Bourbon glazed ham is a flavorful main dish for the holidays and family dinners. Baked ham is incredibly easy and it comes out juicy, tender, and so tasty. But we all know that it’s all about the glaze. This bourbon glaze is fantastic, it’s sweet and tangy with a distinct bourbon flavor.
There’s nothing quite like serving a dish that you know everyone will love. Especially around the holidays, it’s a wonderful feeling to have everyone smiling around the dinner table. This baked ham recipe is sure to make your meal memorable!
Baked ham is always an impressive dinner table centerpiece but what’s best about is how easy it is to cook. Since it comes fully cooked, all you have to do is make the glaze and bake the ham.
City ham is the fully cooked ham that is most common in the grocery stores and you can get it with or without the bone. Some city ham even comes already sliced, which would save the carving time at the end. (And it looks so nice and pretty.)
Bourbon Glazed Ham Recipe
Ingredient Notes + Substitutions
- Ham – The meat can be bone in or boneless, spiral cut, or not cut at all. All that really matters is that it weighs 6-10 pounds and is labeled “fully cooked.”
- Bourbon– Any type of whiskey bourbon will be fine. Most of the alcohol content will evaporate during the cooking process, but the flavor will definitely be noticeable!
- Brown Sugar – use dark or light if you wish.
- Molasses – If possible, avoid using blackstrap molasses, as the flavor may overpower the glaze.
- Apple Juice – Sweetened or unsweetened. Apple cider is a good substitute
- Worcestershire Sauce– this is a great sauce to add depth of flavor.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – you can substitute white wine vinegar or sherry vinegar if needed.
- Garlic Cloves
- Ground Cloves
- Ground Black Pepper
- Salt – always to taste
First things first – the bourbon glaze:
- Combine the ingredients. In a pot, whisk together the ingredients for the bourbon glaze until fully incorporated.
- Simmer the mixture. Let the mixture simmer for about 15 minutes, and be sure to stir it often. Once it’s reduced by about half, take the pot off the heat. Be careful not to over-reduce the glaze! If it looks thin, that’s okay.
Note: Glaze thickens as it cools! So it will look thin while it’s hot but much thicker when cooled.
Wasn’t that easy? Now, let’s move onto baking ham in the oven:
Prepare the roasting pan. Cover the bottom of the roasting pan with aluminum foil. The foil will catch the drippings. Then, add a couple cups of water. Next, place the roasting rack into the prepared roasting pan.
Score the skin. You can skip this step if you have a spiral cut ham. If your meat is uncut, you’ll need to score it with a sharp knife. The cuts should be approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep, and in diamond shapes across the skin.
Brush with bourbon glaze. Use about half of the glaze to cover the meat. If you have a spiral cut ham, feel free to brush between the slices in order to optimize the flavor!
Bake ham in the oven. After you wrap it tightly in aluminum foil, carefully place it on the rack inside of the prepared roasting pan. Let it cook for approximately an hour and a half.
Cooking Time for Ham
The best way to calculate the perfect cooking time is to expect to cook it for about 15 minutes per pound.
For example, if the ham weight is 6 lbs, you’ll need to cook it covered for approximately 90 minutes. Remember, it’s fully cooked when the internal temperature reaches 140°F.
Add more glaze. After you’ve let the meat cook, remove it from the oven and unwrap the foil. Then, generously cover it in more of the delicious glaze (but leave some for the end)!
Bake again. After applying the glaze, put in back in the oven and cook for an additional 30 minutes, uncovered.
Baked ham should be at 140° internal temperature for ham labeled “fully cooked, and 160° for ham labeled “cook before eating.”
Serve! Before serving your bourbon glazed ham, brush it with the remaining glaze and serve hot. Enjoy!
What should I do with ham leftovers?
If the meat isn’t entirely gobbled up by your loved ones, there are many ways to use the leftovers! Honestly, I always use a few slices for sandwiches for lunch the next day.
Be sure to check out these leftover recipes for an amazing ham and brie grilled cheese sandwich, instant pot ham and bean soup, or ham and cheese mashed potato cakes. No matter how you choose to serve it, ham is always a party pleaser.
What should I serve with bourbon glazed ham?
When it comes to the holidays, every family has their own traditional side dishes, and they all pair perfectly with this entrée!
If you need any more ideas, check out these scrumptious side dishes.
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Bourbon Glazed Ham
- 6-10 lb fully cooked ham bone in or boneless, spiral cut or not cut
- 1 cup bourbon
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 tbsp molasses
- 1/4 cup apple juice
- 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 4 garlic cloves pressed
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 tsp salt more or less to taste
- Combine all the ingredients for the glaze in a pot and whisk them together.
- Bring the mixture to simmer over medium heat and simmer for about 15 minutes stirring often, until it's reduced by about half (but not more than half.) Take off heat.
- Note that the glaze may look thin while it's hot but it does get thicker as it cools.
- Preheat oven to 325°. Cover bottom of the roasting pan with aluminum foil to catch the drippings and add a couple cups of water. Place the roasting rack into the prepared roasting pan.
- If using spiral cut ham, there is no need to score it.If using uncut ham, make sure to score the outer skin. Using a sharp knife, make cuts across the skin that are about 1/4-1/2 inch deep, forming diamond shapes.
- Place ham on a couple of sheets of aluminum foil and glaze it all over with about half of the glaze. On the spiral cut ham, I like to brush some glaze in between the slices as well.
- Wrap ham tightly in foil and place on the rack inside the roasting pan (flat side down if using half ham).
- Bake for about an hour and a half covered (calculate about 15 minutes per pound).
- Take ham out of the oven to glaze and close the oven door so the oven temperature doesn't go down.
- Raise oven temperature to 400°.
- Unwrap the ham and generously glaze with more glaze. (Save a little bit of glaze to brush finished ham at the end.)
- Put it back in the oven, uncovered, and bake for about 30 more minutes, until internal temperature is 140° (for “fully cooked” ham).
- **Note: If your ham is labeled “cook before eating,” cook ham at 350° until internal temperature reaches 160°.
- Brush cooked ham with some leftover glaze and serve