Orange and Brown Sugar-Glazed Ham

This recipe uses an easy-to-cook spiral cut ham, but ditches the glaze packet that comes with it. Use this homemade glaze instead, which elevates flavor with ingredients like fresh orange juice, apple cider vinegar, creole mustard, brown sugar and cloves. This orange and brown sugar glazed ham makes a great centerpiece to a holiday meal, like Easter or Christmas, but is also great for a weeknight dinner. I’ve even done it with a small picnic ham for 2-4 people (shown in the loaf pan below) and it’s just as delicious!

Glazed Ham Recipe

Ingredients and Equipment Notes

  • Spiral Cut Ham – These should be easy to find, especially during any holiday season. They are already cured and just require heating. Make sure you buy one that is already spiral cut. It will come with a little spice packet, and you won’t need that.
  • Creole Mustard– If you don’t have creole mustard, any whole grain mustard will be just fine, and even dijon.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – I recommend Bragg’s brand apple cider vinegar.
  • Orange Juice – Make sure you grab a fresh orange for this recipe, since you’ll also be using the zest.
  • Bacon Drippings – I featured bacon olive oil from our olive oil company when I created this recipe, but since we aren’t selling it anymore, you could add in some bacon drippings for great flavor. If that’s an annoying step for you, don’t worry about it and omit!
  • Roasting Pan– I like to elevate the ham in a roasting pan. If you don’t have one, this is the one we’ve consistently recommended. It is clearly not the one I have, but it is the one I wish I had.
orange brown sugar ham-5

Instructions

  1. Line a heavy-duty roasting pan with aluminum foil and place the rack inside of the foil.
  2. Place the ham, fatty side up, on the rack (but also make sure the slices are vertical and the flat end isn’t face-down–you want that fat to melt and run between the slices to keep things moist. Sorry. I had to use the m-word.)
  3. Insert a roasting thermometer (this is the best one I’ve ever used!) into the thickest part of the ham that has not been sliced.
  4. Place the ham in the heated oven and roast for 1 1/2-2 hours or until the thermometer reaches 140-145.

5. While the ham is roasting, combine the brown sugar, cloves, juice, zest, mustard, and vinegar, and whisk in bacon drippings, if using.

6. When the ham has about 30 minutes to go, remove the ham and brush the glaze on the outside of the ham, all the way down into the slices. Place the ham back in the oven and cook until done.

7. When done, remove from the oven and serve with ham dipping sauce explained below.

Dipping Sauce

While the ham is finishing off, whisk together the BEST part of ham at my house growing up. It’s a simple sauce made from mayonnaise, mustard, and a little apple cider vinegar, but it was seriously my favorite part of ham as a kid–we couldn’t have ham without it. You can use regular yellow mustard, but I love the deeper flavor of the ground mustard.

Orange Brown Sugar Spiral-Sliced Ham from Our Best Bites

And there you have it–the BEST ham and the EASIEST holiday dinner in all the land. Promise. This will make a lot–6 pounds will serve in the 20 people range. You can also freeze the leftovers for 3-4 months.

Serving Suggestions

If you’re looking for side dishes, I went old-school OBB and served them with these Stuffed Blue Cheese Potatoes (although Funeral Potatoes are always an excellent choice), Bacon-Wrapped Green Beans, and this Sweet Cornbread.

glazed ham

Orange and Brown Sugar-Glazed Ham

The perfect holiday ham with the most incredible glaze!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • HAM/GLAZE
  • 1 5-7- pound spiral-cut ham fully cooked; discard the glaze packet
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • grated zest of 1 small or medium orange
  • 1 tablespoon mild ground mustard or Creole mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar Bragg's is the best!
  • 1 tablespoon bacon drippings
  • DIPPING SAUCE
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup mild ground mustard or Creole mustard
  • 1-2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 325 F. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil and place the rack inside of the foil. Place the ham, fatty side up, on the rack. Insert a roasting thermometer into the thickest part of the ham that has not been sliced. Place the ham in the heated oven and roast for 1  1/2-2 hours or until the thermometer reaches 140-145.
  • While the ham is roasting, whisk together the brown sugar, cloves, juice, zest, mustard, vinegar, and oil or bacon drippings. When the ham has about 30 minutes to go, remove the ham and brush the glaze on the outside of the ham, all the way down into the slices. Place the ham back in the oven and cook until done.
  • When done, remove from the oven and serve with dipping sauce.
Course: Meat
Cuisine: Holiday
Keyword: Christmas, Easter, ham, Thanksgiving
Author: Our Best Bites
Did You Make This Recipe?Snap a picture, and hashtag it #ourbestbites. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @ourbestbites!
woman in denim shirt holding a salad bowl
Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Hello, I’m wondering if you have a good substitution for a roasting pan. I don’t have one, but would like to try out this recipe! Any suggestions?

  2. I made this for Christmas dinner! I’m not sure if it was the ham we bought or the glaze recipe, but it turned out amazing. Usually I’m not much of a meat eater, and we had lots of amazing side dishes, but the ham is really what I zoned in on. The sauce for the ham is a great touch, too!

  3. We just had this for Christmas Day lunch (in New Zealand), didn’t do the dipping stuff, but the ham was so delicious, my niece even asked me for the recipe so I’ll be sharing this link with her!

  4. This will be going on my family’s Christmas Eve ham. Have to say I just look at turkey as an overgrown chicken. Do y’all have a new way to save your recipes? Ziplist is sadly gone! I have been a fan of yours for quite some time. Merry Christmas to both of you & your growing families.

    1. We’re trying to find something to replace it! So far we haven’t found anything great, but we’ll stay on it!

      1. Sorry for being nosy, but have you tried yumprint.com from saving/organizing/menu-ing recipes? Love it! Anyway, Merry Christmas and THANK YOU for all your work and recipes!

  5. Perfect timing! I was just looking at the ham in my freezer and thinking it would be good for Christmas, but I’ve never had a good glaze recipe. I love the hams from Honeybaked Ham, but they’re so expensive! Looking forward to trying this!

  6. Ya know, I love turkey and Thanksgiving… but I think I would be bored if I made it all again in December. I am all about some ham! Plus, I appreciate the fact that it’s much less time consuming than turkey, so I can sit and play on Christmas too. 🙂 Thanks for this glaze recipe, I was looking for something new to jazz it up!

  7. This sounds delicious. Is it weird that I think the best thing about ham is using the leftovers to make soups? I enjoy the ham itself, but I really love a good soup with bits of ham in it.

  8. I’m glad we aren’t the only weirdos who only do ham at Thanksgiving. I grew up doing both, but my husband would much much much rather have ham and I’m not so dedicated to turkey that I mind (since we’ve just done Thanksgiving with our family the past few years). I always thought I was supposed to lay the flat side down, so I’m most excited to try cooking it so the glaze actually gets ON the ham, instead of only the outside.

  9. I love the crust this makes on your ham. Definitely now making it for Christmas. Two questions- 1) is it easy to find spiral cut hams? Is that something I can get at a normal grocery store? And 2) Is ground mustard the powdered form of mustard or a liquid mustard?

    1. Super easy to find–I would say most hams at the grocery store are probably spiral cut. And the mustard is liquid; some coarse ground mustard is VERY strong, but Creole mustard is mild and flavorful. Walmart actually has a really great, mild coarse ground mustard; it’s just Great Value Coarse Mustard. Or see if you can find Creole mustard; Zatarain’s is a national brand. If you can’t find it at a grocery store, try World Market. Hope that helps!

  10. praise the lord! my hubby’s work gives us a ham every year at Christmas time and I HATE those sauce packets…gag just thinking about them. Definitely going to give this one a try!

  11. We always have a glazed ham for Christmas. This recipe looks amazing – but I’m wondering if my kids will let me get away with it. We always just use the packet that comes with the ham. My kids are kinda anti mustard, apple, and mayo, but I may force this on them anyways, because it looks so good.

    1. The Ham Dipping Stuff might be offensive to your kids, but I bet they’ll never notice any of that in the glaze. Just based on my own kids’ experiences. 🙂

  12. My fam does ham and turkey for both Thanksgiving and Christmas so I’m excited to see this recipe. I look forward to trying it out.
    Also, I have those little mason shot glasses. Love them!

  13. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!! I’ve been wanting an amazing ham glaze recipe for my ham. We are ham people. Well, I make my husband be one. And I always just use the packet but knew there had to be a better way. Finding one was on my list for this Christmas, and of course, OBB comes through for me like always.

  14. I am 100% on Team Ham! Significantly easier than turkey, plus any time I can avoid sticking my hand into a “cavity” (ahem), I’m happy!

    1. Yes. The cavity. Also, under the skin. I always feel like I need a HAZMAT suit and a complete decontamination when we’re done, haha!

  15. Thank you for a ham recipe! I really want to make one for Christmas. I have a question- what sides do you serve this with? We have never had ham before at a family dinner so I’m unsure. THanks!!

    1. IGNORE me i’m so sorry apparently I was too excited about the recipe and didn’t bother reading the last paragraph where you clearly explained side dishes!Thanks again!

      1. Oh my gosh, no worries, hahaha! I was just going to point you in that direction! 🙂

  16. Oh this looks yummy! We are having turkey on Christmas with my husband’s family, but my mom and I want to do something different for our family Christmas (whenever that happens, looking at Jan 4!) I want ham but I may lose that battle to the prime rib loving men!