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The Best Honey Glazed Ham Recipe – Just In Time For Your Holiday Dinner!

Every year I am responsible for making a ham for our family Christmas dinner, and it doesn’t get any better or easier than this Honey Glazed Ham recipe. Moist and juicy slices of ham that have been coated in a sweet glaze that pairs perfectly with the salty flavor of the meat.

After taking the first bite I always wonder why I don’t make ham more often. It is so easy to prepare and the flavor is so good that I swear I could almost eat the whole ham myself!

But what makes it so delicious is the homemade citrus glaze that is spread all over the ham. With just 6 simple ingredients you can turn your ham into the best tasting ham that you have ever had!

honey glazed ham
A delicious spiral ham that has been cooked with a honey glaze. My favorite way to make this classic holiday meal!

The Ham Glaze

Over the years I have tried several different types of glazes to flavor our holiday ham. My first attempt included just 2 basic ingredients: brown sugar and orange juice.

I thought it would be best to keep things simple during my early years of hosting Christmas dinner and I was quite honestly afraid to branch outside of the norm too much in fear of failure.

Although the glaze was simple and easy to make, it didn’t turn out very well. That is because I didn’t know that I should wait until the last 30 minutes of the cooking process before adding the glaze.

Therefore the glaze got a little over done and made the entire top of the ham dark and crusty. Not quite the taste or visual presentation that I was going for.

So the next time I stuck with the same concept, but added in a little pineapple juice as well. In fact, I even put pineapple slices on top of the ham.

And of course this time I waited until the last 30 minutes to baste on the glaze. I was afraid the glaze would just melt off the top so every 10 minutes I would put a baster in the bottom of the roasting pan and give the ham a glaze shower.

The pineapple slices were a little overcooked and began to fall off by the time the ham was done. The flavor was decent, but a little too tropical in my opinion.

ham glaze
Of course ham is the star ingredient of this recipe, but it is the delicious glaze that really sets this recipe apart.

The Secret Ingredient in Honey Glazed Ham

So I knew that I needed to add something to balance out the flavors of the orange juice and pineapple. Therefore, I decided to sweeten the glaze with honey as it is a classic ingredient in many ham glazes.

Then that made me think of other ingredients that pair well with ham. And that lead me to think of another Holiday Ham recipe that I have made in the past which included Dijon mustard.

That was the perfect addition to my glaze. The tangy condiment added just enough balance to compliment the strong citrus flavor of the orange juice, the tropical flavor of the pineapple juice and the sweetness of the honey.

Add in a little ground cloves and you have the BEST honey glazed ham that you have ever tasted!

What Type Of Ham Should You Purchase?

I often get the question on what is the best type of ham to buy for this recipe. And the answer is quite easy.

Hands down, without a doubt, buy a pre-cooked, bone-in ham. The bone adds so much flavor to the ham during the cooking process and even when it gets reheated.

Although, I also highly recommend and prefer to buy a pre-cut, spiral ham whenever possible. This allows the honey glaze to drip into the center of each ham slice, providing maximum flavor in every bite.

So when you are wondering what the best ham is to buy for your Christmas dinner, the answer is a bone-in spiral ham.

slices of spiral ham cut and in a black bowl
Just to be on the safe side, I always get a few extra pounds when purchasing a holiday ham.

How Much Ham Per Person

When you’re serving a spiral sliced, bone-in ham, plan on approximately 3⁄4 lb. per person. However if you purchased a boneless ham it will be a little less per pound because there is no bone.

Therefore, for boneless ham use 1⁄2 pound per person guideline. So if you’re serving 12 people, you would want at least a 6 lb. boneless ham or a 9 lb. bone-in ham.

Although I usually add a couple of pounds both to be on the safe side and to give us leftovers to make Ham and Bean Soup and Monte Cristo sandwiches over the next few days.


*Specific measurements and complete recipe instructions are located in a printable recipe card at the bottom of this article. However, be sure to continue to read the tips and tricks to making this recipe below.


  • 8-10 pound fully-cooked, bone-in ham
  • 1 1⁄4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1⁄3 cup pineapple juice
  • 1⁄3 cup honey
  • 1⁄3 large orange, juiced and zested
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
honey glazed ham cooked
A moist and juicy holiday ham that has been coated with a delicious honey glaze and baked to perfection!


The first step is to preheat the oven and find a roasting pan that is big enough to hold your ham. Then place water in the bottom of the roasting pan and then set the ham face down in the pan.

You can use a roasting rack if you prefer, but I find it unnecessary and it is just one more dish to clean at the end of the day.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil or use the roasting pan lid and bake the ham for 1 1⁄2 hours. As a general guideline plan on reheating your ham for 12-15 minutes per pound when your oven is set at 325°F.

During the last 30 minutes of baking, prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, pineapple juice, honey, orange juice, orange zest, Dijon mustard, and ground cloves.

Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring often. Set aside.

Remove the ham from oven, uncover and set it on it’s side. Then pour, baste, or brush the glaze all over the ham. Bake for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, adding more glaze every 10 minutes.

basting ham
If you are cooking a pre-cut spiral ham, it is best to pour or baste the glaze over top so that it can drizzle between each sliced piece. However, if you are using a whole, unsliced ham, I prefer to brush the glaze on top.

Should I Use A Baster or Brush For The Glaze?

I have made honey glazed ham using both a baster and a brush. The choice is based on what type of ham that you have purchased.

However, if you use a whole or half ham that has not been pre-sliced, I would recommend using a brush. The force of the bristles gets the glaze in all those tiny nooks and crannies of the outer portion of the ham.

If you bought a spiral ham, stick with a baster or simply pour the glaze over top of the ham with a spoon and between the pre-cut slices. It would nearly be impossible to brush each individual slice and a baster is quick and easy.

Once the ham is done, remove it from the oven and use the remaining glaze on top of the ham. Let the ham sit, covered with foil for a few minutes before slicing.

Serve warm.

Enjoy! Mary

Honey Glazed Ham

honey glazed ham

How to cook the perfect ham with a sweet honey glaze that will leave you begging for more!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


  • 1 8-10 pound fully-cooked, bone-in ham
  • 1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 large orange, juiced and zested
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Cover the bottom of the roasting pan with water (just until the entire surface is covered). Place the ham in a roasting pan face down on a cooking rack, or directly in the liquid. Bake uncovered for 1 1/2 hours.
  3. After the ham has been in the oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes prepare the glaze. In a small saucepan, combine brown sugar, pineapple juice, honey, orange juice, orange zest, Dijon mustard, and ground cloves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside.
  4. Remove ham from oven, remove the cover and set the ham on its side. Brush or baste the glaze all over the ham.
  5. Bake uncovered for an additional 30 to 45 minutes, brushing or basting the ham with the glaze every 10 minutes.


  • Once cooked, remove from oven and tent with foil until ready to be served.
  • The ham should be reheated to an internal temperature of 140°F when tested with an instant read digital thermometer. Plan for approximately 12 minutes per pound.

Recipe provided by Make Your Meals

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 129Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 354mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 0gSugar: 22gProtein: 7g

Nutritional Information is to be used as a general guideline only . Nutritional calculations will vary from the types and brands of the products used.

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