idea of a perfect Honey Glazed Ham. The salty, hickory smoke flavor of the ham is perfectly balanced with a sweet and sticky honey and brown sugar glaze which also has delicious hints of warm spices to compliment it.

Honey Glazed Ham

In other words, forget those pricey hams like those from Honeybaked. This one is just as delicious!

And it’s easy to make too.


I know this will be my new go-to method for a spiral sliced ham. In the past I’ve hated how I’d always ended up with some dry slices, but not here.

Honey Glazed Ham

I like Cook’s Illustrated’s method for spiral sliced ham so I used the same method here and just added different glaze rather than the orange maple one they used.

So many ham recipes (at the same weight) are cooked at 375 degrees for up to 3 hours but why? The ham is already fully cooked, it just needs to be warmed through for serving.

Here the ham is first brought up to room temperature in warm water so it heats more evenly in the oven. From there it’s wrapped in an oven bag for faster cooking, and moister end result. And then finally at the end it’s unwrapped and coated with the glaze and heated at a higher temperature to help brown and caramelize it a bit.

Honey Glazed Ham

It’s such a delicious holiday ham, trust me! Chances are everyone will be heading back for a second slice, and luckily there’s plenty.

If you don’t like a hint of orange then I do suggest omitting the orange zest because it does add a noticeable orange zip, other than that though I definitely recommend leaving everything else the same.

Honey Glazed Ham

And if you don’t own a roasting pan (I know they are such a pain to store) you could just use one of the disposable ones the grocery stores sell this time of year. They are very flimsy though so transfer carefully.

It may be tempting to just use a large pot but I wouldn’t recommend it because the ham won’t be able to brown very well at the end.

Honey Glazed Ham

Then bring on all the sides! Here’s a few I recommend:

Duchess Potatoes

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

White Cheddar Cauliflower Gratin

Rosemary Dinner Rolls (or my all time favorite rolls)

Lemon Butter Green Beans with Cranberries Walnuts and Feta

Winter Fruit Salad

Christmas Punch

And then why not finish with Vanilla Bean Cheesecake or Peppermint Bark Cheesecake?

Honey Glazed Ham

MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone! I hope you have a wonderful holiday with family and friends!


Honey Glazed Ham

5 from 10 votes

An amazingly delicious holiday ham! Baked in an oven bag and cooked at a low temperature so you don't end up with dry slices. And that sweet honey glaze is the perfect finish to the salty hickory smoked ham.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 16


  • 1 (8 - 10 lb) fully cooked spiral sliced ham (buy one that doesn't have water added)
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/2 tsp fresh orange zest (optional)
  • 1 oven bag


  1. Leave ham's plastic or foil covering intact and place ham in a large container (or a clean sink that plugs up well) and cover with hot tap water. Let rest 45 minutes. 

  2. Drain water then cover with hot tap water again and let rest 45 minutes longer. Near the end adjust oven rack to lowest position and preheat oven to 250 degrees. 

  3. Unwrap ham and remove plastic disk below ham bone. Place ham in oven bag and wrap bag so it fits snugly around ham. Tie bag and cut away excess plastic on top. Cut 4 small slits in top of bag.  

  4. Set ham cut-side down in a large roasting pan and bake in preheated oven until center registers 100 degrees on an instant read thermometer, about 1 - 1 1/2 hours (about 10 minutes per pound).  

  5. Near the end of baking, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add in brown sugar, honey, mustard, pepper, cinnamon, ginger and cloves and cook, whisking constantly, just until sugar dissolves, about 2 - 3 minutes. Stir in orange zest and let cool just until it's about the consistency of honey, about 10 minutes (when ready to glaze ham rewarm glaze as needed if it has thickened too much). 

  6. Remove ham from oven. Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees. Cut oven bag and roll down to expose ham. Brush all over with 1/2 of the glaze. Bake in oven 5 minutes then remove and brush with remaining glaze. Bake 10 minutes longer. Remove from oven, tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes before carving and serving.

  7. Recipe source: cooking method adapted from Cooks Illustrated

An amazingly delicious holiday ham! Baked in an oven bag and cooked at a low temperature so you don't end up with dry slices. And that sweet honey glaze is the perfect finish to the salty hickory smoked ham. #honeyglazedham #ham #christmas #easter #thanksgiving #recipe


  • Carol R: We have been heating our spiral sliced hams the Cook’s Illustrated way for a long time now. It is the ONLY way to make it! Every slice is so moist! I will be trying your glaze. Sounds delicious! Merry Christmas! December 20, 2017 at 8:07am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Glad to hear you love their method too! And I hope you love this glaze. Happy Holidays Carol! December 20, 2017 at 2:46pm Reply

  • jennifer collins: Oh my goodness absolutely the recipe just came on time.
    Thank you. December 20, 2017 at 8:27am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope you love it Jennifer! December 20, 2017 at 2:47pm Reply

  • naomi: This looks amazing! Love food for the holidays. December 21, 2017 at 12:59am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks Naomi! December 21, 2017 at 10:48am Reply

  • Laurel: Well, this settles it! I’ve been pondering for two weeks what to serve to a large post Christmas family gathering. This ham recipe looks just perfect, and easy enough that I won’t be tied to the kitchen. Thank you! December 22, 2017 at 11:06am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I hope your family loves this ham! Merry Christmas! December 22, 2017 at 9:48pm Reply

  • Nancy Lee: There really is no ham better than a honey glazed ham! The sweetness of the honey pairs so perfectly with the saltiness of the ham. December 23, 2017 at 1:20pm Reply

  • April: This was delicious! I made it for our Christmas dinner and everyone loved it. The glaze was very easy to make and so good. December 26, 2017 at 11:28am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad it was enjoyed April! I hope you had a great Christmas! Thanks for your review! December 26, 2017 at 11:41am Reply

  • jennifer collinsg: My family couldn’t believe how delicious was the Honey glaze ham. December 27, 2017 at 2:15pm Reply

  • Stephanie: I had already purchased a spiral sliced ham and was only looking for a better, more flavorful glaze than the one it came with…. However, I decided to try the entire recipe…. The method used to heat the ham very slowly in a cooking bag (I always have at least one left over from Thanksgiving so I didn’t even need run out and grab a box of them 👍) after letting it warm to room temperature, made the ham very, very moist and the overall flavor was truly better than any ham we’ve ever had (including the very, very expensive $100 Honey Baked Ham we purchased for Thanksgiving. Basically I wasted $90 plus an hour of my time waiting just to pick it up even though I’d preordered and prepaid for a very dry and by far inferior in almost every way you could imagine ham… The ham we used to make this was on sale for $10.00!) I did omit the orange zest simply because we like the sweetness of the honey/cinnamon flavor as it offsets the saltiness of the ham and I used more brown sugar and cinnamon (and in the future will probably make other adjustments to find the perfect balance of salty/sweet) but overall I did more or less use this recipe. The key is definitely the method this recipe uses to slowly warm up the ham combined with the sweetness of the glaze. I will never again pay high dollar for a ham, this recipe is going to be added to my favorites. Hands down the BEST HAM we’ve ever had! We had expected to have leftovers for our small New Years Eve party but our ham was completely devoured even though it was one of 4 different meat dishes prepared by others for our family Christmas get together (celebrated 12/29) so I guess we’ll probably be grabbing another ham to prepare for our party with friends tonight😉 December 31, 2017 at 4:28am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I’m so glad you loved it Stephanie! Thanks for this amazing review!! December 31, 2017 at 4:39pm Reply

  • Sue Guinn: I do not have an oven bag. Can I use foil instead. January 17, 2018 at 9:33am Reply

    • Jaclyn: Yes but you’ll need to increase the baking time a bit (I’m guessing about 30 minutes) because oven bags shorten the baking time . Hope you enjoy! January 17, 2018 at 4:35pm Reply

  • Crystal Robinson: I have a smoked ham but it states it’s not fully cooked. Is it safe to put the hot water on it like the recipe says? I sas thinking it’s bad to do that with uncooked meats. Also it says i shpuld bake till temp says 160…..so I was just going to adjust time to get to that temp January 20, 2018 at 9:28am Reply

    • Jaclyn: In all honesty I’ve never cooked a raw ham. They’ve always been smoked when I buy them.
      Like you say I would skip that step of warming it in the water (I don’t know if letting it rest at room temperature for 30 – 60 minutes is safe maybe, to help bring closer to room temp?? I know most roast recipes recommend that) and yes I’d heat it to the 160 temperature as labeled since it’s not a fully cooked ham, and I’d add the glaze when you’re about 20 degrees short of that.
      Hope you enjoy! January 23, 2018 at 6:20pm Reply

  • Bonnie: I am cooking a spiral sliced ham today and I’m going to use this cooking method, however I inadvertently purchased a glazed ham. I’m using the water bath method for warming to room temp and then plan to use a cooking bag. I guess I’ll open the bag the last 5-10 minutes and raise the temp so the glaze can caramelize a bit. Do you think this will work? January 21, 2018 at 9:00am Reply

    • Jaclyn: I haven’t tested with a glazed ham but I’m guessing it should work fine. January 21, 2018 at 2:24pm Reply

  • Tom: We put a Tbsp of dried lemon basil from our garden instead of the Orange zest and added a half tsp of pickapeppa hot sauce to the glaze and wow yum! February 6, 2018 at 5:57pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Can’t go wrong with hot sauce and garden grown herbs! Glad you liked it Tom! February 6, 2018 at 8:52pm Reply

  • Leslie Windsor-Bonnell: This was the best tasting ham I’ve cooked in a long time. It was the juiciest and tastiest. I’ve tried many glazes over the years and this is my favourite. February 16, 2018 at 12:42pm Reply

    • Jaclyn: Thanks for the great feedback Leslie! February 16, 2018 at 3:32pm Reply

  • Vicky Murray: Why soak the ham in hot tap water? March 27, 2018 at 1:53pm Reply

  • Gina: Recipe sounds great, however I accidentally bought a ham with water added, can I still follow this process? What does the water added change? March 30, 2018 at 8:46pm Reply

Add your comment:

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Copyright 2011-2018 Cooking Classy | Privacy Policy
Design by cre8d