How to Glaze a Ham: A Step-by-Step Guide for the Perfect Holiday Centerpiece

Hams are a staple on holiday tables, offering a beautiful centerpiece and delicious flavor. This guide will walk you through the process of glazing a ham, whether you’re starting from scratch or using a pre-cooked ham.

Glazing a Ham: The Basics


  • 6 lb boneless ham
  • 2-3 cups of water
  • Savory Caramel Glaze (or other glaze of your choice)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a roasting pan with foil for easy cleanup and place a roasting rack on top.
  2. Place the ham on the rack and carefully pour water into the bottom of the pan. This creates steam and keeps the ham moist.
  3. Cook for 15-20 minutes per pound. For a 6-pound ham, this means a minimum cooking time of 1.5 hours.
  4. Rotate the ham if it starts to brown too much. Lower the heat by 15-20°F to prevent burning.
  5. About 20 minutes before the end of cooking time, start glazing the ham. Use a silicone brush to apply the glaze generously.
  6. Continue glazing every 5 minutes until the ham is done. The ham is ready when a thermometer reads an internal temperature of 135-140°F.


  • Don’t burn the glaze! Apply it with a brush and be careful not to overcook.
  • Use a meat thermometer to ensure the ham is cooked through.
  • Let the ham rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute.

Making Glazed Ham the Day Before

Here’s how to make glazed ham the day before and reheat it for a stress-free holiday meal:

  1. Follow the steps above to cook and glaze the ham.
  2. Let the ham cool completely on the counter for 2-3 hours.
  3. Refrigerate the ham uncovered for 3-6 hours. This allows the inside to cool completely.
  4. Cover the ham loosely with parchment paper and then foil or cling wrap.
  5. Refrigerate overnight.
  6. On the day of serving, take the ham out of the fridge 2 hours before reheating.
  7. Reheat the ham in a 130°C oven for 2 hours. The center of the ham should register 60°C/140°F.
  8. Baste the ham as needed to achieve a shiny, sticky finish.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you cover ham when glazing?

Yes, it’s recommended to cover the ham loosely with parchment paper and then foil or cling wrap while it cools in the refrigerator. This prevents the glaze from sticking and protects the ham from drying out.

How long does glazed ham last in the fridge?

Glazed ham can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

Can you freeze glazed ham?

Yes, glazed ham can be frozen for up to 2-3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

What kind of glaze should I use?

There are many different types of glazes you can use for ham, including brown sugar, maple, and mustard glazes. Choose one that complements the flavors of your other holiday dishes.

What should I serve with glazed ham?

Glazed ham pairs well with a variety of side dishes, such as mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, and green bean casserole.

Glazing a ham is a simple process that can elevate your holiday meal. By following these tips, you can create a delicious and impressive centerpiece that everyone will enjoy.

Cooked or uncooked ham?

Not all hams come precooked, though. The most widely consumed ready-to-heat hams are actually cured; all you’re doing is reheating them. It takes some time because you still need to ensure that the outside isn’t overly dried while the heat is reaching the center. For this reason, some people like to add some water to the bottom of their roasting pan in order to help retain moisture while reheating. Purchasing an uncooked ham is equivalent to purchasing a raw pork thigh. It will cook similarly to any other roast pork portion, looking grey inside and developing a beautiful roast crust as it cooks. However, if you want the meat to have that distinctive pink color, you should pick a cooked or cured ham.

Hams are a beautiful centrepiece on any holiday table. Whether smoked or baked, It’s so easy to prepare a gorgeous and gleaming ham. Here’s how:

One of the most recognizable holiday dishes is probably a plump, round ham that is the centerpiece of the table and glistens with a sticky, sweet glaze. That’s the one that looks so pretty and shiny that it makes the other dishes look bad. In contrast to the Thanksgiving turkey, which can be challenging to cook to perfection, hams are simple to prepare. Like, nearly laughably easy. I was shocked to learn that most of the time all you’re actually doing is reheating a precooked ham because it was so easy.

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